With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many people are looking for ways to tell that special someone how important they are. Often, you may feel you don’t have enough money to properly express that sentiment and must come up with creative yet cost-effective ways to show you care. Here are five date ideas that will show that it’s the thought that counts.
Dinner at Home
Instead of taking your sweetheart out for dinner on Valentine’s Day when things are both overcrowded and overpriced, make dinner at home. A few simple touches can make the evening. Use a simple recipe and make as many preparations as possible ahead of time. On the 13th, prepare your salad, make the rolls, and prepare dessert or buy a fancy dessert from a local pastry show. When Valentine’s Day arrives, set the table with candles, a tablecloth, and cloth napkins, and don’t forget a nice sparkling Spumante or Champagne. Your meal doesn’t have to be fancy — the effort you take should be enough to make your valentine swoon.
Celebrate by an Early Meal Instead of a Late Dinner
Instead of having the traditional Valentine’s Dinner out if you don’t think you can handle cooking dinner at home, find a local restaurant that may offer discounted lunch or early bird specials. Many offer full meals complete with soup or salad and a shared dessert for less than you’d pay for a dinner entree during peak hours. Use some of the savings to splurge and get a nice bottle of wine. After your meal, you will have the rest of the evening to snuggle, visit an art gallery, or see an early movie — many theaters also have reduced price matinees.
Make a Homemade Calendar on Your Computer
A virtually free gift can be made by using photos that you have acquired throughout your relationship. If you have a good memory, you can find a memory for each month of the year such as your first date, your first trip together, or your wedding. All you have to do is scan in each photo and choose one of the many calendar making templates on the Internet, and you will have a precious keepsake that they will keep long after the year ends.
Drinks and Karaoke
If you’re looking for a fun night out, what’s better than Karaoke — and it doesn’t matter if you can’t sing. After a couple drinks of liquid encouragement, grab a song catalog and plan your surprise song. You can dedicate a sweet love song to your special someone or share the spotlight by singing a duet. “Summer Loving” from Grease is a favorite.
For many people that don’t have a lot of money in their pockets right now, but want to have a memorable Valentine’s Day, an IOU can be a great idea. If you know that you won’t over-extend yourself, and you can keep your promise, a short weekend trip that wouldn’t break the bank can be a great future option. Inexpensive options include a trip to Napa Valley or Temecula for wine tastings or a short weekend Bahamas cruise that is often less than $200 a person. Don’t forget a nice card and flowers or some small gift for that special person just so they know you think they’re special and you haven’t forgotten the day.