Roses are red, violets are blue, retailers want a lot of money from you..

February 1, 2020

If you’re otherwise spoken for and choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day – you will know that Feb 14 is fast approaching and may be worried about how you’re going to express your romantic feelings without breaking your budget!

The truth is, it really is the thought that counts. When you put a lot of thought into something, it shows your partner how much you care, and doesn’t need to cost a huge amount of money just because our (consumer-crazy) society tells you it should.

Here are some of the best ways to make the day a romantic and memorable one, without blowing the budget:

1. Plan a workday lunch date – if you don’t usually see each other during the day, planning a special catch up can be really nice and will be cheaper than going out for dinner. It’s also an easier option if you have kids and may not be able to go out at night. Find a nice lunch spot or take a picnic lunch to a nearby park.

2. Leave love notes – leave some cute or quirky love notes for your partner. Finding a surprise love note or two in their lunch, bag or jacket will be sure to bring a smile to their face.

3. Fancy dinner in – it sounds a bit cheesy but if you cook a beautiful meal at home, light some candles and get dressed up to eat at home it can be quite romantic. It’s probably not something that you usually do, so why not give it a try!

4. Have a lounge room picnic – change things up a bit by setting up some blankets and pillows on the lounge room floor, buy some cheap takeout food and a bottle of wine and stream your favourite romantic movie. Easy and fun!

5. Create a chocolate lover’s dream – don’t waste money on expensively packaged ‘Valentine’s Day chocolate’. Buy a gift box and fill it up with a bunch of your partner’s favourite chocolates from the supermarket. Wrap it up with a pretty bow to show the effort you’ve made and create that special feeling.

6. If you usually give gifts, agree on a gift budget – choose an amount that you both agree to spend on each other and stick to the budget. Challenge each other to find the most creative/fun/thoughtful gift within your chosen budget. It can be as little as $20 each.

7. Buy a potted plant rather than cut flowers – Valentine’s Day is the most expensive day of the year to buy freshly cut flowers from the florist, and they won’t last that long either! Buying a plant in a pot and putting some extra thought into it can often be more cost-effective, long lasting and still as beautiful as cut flowers. You could even try to match your partner’s qualities with those of the plant (i.e. by looking on Google or asking your local nursery/plant shop assistant).

8. Late restaurant booking – eat your dinner at home first and then head out to a restaurant for a yummy dessert later in the evening. If the weather is good, try to find a nice rooftop bar that has great dessert options.

9. Go tech-free – have an agreement not to use any phones and have the TV off-limits for the night. This will help keep you both present in the moment with each other.

10. Spend some time with a Valentine’s Day buddy – if a romantic Valentine’s Day isn’t for you, find someone else who doesn’t have any plans and spend some time together to make it a fun occasion that you will both enjoy.

Remember, the key to a great Valentine’s Day isn’t how much you spend, but how much genuine thought you put into it. Enjoy yourselves!