Wise Bread's Guide to Valentine's Day

Ah, February — when romance is in the air. Sure, that romance may be forecfully pumped into the air by stores and restaurants — but it's in the air nonetheless. Thankfully, as sure as cupid is a chubby baby with wings, you don't need to cough up lots of cash to make Valentine's Day great.

For me, there is one way to ensure that Valentine's Day (or any other day) feels special — and that's to make it different. It's not about stuff; it's about doing something memorable to celebrate love (or celebrate like...or celebrate being single, which is what I'll be doing this year).

With that in mind, here are some Wise Bread selections to help make your Valentine's Day delicious, memorable, and fun. (See also: Weird Things You Didn't Know About Valentine's Day)

Romantic Food

Food is a wonderful (and oh-so-tasty) way to show how much you care — plus restaurants are overrun with couples on Valentine's Day. Save your special meal out for another night, and instead, stay in and serve one of these great dishes.

14 Valentine's Day Desserts That Hit the (Sweet) Spot

From traditional romantic desserts like molten lava cakes and truffles to more exotic selections like chocolate-covered brie, this article gives you 14 great ways to profess your love through sweets.

15 Ultra-Quick Homemade Desserts

Don't worry if you're planning your celebration last-minute — these fast sweets will help you end the meal right.

14 (Mostly) Frugal Valentine's Day Recipes

Dessert might seem like the most important part of a Valentine's Day dinner, but these great recipes make sure you have the rest of the meal covered too.

15 Perfect Puff-Pastry Recipes

Puff pastry makes everything seem fancy — and it's oh-so-easy to use. This collection includes sweet and savory eats.

Marketplace Money: A Frugal Valentine's Day

Check out my appearance on American Public Media's "Marketplace Money," featuring an easy and wildly delicious chocolate truffle recipe. (My favorite version is the one with maraschino cherries in the middle.)

Fun, Frugal Ways to Celebrate

Remember what I said about making the day special? Here are some ways to do just that.

10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Get It Right This Valentine's Day

The suggestions in this article range from the super-romantic, like recreating your first date, to the utilitarian, like cleaning the bathroom. I'm not being sarcastic here — I like romance, but I'd be super stoked if someone cleaned my bathroom for me.

Beat the Clock With Frugal and Simple Valentine's Day Ideas

You don't need to worry about preparing for Valentine's Day last minute — this piece has you covered.

Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day on a Budget

These articles include lots of free ways to make the day special.

Great Gifts

Whether you're going traditional or atypicial, there are plenty of frugal gifts that show how much you care.

Affordable Flowers for Valentine's Day (or Any Day)

Discover why you should steer clear of roses — and learn how to save money by arranging the bouquet yourself.

Save Money and Still Show Love on Valentine's Day

All of the super-sweet gifts in this article are cheap — or, even better, free.

25 Gifts You Can Make Today

Nothing says "from the heart" like something that's homemade.

31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving

From magazine subscriptions to cooking classes, these gifts keep giving throughout the year.

25 Awesome, Useful Gifts

If your Valentine is frugal, there's a good chance that a useful gift is the right way to go.

How are you celebrating Valentine's Day? Share in the comments!

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Guest's picture

This is a great "one stop shop" article. You did a great job compiling everything together and making it easy for me to find everything I could possibly need to look up for Valentine's Day. I personally have always thought the holiday was overrated (probably because I've always been single on V-Day) but this year will be the first year both my boyfriend and I will be in a relationship for Valentine's day and this article definitely helped me think out what we could do.

Guest's picture

Not to generalize, but I think a lot of guys underestimate how far a little bit of thought and effort can go. It doesn't take spending money on a dozen roses or a meal at a nice restaurant, if you take some time to be creative and thoughtful thats way more special than anything money could buy.

Guest's picture

Yes! This! I'm pretty easy to please, but I think anything that clearly demonstrates "You are special to me and I want you to know that," would suffice for most women.