They say that love is blind - but it’s certainly not cheap. Valentine’s Day is one of the most commercially profitable days of the year. From pricey restaurant meals to luxurious spa retreats, showing your loved one that they mean the world to you can be costly.
Needless to say, for those of us living on a budget, this expenditure is simply not feasible. Luckily, it’s not necessary, either. Here are our 10 ideas for treating your loved one this Valentine’s Day, without breaking the bank.
Passion, not Pounds
Often, we put pressure on ourselves to don Cupid’s extravagant bow because we think it’s expected. But actually, it really is the thought that counts. To make your loved one feel special it is probably the simple things that really count –a five star breakfast in bed, a relaxing back massage, or a bubbly, candlelit bath adorned by petals, show your loved one that they’re valued through sentimental gestures - not expensive ones. Rather than fork out big money on roses that last a week, why not spend a fraction of the cash on a plant for the house or garden that might still be in bloom next Valentine’s Day?
In the long term, letting your Valentine know that you always have time for them is an ideal way to prove your affection for them. But with life being hectic, we can often get caught up with everyday tasks and stresses. So to remind your loved one that they’re important to you regardless of your busy schedule, give them hand-made ‘I’m Yours’ vouchers which they can hand in when they need some ‘tlc’. Whether they redeem it for a back massage, a night of cuddles, or a just a bit of quality time, they’ll always know that they can be your priority at a moment’s notice!
Rather than sticking to the predictable (and expensive) routine of going for a Valentine’s Day evening meal, take to the kitchen yourself. You could try cooking up a three-course meal which includes your Valentine’s favourite dishes. If you’re not a dab hand in the kitchen, consider prepping some simple sandwiches, buying some cakes from the supermarket, filling up the flask, and treating your loved one to a romantic picnic in the countryside. Just don’t forget the coats!
With romance being at the forefront of Valentine’s Day, remind your loved one of every special day you’ve shared together from the moment your romance began. Take them on a trip down memory lane by heading out to visit ‘your places’: the place you met; the place you first kissed; the place you first voiced your love for them. Followed by a night of DVD boxsets (their choice, of course) and sofa snuggles, and they’ll have forgotten all about the diamond necklace or Rolex watch that Cupid didn’t bring.
Warranted, this one depends a cloudless sky on 14th February (a big ask for the UK, we know). But if the sun splits through the sky come sundown, seize the opportunity: it’s a romantic goldmine not to be missed. Head out with some snacks, warm drinks, and lots of blankets; find a peaceful spot to lay back together and watch the stars twinkle into life.
You & Me
The memories that you and your loved one have created together are a journey - one which has been captured in photographs. Probably more precious than anything else in the world, reminding your partner of these in a hand-made photo scrapbook or a screenshow on your PC will make bring a smile to their face. Combine with breakfast in bed as you look back through the years together.
No matter how long you’ve been together you are bound to have special songs will have meaning to you as a couple. Create a playlist of these songs, and spend some quality time reminiscing with your partner about all of the songs on the playlist as you indulge in a sentimental tear or two.
To get your loved one’s heart all aflutter, create a Cupid-themed treasure hunt in the house. From rose petal guided paths to hints written on sticky notes, leaves clues as to the treasure’s whereabouts which will keep your Valentine on their toes. And as for the treasure itself - it could be a gift you’ve bought within your budget, or a gesture of affection that comes in the form of you!
I Love You, Because…
We all love to know that we’re loved. So what better way to convey your love than to let your Valentine know every little reason that they’ve stolen your heart? Write each down onto a small piece of paper, roll them up, and place into a large jar. Throw in some edible jelly hearts for aesthetic appeal, and present to them with breakfast in bed. Blushing cheeks and swooning smiles in the morning: sorted!
Time for you
No matter how much (or little) money we have to spend, something we can all give is a bit of time. It doesn’t need to be much but it might just be doing the chores that you partner hates, taking the kids off their hands for an hour or two or just putting aside what you are doing and spending time together.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk