Let’s be completely honest here. Saying you show love and affection to your partner the other 364 days a year, does not negate the fact that they will want at least a token acknowledgement of that love and affection on St. Valentine’s Day.
And before you moan and groan about it, no I’m not suggesting that you need to run out and buy an over-price card or a hugely inflated bunch of red roses. For many of us, money is tighter than usual and there just isn’t the budget to go all in on an expensive gift or a fancy dinner out.
Rather, why not treat your partner, husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend to a thoughtful experience, whatever that means to you both? And if you’re like me, you’ll probably need a little bit of direction from your partner. To help me put together this article, I’ve enlisted the help of my wife, readers of the site and some of my connections on social media to help us all save money this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day money-saving tips
Choose an alternative day to celebrate
This tip is from Alan H, a reader of the site. He and his wife choose to celebrate their Valentine’s Day with a meal out. But instead of doing so on the evening of Valentine’s Day when restaurants are jam-packed, they choose to do so on the weekend before.
Personally, I love this tip. In my experience within the hospitality trade, key events such as Valentine’s and New Year’s Eve are those nights to avoid if you can. Changing this to a less popular night may mean you get a choice of the full menu, instead of a restricted or set menu and prices are often just a little bit cheaper. When the waiting staff are under less pressure, often the service is better also.
I also recommend a slightly different tack to this approach. Rather than a meal out in the evening, we choose to go for a lunch sitting instead. For us, we get to experience the best of the restaurant and food, but often lunches are cheaper and we get home at a more reasonable hour. Sensible parents unite…
Experiences not things win hands down
This is something I mention over and over on this site and it’s because I fully believe in it. 10 years from now you will not remember the card or the flowers. But a trip to the zoo, to the beach or a picnic on a hike, will be far more likely to be remembered fondly.
Spending time with your partner doing something you both can engage in and enjoy is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to cost anything at all, but if you do decide on a picnic, why not pick up some fancy sandwiches for your lunch or your partner’s favourite sweets for the journey? Spending a little bit can really make for a better experience.
Make a romantic meal at home
Cooking at home is often a necessity and not a luxury. How many days of the week do you make dinner a celebration? Spending time preparing your favourite dishes, sitting at the table and spending time eating, just like you would if you went out. The chances are that this happens very rarely for most of us.
Why not head to the library and check out a recipe book? Let your partner pick out a few dishes that they like and then surprise them with the one you are most confident cooking or fancy also. For just a few extra pounds over what you would normally spend, you can turn your dinner into something special.
If you’re not necessarily an amazing cook, then you could look for some of the meal deals in your supermarket. Asda, for example, has an Extra Special Meal Deal Offer which includes: Starter, Main Course, Dessert and Drink for only £12.
Use your credit card rewards, gift cards or supermarket vouchers
Now we’re getting into the thick of our Valentine’s Day Money Saving tips I have to ask you. What is the point of collecting all those vouchers or points if you never make use of them? Well, today is the day my friends…
Looking at your credit card rewards, can you use these to provide discounts on an activity or a free romantic night away? Make sure that you don’t accidentally cost yourself more money by suggesting a subsidised trip that then turns into a blowout, but if you plan wisely, then you could save handsomely.
Were you given gift cards at Christmas or for your birthday? Are they sitting in a drawer waiting to be used? Making use of these now can greatly reduce the cost of going out, eating out or staying somewhere.
Or if you have been collecting your vouchers in Tesco or the Asda rewards app, now might be the time to purchase the ingredients for a meal you wouldn’t normally cook. Taking the sting out of any increased spending with your saved vouchers can make this Valentine’s Day just a little bit more special without any additional cost to you.
Why not re-enact your first date?
Maybe the sweaty rave or gig followed by a cheesy-curry chip won’t be ideal to re-enact, but what about the first romantic date you had? Reminiscing and re-enacting your first date is a great way to reconnect with your partner.
Ok, Connor, sounds great, but what if I want to buy a gift or a card this Valentine’s Day?
Well, my advice is for you to buy your gift and card now, not in the final few moments in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. It’s not that prices increase closer to the time (maybe they do in florists), but with a greater selection of items to buy, you can always choose the better value options, instead of what’s left.
Sharing is caring
Something else to consider if your relationship is getting serious this Valentine’s Day is how you can look to reduce your savings, not just now, but across the entire year.
Is it time for two to become one on your Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify accounts? Household memberships can often be considerably cheaper and save hundreds of pounds per year. Obviously, you must be working to the terms and conditions of these providers.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be a day that causes financial distress, yet many of us feel pressured into gifting high priced items or experiences we can’t afford. It’s not cheap to live within your means and I promise you that a well-thought-out gift or experience will mean more to your partner 10 years from now than anything else.
If you’ve any top tips to save money this Valentine’s Day, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll update the article with the best of them.