Spend Less This Valentine’s Day (And Win an iPod Touch!)

By Linsey Knerl on 29 January 2009 (Updated 18 September 2009) 852 comments

***Congratulations to Emerson (Comment #360)... You have won the iPod Touch.  We have contacted you by email, and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize, or another winner will be drawn. ****

 

I’ll admit that I’m not as crazy for V-Day as I once was.  The romance is still there, but my husband and I quit getting extravagant with our gifts once more of our money started going toward diapers.  Still, it’s the little things that can touch your heart, so why not start small with a personalized gift that won’t break the bank?  Here are our favorite tips: 

Last Minute Valentine Cakes on the Fly– Myscha makes bakin’ up some love seem simple.  Maybe because it really is! 

Couplehood:  Avoiding the Valentine’s Clichés – Some might call Andrea cynical.  We call her amazing.  Read up on how to avoid being put into some kind of predictable “love box,” and gain some frugal inspiration at the same time. 

Valentine Ideas for the Single Crowd – I know.  Not everyone is “lucky in love.”  But some would consider themselves pretty darn lucky to be single.  (This one’s for you.) 

Flower Power: A Guide to Frugal Valentine’s Flowers – Roses are a racket, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the flowers.  This guide can save your marriage (and at least $50.) 

Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine’s Day – Perfect for any day of the year, these are just plain sweet (and many are free!) 

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

There’s no excuse to avoiding a great gift, just because you’re a little strapped this holiday.  If in doubt, a modern version of the mix-tape is always a great idea.  To help you out, we’ve teamed up with Walmart and Nestle to give one of you lucky readers an 8GB iPod Touch – perfect for uploading your favorite tunes from Walmart.com (or any of the top love songs picked by the 11Moms.)  We’ll even throw in a gift card for your first 10 songs!

To be eligible to win, comment on this post with your favorite frugal V-Day tip.  You have until February 10th to enter.  (Winner will be announced on February 14th!)  U.S. and Canada only.  Must be 18 or older to enter.

Wise Bread will not sell or use your email address for any purpose other than to contact the winner. 

And don’t forget to check out all the cool gift ideas, tips, and promotions at http://www.walmart.com/sweetideas.  They include a cool “Blow a Kiss” phone app, special eValentines, and a totally affordable holiday gift guide.  Can you feel the love?

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Guest's picture
rick

my wife doesn't like to go out on valentines, too many people and overpriced so instead I started the tradition of packing a picnik basket with food, candles, thermos of hot chocolate, blankets and we go to a lookout that have a view of our hometown and have a romantic evening under the stars and make our wishes for the next year - its works, its our 25th anniversary this year

Guest's picture
Guest

Well this year we're going to the maternity ward hospital tour for our first kid, and we'll eat somewhere out there for lunch. With la nina on the way, we are pushing aside our romance budget for this year so we can spend on the little one! Or perhaps we can wistfully connect that it is exactly BECAUSE of romance that we're in the situation we're in now! :P

Guest's picture
Emily

I'm not one for Valentines day, but I notice all the Vday cards, flowers, chocolates, etc. at retail stores are 50% the day after. If your SO likes all that stuff and doesn't mind to celebrate a day later, why not? Restaurants will be easier to book too.

Guest's picture
Guest

I love treasure hunts,,, cheap and fun.

info @ mymomsview (dot) com

Guest's picture
kim

we usually stay at home to avoid the crowds. cooking together is actually a luxury for us, and this is a great excuse to break out the pots and pans. this year, we have the added bonus of hitting the dineLA menus after valentines day.

Guest's picture
Amy H.

Inspired by the film Fireproof, the Love Dare is a book worth your pretty pennies. It is 40 days of things to do/dares that will improve your relationship- strengthen and build! This dare is one worth taking and proves that everyday can be a challenge but also Valentine's with the one you love.

Guest's picture
Guest

it is the personal touch that counts. cook a good meal. don't forget the little details.

most importantly of all, it is not what you do ON V-day that matters most. It is what you do EVERY DAY that makes the difference.

Guest's picture
Susanne Troop

A candlelight dinner at home...all the restaurants jack their prices up so high and you can have a wonderful romantic meal at home for pennies!

Guest's picture
Becky Grady

My thrifty tip is to get flowers from the grocery store and put them in a nice vase. It is much cheaper than having flowers sent. Also, a homemade "coupon" book would be nice, and free!

Thanks.

rlgrady[at]yahoo[dot]com

Guest's picture
Phyllis Jenkins

We make homemade tokens of our love. Remember it's spiritual.

Guest's picture
Esther

Instead of going to a fancy restaurant and spending a ton of money, stay at home and fix your sweetie a home cooked meal!

Guest's picture
Catherine E KingChuparkoff

The girls treat everyone to breakfast(usually microwave pancakes, peanut butter crackers and milk), and for dinner we have a nice pasta withe sparkling grape juice and candlelight so the whole family can share what we love about one another!

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Timothy Sternberg

My wife always hand writes me a love letter for V-day.

Guest's picture
Heather

I enjoy being crafty and we already have a ton of scrapbooking and other craft supplies, so we always make each other Valentine's Day cards instead of buying the pricey ones out there.

Guest's picture
Brian E.

In college I always gave my Valentine's roses and a heart-shaped pizza !!! Just ask your local pizza restaurant, they might even spell out your sweetheart's name in pepperoni...

Guest's picture
Amy

No need for an expensive restaurant on Valentine's Day, we always enjoy a romantic homemade dinner which we cook together.

Guest's picture
Tammy Chang

A nice way to show someone you love them on Valentine's Day is to bake them something yummy or cook for them. I think especially little kids like this too. Just add some special touches like heart shaped decorations or a special centerpiece to add that little thing that makes it different than the regular every day meal.

Guest's picture
A Casson

My gift is usually baked from the heart and very delicious. skyxsky27(at)gmail.com

Guest's picture
Patty J

I wish we could afford to go out this year, but we are staying home and enjoying a nice dinner and a movie.

Guest's picture
KK

One year my boyfriend set up this rope all around his room, and there was a sign that said cut here. I cut where the rope told me to, and the string undid itself all throughout his room, until a letter fell with rose petals from the ceiling. I don't need expensive gifts to feel loved. He cooked us one of the first meals we eat together (a cheap college meal, surprisingly romantic), and ended the night by playing music out on his porch and out of no where grabbing me and dancing with me under the moon. I know, I know, cheesy, and not a lot of guys want to do it. But hey, it cost almost nothing and was one of the best nights I've ever had.

Guest's picture
Janet

great meal at home with a nice dessert and a home-made card:)

Guest's picture
Vanessa

A scrapbook is a romantic way to put all the good memories you've had as a couple in one book. Things to include may be: photos, movie stubs, tickets to events, maps of places traveled, favorite quotes, business cards of restaurants you've been to... all in a nice book. To make it easier, companies like shutterfly can create a custom book for only $30. Just upload your pictures and add captions.
Another romantic gesture would be to create a treasure hunt that takes you both to special places. You can pack a picnic: something simple like sandwiches, fruit, and fresh-squeezed juice is simple but romantic.
If the weather is bad, a home cooked meal at home with candles and a romantic comedy movie works too.
The most important thing is spending time with each other...it's cheap but priceless.

Guest's picture
CARAN52

The V gift that I love the best is just being remembered on VD with just a Happy Valentine's Day. The rememberance means so much more than any gift.

Guest's picture
Lily Kwan

I like to use 2 for 1 coupons when going out to eat.

Guest's picture
Heather C

Maybe it's time to start a new tradition of making this holiday personal. Take the time to write a note, a poem, a declaration of what loving thing you will do this year (a Valentine's resolution, if you will) and make it happen. Shop for food together and make a special meal. This day doesn't have to be commercialized! Make it between the two of you and don't involve your checkbook whatsoever.

Guest's picture
Kajsa

Once when I was a single gal on Valentine's day, I decided to make old-fashioned paper valentines, each with a simple anonymous note: You are Loved. I drove around a part of town that had long driveways with mailboxes by the road, and every now and then I'd pop one of my valentines in to a random mailbox. It was an enjoyable act, and I hope caused a few smiles.

Guest's picture
lotto

i've never taken my current wife out for valentines. call me frugal, but i've always cooked a nice meal for her at home.

Guest's picture
Tammy Greer

Cook and enjoy an intimate dinner at home with your sweetie!

Guest's picture
Guest

For a frugal night out, buy $20 Hot Tix at the Ahmanson and use points accumulated through Open Table reservations for a restaurant gift certificate that will pay for your Valentine's Day meal.

Guest's picture
Tiffany

I usually make my own Valentine's Day cards and decorate them nicely before handing them out to my friends/loved ones.
I also buy all sorts of cool things from 99cents Store and improvise with them (hats, decorations, cards, flowers, etc)

Guest's picture
Gayle

My husband and I have often had a special valentines day dinner: heart shaped pizza. The local pizzaria will make you one if you request it. Inexpensive, fun, and keeps us within our budget. Add pepperoni if you'd like your heart pizza to be red!

Guest's picture
Guest

My husband worked in the flower business for years, and VD was the most horrific nightmare due to the pressure put on the men. We have turned our backs on all ridiculous "Hallmark holidays" and just have a special date once a month. We also treat each other with care and love each day, and at night lounge in the hottub together after the kids go to bed instead of watching meaningless TV. Keeping our love alive! 10 years this year and 8-year-old triplets make it a challenge, but we're doing well so far!!

