February 5, 2013

Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a Budget

With less than a week left in the month of January, it’s time to start thinking about what you and your honey are going to do for Valentine’s Day this year. If you are like my husband and have kids, then you’re probably on a budget. Every year my husband and I fight the urge to not celebrate Valentine’s Day and save some money. However, I believe that this is an important holiday and something that should be recognized…even if in a small way. Plus, I feel like I’m doing my future daughter-in-laws a favor by showing my boys that it is an important day and should be recognized.

Like I said above, ever since my husband and I had children, we have been on a budget because our finances naturally got tighter when the little ones arrived. So, we have found a few creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that doesn’t require us to put on our best formal wear and go out and spend a fortune on dinner and dancing. If you are in the same boat, here are a few ideas for how you can celebrate Valentine’s Day this year in an affordable manner.

1. Host a Special Dinner at Your Place. My husband and I have done this a couple of times and it’s wonderful. Usually, one of the grandparents will watch the kids for the evening, giving us the time. One year, our church offered childcare on Valentine’s Day from 5pm til 11pm as a fundraiser for a mission trip and we took advantage of that. Anyways, I plan out the menu in advance and have all the groceries bought. Then, when my husband leaves to take the kids to the sitter, I start cooking. I make it special by cooking something we don’t have often, lighting candles and having our favorite wine.

2. Go Ice-Skating. In many parts of the country, it’s cold during Valentine’s Day, making fun afternoon picnics impossible. A fun, and affordable, activity you and your honey can do together on Valentine’s Day is to go ice skating. For me, there’s always been something romantic about ice skating and holding hands with my husband. This is even an activity that you can bring the kids along for too.

3. Cook Together. One year, my husband and I spent an afternoon making chocolate dipped stuffed strawberries together. While it was a time-consuming activity, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the strawberries (with a little champagne) after the kids went to bed and we were alone. The recipe for the strawberries is here…we added to the recipe and dipped them in chocolate for an even sweeter treat!

4. Stay at a Local Bed & Breakfast. You may not be able to afford to get away for the weekend, but maybe a night alone at the local bed & breakfast is within your budget. If it is, I highly suggest it. Just getting away from home, even if in the same town, makes it easy to forget our everyday troubles and focus on our spouse.

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