Tuesday, 11 February 2014

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day on a Budget

VALENTINE'S day is supposed to be about celebrating true love and making that special person in your life feel wanted and cared for.

However, it's also one of the most commercialised days of the year where you feel pressurised into buying overpriced flowers, stuffed toys and greetings cards.

But you don't have to let this romantic day of the year hit you hard in the pocket, instead remember it is all about giving your partner an experience to remember and not about how far your funds will stretch.

You can have a fantastic and more memorable Valentine's day on a budget.

It is still possible to indulge in all those heart shaped accessories and still save money. You just have to reduce the amount you buy. For example don't buy him the biggest bottle of aftershave on the shelf, instead just downsize and buy the bottle size below. Instead of getting a huge box of expensive chocolates for your other half why not buy them a special brand of chocolate bar instead?

You could even just skip the gifts altogether and instead do something that the pair of you have never done before. You could try a drive-in movie which is the latest romantic craze or you could wrap up warm and head off in the car for a long walk followed by a pub dinner or lunch.

How about re-enacting your very first date together? The chances are it wasn't too over the top but very romantic. Taking a trip down memory lane can also be fun and spark intimacy between you.

The best way of celebrating the day of love without breaking the bank is organising a cosy night at home together. Prepare a special meal for your partner but one that fits your budget. Have a look online to get some ideas for recipes that you can use with simple ingredients that will make them taste amazing. Set the mood with a playlist of music that you know your partner will like. You could also snuggle up and watch each other's favourite movie before heading to the bedroom for dessert.

If you really want to go out, whether that be for a candlelit dinner or romantic night away, then have a look at some of the voucher websites which can have some cracking deals at this time of the year with some discounting as much as 50 per cent.

Or you could choose an intimate restaurant or bistro that's outside the city which will probably charge less than city centre places. That way you get a drive in the country and a lovely romantic meal at the end of it.

One of the most romantic gestures which is completely free is allocating time to spend with each other without any interruptions such as kids, working late or mobile phones. The good thing is Valentine's day falls on a Friday this year which means you could make the Saturday a day for just the both of you to spend time together.

If you have been taking your relationship for granted recently then it is the perfect time to reconnect and remember all the good reasons why you are both together. If you can't get a babysitter then make sure the kids know it is a special day for mummy and daddy and let them help by getting them to make cards or let them help you bake some romantic cupcakes.

Another money saving tip is not to bother buying champagne for your special night together. Why not pop the Prosecco instead? A good bottle of bubbly Prosecco will cost you half of what champers will and it tastes just as good, if not better.

Another fun way to personalise Valentine's day without it costing a fortune is to make some love vouchers. Each one should contain a promise. They can be straight forward ones such as a coupon which will allow your partner to watch his favourite boxed set that month or you can get all sexy and give him a voucher promising him the night of his life.

If you have just started dating someone new then keep things simple, light and fun not romantic and sappy as you don't want to scare them off with cards which say: 'I Love you'. Instead go out for a bite to eat then choose a fun activity to do like crazy golf or ten pin bowling.

The best gift of all is telling your other half you love them. It costs nothing to say those three little words but hearing them will make your partner feel like most important person in your life.

Just because you are strapped for cash doesn't mean you can't have a fantastic time. In fact the less money you spend the more creative you can be and the better the memories you will create.