Guest's picture
Tisa

My favorite frugal tip is love letters and deeds of love. ~ :) THanks - GREAT giveaway!

Guest's picture
Guest

After our show (er're in a rock band together and we're playing on Saturday) We're going to cook dinner at home and do a fun activity where we can talk like leisurely bike riding. :)

Guest's picture
Brooke

My father would write my sister and I poems every year- my husband plans to start this for our daughters, and we will collect them over the years.

Guest's picture
reva skie

My favorite thing to do for Vday is a home chocolate fondue dessert. With a real fondue pot. You can be as silly or romantic as you want and it is pretty inexpensive.

Guest's picture
Tim

We usually get take out from a local restaurant then get a movie to watch at home. We always get our favorite movie treats to watch with. Thanks for the giveaway

Guest's picture
shari

we have movie night with chick flicks

Guest's picture
Guest

In the past my husband has suggested we go to the card section, pick out valentine cards for each other, read them and then put them back. It doesn't get anymore frugal then that! LOL

Guest's picture
Bev

Give each other a spa night at home. There are lots of simple recipes online or you can get low-cost items.

Guest's picture
Carol

My frugal tip works for any holiday. Go out for a special lunch rather than dinner - can be just as, and even more romantic because now your afternoon and evening are free. Even better, go out for a romantic dinner the night before or after Valentines. Still just as romantic, but can cost less if the restaurant amps up the menu on the Day.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi!
Since my husband and I both are students, every year we make a pact of not celebrating just one day as a valentine.
We try to make each day a Valentine's (and ofcourse we fight a lot and have differences and ofcourse despite the pact we celebrate on Valentine's too)

I gift him hand made cards and he buys me a soft-toy.
and ofcourse we just hang out but eat at home that night and postpone the movie and dinner to some other time!!!
:)

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi!
Since my husband and I both are students, every year we make a pact of not celebrating just one day as a valentine.
We try to make each day a Valentine's (and ofcourse we fight a lot and have differences and ofcourse despite the pact we celebrate on Valentine's too)

I gift him hand made cards and he buys me a soft-toy.
and ofcourse we just hang out but eat at home that night and postpone the movie and dinner to some other time!!!
:)

Guest's picture
Janet

We avoid the expense and hassle of going out to dinner on Valentine's Day (it often snows here in Indiana or roads are icy on Valentine's Day) and go out to lunch for for an afternoon hot chocolate and dessert. It's much less expensive, more relaxing and fun that waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant.

Thanks for a great giveaway! Elevenmoms ROCK!

Guest's picture
merso

There are some iPod and iPhone resources for Valentine's Day 2009.
Free Download...

Guest's picture
Zippy

A walk on the beach holding hands (maybe getting a come of ice cream is the most romantic thing we can do. I guess you can't do it up north, but here in Florida it's just beautiful this time of year and ROMANTIC as heck.

Guest's picture
Who

Create your own card using an exacto knife, some colored paper, an illustrator program, and glue. Don't forget to write something eloquent!

Guest's picture
Brooke

This year and last year instead of buying cards for the grandparents we take a short video of the kids and email it to them... They love seeing the kids and it's free... For us we make a special family v-day dinner where everyone gets to pick a part of dinner...

Guest's picture
Pat Hoffmeister

I make a delicious dinner complete with candlelight, tablecloth and cloth napkins. He does the dishes while I take a long soaking bath.

Guest's picture
Darcy ChefMamamimi

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate each other....
That said, think fun, creative, innovatiative, and be passionate as you create a plan.
Run a bath and float flower petals on top
Have a simple chicken dinner ready and waiting
Think Pink, Red, Lavendar, White - use these colors in salads and desserts
Chocolate never fails for desserts
Write out 12 cards with date night suggestions for each month during the next year
Sprinkle flower petals over your turned down bed and be Pj ready when your honey comes home - candles and music playing softly can amp up the mood of course too :)
Make a handmade card - shows you care and have heart
Make a heart shaped dessert - cookies or cake or brownie
Ideas are endless - be yourself, be creative and put your heart into it!
HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY TO ALL :) ~Enjoy!
Don't agonize of this - just go with it - you may not think your creative, but believe me the other person will because it came from you and your heart - GO FOR IT!

Guest's picture
Guest

i'm definitely the planner in the relationship. it's more special to me just knowing that my husband took time out to plan something. doesn't matter what it is: flowers, home cooked dinner, rent a movie, anything. it's just nice knowing he was thinking about me <3

Guest's picture
Gisele

Buy a package of disposable cups and write an, "I love you" message with the cups in a chain link fence.