Valentine’s Day: The day when many couples profess their love for one another by buying each other lavish flowers and chocolates, going out to eat at a fancy restaurant, and enjoying a special bottle of wine. While those gestures seem extremely romantic, there’s nothing more lovable than empowering yourself to do the things that matter most to you in life.
This Valentine’s Day, we’ve come up with seven romantic ways to say, “I love you,” without breaking the bank. And if you’re really up for a challenge, set aside some of the money you can save with these seven tips, and gift it to your future self.
Tip #1: Whip up some romance in your kitchen.
A few days before Valentine’s Day, make a trip to your local library. Flip through the cookbooks, searching for a fun recipe to make together. If you want an added challenge, see if you can find a recipe that uses ingredients you know you already have at home. Then on Valentine’s Day, let things get steamy in the kitchen as you whip up dinner together. Light some candles, dim the overhead lights, and play some tunes as you enjoy your romantic dinner in.
Tip #2: Surprise your partner with homegrown flowers.
You’ll need to plan ahead for this, but it’ll be worth it. Instead of buying an expensive bouquet of flowers, purchase an inexpensive starter kit, where the flower has already begun to grow at your local grocery or home improvement store. Or, you can start even earlier and grow your own flower from scratch! The best part of growing your own flowers isn’t just that they’re cheaper (although they are), but knowing you brought them to life. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy them all winter instead of just a few days.
Tip #3: Indulge by making your own chocolate treats.
Who says you need to forego the chocolates to save money? To make your own chocolate-covered strawberries (for half the price), all you need are some melted chocolate chips and strawberries! You can even try making your own toffee with just a handful of inexpensive ingredients. Plus, if you make the treats as a couple, it’ll get you in the kitchen together the night before, further extending the romance. ()
Tip #4: Challenge yourselves to exchange homemade gifts.
Spice things up with a little friendly competition and see who can come up with the most creative homemade gift. Give each other a list of things you’d like (things that could be homemade), or just let your imagination run wild. Instead of giving the love of your life something you simply bought at a store, make one yourself. It’ll cost you far less and mean a lot more to your significant other. You could make one together, such as painting a vase you picked up at a thrift store or concocting your own body lotion from household ingredients.
Tip #5: Create your first dream board as a couple.
Snuggle up and start dreaming this Valentine’s Day! Talk with your partner about what things are on both of your bucket lists. Do you want to take a road trip to national parks, travel to another country, or buy a house? Spend some time choosing a handful of dreams that mean the world to you as a couple. Then, turn them into your own personal dream board by writing them out. Not only is this a great way to get to know each other, it also gives you some dreams to look forward to. This way, you’ll understand why you guys skipped the fancy dinner or movie night—the money you saved will be going towards the things on your dream board.
Tip #6: Thrift an adult piggy bank.
Instead of going out to a Valentine’s Day movie, take a trip to your local thrift store. Rummage around, looking for something you can use as a dream board piggy bank. Take lots of time to laugh at the zany options you’ll come across. After making the perfect pick (and having a good chuckle along the way), bring your new “piggy bank” home and set it in an obvious place. Every time you end up streaming a movie instead of going out to a movie theater, or having dinner at home instead of at a restaurant, put the cash you saved into the piggy bank. Let it add up toward your dreams.
Tip #7: Draw a bubble bath.
When all is said and done, there’s nothing quite like a bubble bath to bring the night to the perfect ending. You could even drag a laptop in on the counter and watch your favorite TV show while relaxing in the tub, or light some candles all around you and play some soft tunes to create the perfect atmosphere. This perfect, low-cost ending to a romantic day will keep you on track to reach your dreams.
With these seven cute ways to say, “I love you,” you can save your Valentine’s Day money for the dreams that matter most to you as a couple. And what could be more romantic than that?