5 Better Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day This Year


It's almost Valentine's Day, which means love is in the air and over 180 million cards will be exchanged. According to Statistic Brain, over $13 billion will be spent to celebrate the holiday. That's a lot of moola for gifts that are usually pretty generic.

What if you moved beyond the common Valentine's Day gifts, not only to save money, but to boost your relationship? Try these creative ideas instead.

1. Instead of Flowers, Plant an Herb Garden

Flowers are a nice gesture any other time of the year. On Valentine's Day, they are overpriced and scream, "forced gift." Instead, why not give a potted plant, such as an herb garden or succulent. You can even plant several succulents in a heart-shaped box. Succulents are so easy that even people without green thumbs can succeed at keeping them alive.

Another idea is gifting exotic flower seeds or heirloom rose buds. This is a gift more appropriate for avid gardeners, and for lasting relationships.

See also: Affordable Flowers for Valentine's Day (or Any Day)

2. Instead of Going Out to Eat, Hire a Private Chef

Dining out on Valentine's Day is nothing short of a nightmare. Everywhere is packed and many nicer restaurants will have a prix fixe menu for the day that is costlier than their daily menu. Skip the annoyance of having to spend your special day with the rest of town, and hire a private chef.

A private chef might sound too glamorous, but it is possible to find an affordable one that will deliver a delicious dinner and keep the kitchen clean. If the price is still too high, consider inviting a few other couples over to split the bill.

If a private chef is still out of the question, either dine in or choose to eat out on an another night. It's hard to share sweet moments together in a crowded and bustling restaurant.

3. Instead of a Bottle of Wine, Go Wine Tasting

Coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial almost always have discounted wine tasting tours. Let that be your romantic gesture rather than a bottle of wine. For some, it's hard to get excited about a bottle of wine as a gift. (See also: 7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon)

4. Instead of a Card, Write a Letter

Valentine's Day cards offer that second of "aww" or even a funny laugh, but for how much they cost, they aren't a good value. A better value would be to express your love in a letter. You don't need fancy paper, nice penmanship, perfect grammar and spelling, or even to make it a poem. If you are truly an anti-writer, make your valentine a top 10 list of things you love about your true love.

Sometimes we deeply appreciate and love a person, and while we know that to be true, our busy lives keep us from expressing it. If you were to die today, what words would you want to leave your loved one to remember you by? If you have any children or other close relatives, why not write them a note, too? I don't have many handwritten notes from my mother, but I do have one special one written in a Valentine's Day card. It's a true treasure now that she's gone.

See also: 20 Valentine's Day Gifts for $10 or Less

5. Instead of Lingerie, Help Them Pursue Their Passions

Valentine's Day is all about passion, but you can show your loved one you truly care about them by gifting them something that aligns with their passions or dreams. When my husband and I were dating, he often said that one day he would like to build a computer. That year, I didn't have a lot of money, and online writing was still a new thing. However, I was able to earn a $100 gift card to TigerDirect through writing articles. This simple gift ended up motivating him to build one computer, then later he built more computers, and now he has a successful career in the field.

The point is to focus on someone's passion and give them something that says, "I believe in your passion and know you can succeed." Here are some ideas:

  • Set up a small painting corner in the house for that person who never can find time to get creative.
  • Purchase guitar lessons for the partner who wants to be more musical.
  • Send a loved one to a writing conference they have always dreamed about attending.

Valentine's Day is a beautiful day to celebrate the ones you love, but do so in a meaningful way that comes from the heart. If you are on a budget, you can still do romantic or grand gestures without spending alot, or anything. All it takes is a little creativity and thought.

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