Do you know someone who has sworn off Valentine’s Day? There seems to be a growing movement urging us to skip the holiday altogether. Opponents call it a retail holiday and say we don’t need a special day to show love to our significant other.
While I agree that we don’t need a special day to express our appreciation and love, I don’t mind making it the focus for one day out of the year. I do, however, look for ways to avoid paying the outrageous costs that are associated with Valentine’s Day products.
I try to take the traditions of Valentine’s Day and add a little creativity — to not only keep the costs down, but also to personalize the holiday for the most important woman in my life.
Here’s what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day this year:
I could buy a box of chocolates for $3 from Walmart, or $50 from a specialty store, but I can guarantee that my wife wouldn’t like half of them. Instead, I’m going to get her an assorted package of Lindor Truffles, which I know she loves. To make it a little more appropriate for the holiday, I bought a sheet of Valentine’s Day stickers to jazz up the package.
Retailers jack up the price of roses for Valentine’s Day. The florist in my area that normally sells a dozen roses for $14.99 will price them at $39.99 for Valentine’s Day. No thanks. My wife loves these neon-colored carnations that I can get at Walmart for about $6 a bouquet.
3. A special card
Instead of going the traditional route, and picking out a card with some impersonal message, I’m going to make my wife remembrances of our marriage.
I’ve typed up a summary of special days and experiences from our lives and will print them out on pink, red, and white pieces of heart-shaped paper. Then I’ll place the memory hearts throughout our house before she gets up — on the bathroom mirror, in the shower, on the refrigerator, on the steering wheel of the car, etc.
4. Undivided attention
Morning is a busy time in our home. We talk to each other, but it’s normally just in passing as we go through our usual routine of showers, breakfast, and lunch-packing.
On Valentine’s Day, we’re going to do things a little differently. She normally has her morning coffee in front of the laptop as she checks her social media accounts. Instead, I’m going to sit down next to her, close the laptop, and have a real conversation with her.
Not only are restaurants overcrowded on Valentine’s Day, but the food is generally not the same quality because of it. (I know, because I worked as a cook in a restaurant in high school.)
For a special dinner, I’m going to cook my lovely wife one of her favorite meals: king crab legs. I used to be intimidated by them, but they’re seriously simple to make. They come pre-cooked: all you have to do is boil them with a little salt (and further directions can easily be found online). A king crab meal at a restaurant would cost $30 or more, whereas I’ll be able to make it at home with romantic candles and music — for a fraction of the cost.
6. Wine & Movie
My wife and I both love a particular Moscato dessert wine that we can get at Costco for almost half the cost of a traditional liquor store. Add some fresh strawberries and a movie, and we have a recipe for some quality snuggle time on the couch.
So how much will my Valentine’s Day cost in total?
- Lindor Truffles: $3.49
- Valentine’s Day Stickers: $1.49
- Flowers: $6.00
- Card: $0.00 (we have all the supplies already at home)
- King Crab: $26 ($13 a pound on sale)
- Baked Potatoes: $3
- Salad Supplies: $8
- Mescato Wine: $10
- Strawberries: $4
How are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? How much are you planning to spend?