Previously, I’ve written about the things I would love to receive for Valentine’s Day, or about how I would love to receive unique gifts, but I really haven’t talked about the many times that we used to let Valentine’s Day pass us by because we simply couldn’t afford it. Not even close. There have been so many times that Valentine’s day has been impossible and has passed with muted words of “I’m sorry I didn’t get your anything” with a woeful smile, and later on just a smile and a kiss with no apology because that is life, and a commercialised holiday is NOT the be all and end all. Both Adam and I started out in low wage jobs, we didn’t have the disposable cash that we often find ourselves lucky enough to have now because of my job. Yes, I work hard for my money, but I also worked hard when I earned £398 a month at mothercare, and I can tell you out of that came a hell of a lot of nothing because life is more expensive than they tell you in fairytales.
If you are the couple that wants to do Valentine’s day, but doesn’t have the extra disposable income then I thought this might be useful to share, because this is exactly what we did.
So how can you “do” Valentine’s day on a budget?
- Make it
Foodie treats are often the way to a person’s heart. Making something delicious for the pair of you to enjoy together was always a fave with me (I used to make chocolate bomb puddings, and when I was on mat leave I would bake with the kids all the time – It’s one of my favourite memories of them being toddlers. Alternatively if you aren’t a whizz in the kitchen but you’re a dab hand with something crafty then get crafty!
- Go for a walk together
I know it sounds really cliche but it’s just not – sometimes it’s just lovely to hold hands, walk the dog, or through a nice park, and just spend time together.
- Check Voucher sites for codes and discounts
Little bit of cash put aside for a gift? Grand – but don’t be put off expensive brands, check out voucher sites to grab a bargain. I know Adam has a thing for Superdry but I think it is pricey, so I always checked the voucher sites for superdry codes around his birthday and Valentine’s day.
- Can you second hand it?
No, I’m not messing with you, think about it, can you second hand it? This isn’t applicable to the fancy undies that you want to get, or even the beauty products that you like, but it is ideal for certain things like collectables. Adam collects some very bizarre football stuff and I know if I were to get him something that was a vintage second hand badge from his football club, it would mean more than a £50 top. The only thing with these is that they are often pricey so you have to look HARD for a bargain, but you will occasionally find one!
- Pick flowers instead of buying them
Why not? Ok, not in someone’s garden but in a wild field… geez, gents if you have a lady who likes flowers and you take 20 minutes to pick her some when you take the dog for a walk, I promise it will be appreciated.
- Spend £10 on a dine In meal for two
Our friend’s do this all the time, they get a delicious 2-3 course meal, and I mean REALLY delicious, from M&S for £10. They set the table, light the candles and BOOM, instant meal “out” in their home. Who says you have to go out to get dressed up and have a lovely, effortless meal? Not me.
- Rent a movie instead of going to the movies
I think I included something about this in the “date your husband” post I did a few years ago. Going to the cinema costs us a fortune. We both like snacks and drinks, comfy seats… we’re talking £30-40 easy. So, we frequently buy some popcorn (£3-4 max for a couple of bags), rent a movie on sky (£5) and have a nachos to share (£3.50-4 to make and SO easy). Grand total of £13 max.
So there you have it.