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By Transamerica / Feb 10, 2015

6 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas

valentines_day_budget

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and stores are filled to the brim with chocolate, stuffed animals and roses. Are you prepared? Although some people associate Valentine’s Day with fancy dinners, nice jewelry and champagne, you can plan a perfectly lovely Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.

Below, please find six cheap Valentine’s Day ideas sure to make this holiday your best one yet.

  1. Buy flowers from a grocery store: According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $2.1 billion on flowers this Valentine’s Day—a whopping 37.8% of the total population.1 The cost of flowers can quickly add up, especially if you order from a florist or online retailer. This year, save money by going to a local grocery store to pick out flowers and hand deliver them yourself. Your loved ones will be just as happy!
  2. Cook at home: Valentine’s Day is probably one of the most popular days to go out to dinner. Avoid the crowds this year by staying in. You can save money by buying the ingredients and cooking at home. Plus, cooking is a fun activity for two. Dress up and use nice table settings to make it feel fancier.
  3. Plan ahead with dinner: If you are set on going out to dinner, at least plan ahead. Many places offer prix fixe menus, allowing you to budget accordingly. This way, you can have a rough estimate of how much you will spend before you get to dinner and will not be surprised with a large bill.
  4. Do it yourself: Remember when you were little and made cards for your loved ones? As you get older, this tradition does not need to end. Homemade presents and cards tend to be more memorable than anything store bought. Plus, people appreciate the craftsmanship and effort that goes into a handmade present.
  5. Go outside: Avoid a sugar rush and calories by replacing chocolate and candy hearts with some type of physical activity. Do your research and plan a hike in an area that you have never explored. Pack a picnic and go to the beach. Your outdoor options are endless—and probably free.
  6. Be a tourist: When was the last time you visited a landmark in your town? It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities and forget to explore unknown parts of your city. Look online to see what museum exhibits are currently showing, or read about famous local sights. Oftentimes, if you do your research, you can find coupons or dates for free entry.

Above all, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love—not material possessions. Don’t get wrapped up in everything that Valentine’s Day brings. Instead, take the day to appreciate your loved ones.

1Kathy Grannis, “Cupid to Shower Americans with Jewelry, Candy This Valentine’s Day, National Retail Federation, January 26, 2015.

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