Valentine’s Day is often referred to as a Hallmark Day – a day that has been massively commercialised by a card company but, for millions of people, Valentine’s Day is still one day on which they really like to make an effort to celebrate love.
It can be easy to feel pressured into spending big on the one you love, but it doesn’t have to be that way, so here at Mad About Money, we are sharing our top tips to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget.
If you are wanting to head out for dinner, check out apps such as Karma Vouchers, for cashback offers at places like Pizza Express, Turtle Bay and Prezzo and if you fancy a takeaway, you can also get cashback when you order through Deliveroo and Uber Eats. However, if you cook up your own ‘Fakeaway’ you can save yourself around £20 for a basic meal for two, so why not get creative in the kitchen?
If you are staying in, it is worth checking out the yellow sticker shelves in your supermarket for any bargains – usually late afternoon/early evening are good times, and taking advantage of supermarket ‘Dine in for…’ deals, but it is worth noting that you need to buy these great money saving offers in advance, as you won’t stand a chance if you leave it until the last minute.
For an added bit of romance, why not try a ‘carpet picnic’? Move the furniture, lay out a blanket, pop down some cushions and enjoy a picnic style dinner together, either listening to your favourite music or cuddled up watching a movie.
To grab yourself some bargain picnic food, don’t forget to check out those yellow stickers.
Can’t afford Paris or Rome? Well, who says you have to visit the ‘cities of love’ to enjoy a romantic day out?
Look for things to do locally – National Trust places or museums are usually quite cheap, but do check if there are there any offers on. And if not, how about trying a spend free day? A long walk through the woods, around your favourite park or a trip to the beach.
Just don’t forget to pack a flask and picnic to keep your no spend day, just that.
If really want a romantic get away check out the offers available from our partners Matt and Ash at Not Just Travel – Quote Mad About Money for extra discounts and perks on already amazingly priced holidays. Visit Facebook Group
Cards and gifts
You could opt to have a ‘no gift’ rule, instead, giving the gift of time to each other. If you have kids. take the kids out for the day to allow your partner some R&R – the perfect way to say, “I love you”.
Write each other ‘I.O.U’ vouchers for things like doing the dishes, vacuuming, or cleaning your partners car, or why not spice it up with something a little more interesting? – I will leave that one to your imagination!
If your employer has an employee benefit scheme, you can often save money on things like wine, chocolate, flowers, and gifts, so make sure you take a look before you head out to the shops.
Homemade gifts can cost virtually nothing but end up meaning a lot to your partner. Check out Pinterest, make a photo collage, or go foraging and make something out of shells or wood.
If you are not so creative, scroll through the selling pages and take some time to rummage through the charity shops for pre-loved gifts at bargain prices, but make sure you avoid buying pre-loved underwear – nobody wants second hand lingerie!
Want to buy your partner jewellery? Check out cash converters and pawn shops, where you can often find fab new and old pieces to suit everyone’s taste.
And don’t forget to be savvy on your gift wrapping. Re-use gift bags, tissue paper from packaging or, be really innovative and make your own gift wrap. Use newspaper decorated with ribbon or brown paper decorated with ink or paint stamps.
To save money on cards, places like Home Bargains, B&M and Card Factory sell them at a fraction of the price of those stocked in supermarkets, who usually charge around twice the amount, sometimes more, but the cheapest of all is to make your own. Draw a picture of your partner or create something out of sweet wrappers and boxes.
Love doesn’t mean getting into debt, so make sure that you set a budget and stick to it. You could set a budget with your partner also, so that you don’t outspend each other.
Avoid using your credit card and Klarna. If you can’t afford to buy something, don’t buy it. Valentine’s Day is one day and you don’t want to be paying it off over the next 3 months – even if it is interest free for a bit.
If you really cannot afford to do anything, manage expectations with your partner and talk about it. Being open and honest about finances builds better relationships – something that goes way past one day of hearts and flowers.