Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine's Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)
I have always loathed Valentine's day because everywhere I went I would see gaudy pink and red balloons and roses and men who are literally suckered into buying the useless things out of "tradition". I also had a pretty darn cheap ex-boyfriend , and I rarely received a Valentine's gesture from him. I think once he did buy me a day old strawberry shortcake that was half off at the Safeway bakery. Anyway,today I shall list some ideas for Valentine's that aren't gaudy or expensive. This is for the frugal and practical guys and gals out there who want to express love anytime without participating in a commercialized fluff of a "holiday".
1. Write a love letter or poem - It costs practically nothing to put your feelings on paper. It may not be easy to write down emotions, but practice makes perfect. You do not have to be a great writer to just recount a great date you have had with your lover and describe how happy he or she makes you. As long as you put some effort into crafting a message that expresses your adoration for your mate, whatever you do will be appreciated. My husband once wrote a whole journal about himself and what led to our relationship and gave it to my birthday. I thought that was a really romantic gift.
2. Take a walk or hike together - Once my husband and I walked for a few hours on the beach and collected seaglass, and we turned it into a bit of a competition to see who found the biggest piece. When you walk together you see the world differently than from your TV or your car and I think it is romantic because walking makes the world and your lover seem more real and tangible.
3. Cook a favorite meal at home - Instead of going to an expensive restaurant, it is fun to dress up a favorite meal cooked at home. You can light candles on the dinner table, dim the lights, and put on some mood music. It is also possible to duplicate expensive meals at home at wholesale costs if you are adept at cooking.
4. Creatively use free flower petals - Usually florists throw away the outside petals of flowers to make the flowers they sell look perfect. Each day if you just go by a florist they will probably have a lot of free flower petals for people to take. You can take these petals and do many things with them. For example, you can decorate the dinner table, bed, or float the petals in a bath.
5. Surprise your significant other at times you usually do not see him or her - If you work in different places then it would be fun to have a surprise lunch date set up for your mate. Of course, do not do this if your partner does not like to be bothered at work or if they are embarassed by you.
6. Take photographs together and of each other - After being together for a bit you may find that you do not actually have that many photographs of each other. It is fun to just set aside a time to pick up the camera and take pictures of each other. You can also go to a photobooth and take pictures together. Photographs are always good reminders of the good times you have had.
7. Do something that your partner likes to do but you do not necessarily appreciate - No matter how compatible a couple is, two people will have different interests. For example, if he loves fishing and you do not, maybe you can accompany him on a fishing trip. If she loves poetry readings and you do not, maybe you can read her some poems. Doing something you normally would not do for the sake of your mate can be very romantic.
8. Shower or bath together - Cleaning each other in the tub or in a shower is great fun because you can touch each other everywhere. It could also conserve water. If one person rinses while the other lathers then it is possible to use the same amount of water one person usually uses to clean two people!
I am sure there are many other ways of being romantic and frugal at the same time. The key is to know your partner and his or her preferences. For example, my husband knows that I think bouquets of roses are stupid because they die after three days so he no longer buys them, but he knows I love food so he always cooks to cheer me up. As long as you make an effort to make your mate feel loved, you can be romantic without becoming a spendy Valentine's Day cliche .