As we turn the calendar to February, we realize the inevitable; Valentine’s Day once again looms large. Whether you’ve enjoyed wedded bliss for 40 years or just met your sweetheart a month ago, you feel the pressure to prove your love and empty your pocketbook.

In 2019, the average American will spend about $144 each on making their true love happy. That amount of money hardly covers dinner and flowers, but then there are those buying diamond bracelets, indicating some of us spend much less on Cupid’s day. Half of us will pay a significant amount of money going out to dinner. That means, of course, half of us will not go out to dinner. So, frugal, unique, and romantic Valentine’s celebrations do exist.

The problem with conventional plans:

If you consider wining and dining a requirement on Valentine’s Day, ponder the following points:

  • Restaurants hike their prices. And, with 50% of American lovebirds looking for a place to eat, who can blame them?
  • Many restaurants serve fixed or limited menus.
  • You need to make reservations and yet, you should still expect to wait.
  • A crowded and noisy atmosphere doesn’t set the stage for romantic conversation. If you’re planning to pop the question, dinner out on Valentine’s Day won’t necessarily represent the ideal scenario.
  • Many florists also charge top dollar for deliveries on this special day.

Thrifty and Unique Valentine’s Day Celebrations:

Dinner and movie at home

Cooking together at home makes for a romantic activity, or dinner prepared ahead of time and frozen before serving for the special night gives you more time to sip wine and talk or watch a romantic movie. You don’t need to spend a fortune on steaks or groceries either, consider these menu options:

  • Lasagna and a Caesar salad
  • Beef stroganoff with egg noodles or wild rice blend
  • Swordfish or tuna steaks
  • Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta

Romantic day trip

Consider taking a day trip to a romantic destination you’ll both enjoy. Not only do you have some time for great conversation, but you’re also heading toward a fun-filled and memorable adventure. Make sure to check out Groupon in your area to see if there are deals in your area for any of the following options:

  • A trip to a winery or brewery
  • A nearby town to look at antique shops
  • A special bookstore

An outdoor activity such as skiing or skating

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Couple’s massage

If you haven’t experienced a couple’s massage, celebrating Valentine’s Day might present the perfect excuse to give it a try. You might want to clear it with your sweetie first before booking it unless you know for sure they enjoy massages. And, once you do decide to book, check for specials with Groupon or other trusted crowd-sourcing options.

An activity you both enjoy:

You will need to consider the climate where you live before choosing an activity you will both enjoy. Whether an indoor or outdoor activity this could mean something you are both passionate about or something new you want to explore. Consider the following options when planning your Valentine’s Day adventures:

  • Whale watching
  • A poetry slam or reading
  • A concert or theater production
  • Starting a dance class
  • Take an interesting cooking class

The importance of acknowledging your relationship every day:

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For those who are independently wealthy, spending several hundred dollars or more on diamonds, lavish meals, and long-stem roses doesn’t pose a strain on the bank account. Most of us, however, are not millionaires. Reflecting on what Valentine’s Day truly represents will save you money and enhance your relationship.

If you have special plans such as a proposal or wedding or anniversary for Valentine’s Day, of course, you may spend more than usual. But, for the most part, remember that experiences are what makes us genuinely happy and bring us together as human beings. The experiences you share and memories you make with your Valentine every day will undoubtedly lead to a happy Valentine’s Day.