Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day on a Budget

Whew. Valentine's Day is only 2 days away.

Are you scrambling to find the perfect Valentine's Day treat on a tight budget?

In our family, we certainly are. Our wedding is in September so we don't have much spare cash.

However, Valentine's Day isn't really about the gifts is it? Here are some great ideas to make your special Valentine smile!

Romantic Date for Two: 
If you can’t afford a babysitter, set up a table for two after the kids go to bed. You can still have a romantic meal at home without breaking the budget with a fancy night out. Find all those fancy foods at the supermarket and make a feast that rivals any restaurants by enlisting help from cookbooks and Web sites. I guarantee that your spouse will appreciate all your efforts.

Coupons and Chores: 
What could say more to someone than you actually doing something for them? Give your spouse the day off and pick up the slack of the chores for them. Take the dog for a walk, take out the trash, wash the car, get the oil changed – do anything that they would do that day so that they can sit and relax. A more creative way of doing the same thing would be to create coupons for your spouse. Include items that you know they would hate doing and write them on construction paper. An envelope of coupons shows how much you appreciate them and as long as they don't use all the coupons at once, it is a gift that you can give throughout the year.

Monthly Clubs: 
Give your spouse something and then offer them the opportunity to receive it monthly. It can be something inexpensive like a batch of their favorite cookies or a date night to the dollar movie each month – just something that you can afford to do monthly and will show how much you appreciate and love them.

Heartfelt Lunches: 
Cooking for someone is one of the greatest acts of love. Maybe you don't think of it because you do it all the time, but each dish you make is filled with love and care for someone else. Make your spouse a lunch filled with heart shaped sandwiches or use the the color red throughout all of the dishes. You could also surprise your spouse at work and bring them their lunch filled with heartfelt goodies in person. Sharing food with them in a creative way shows how much you really care.

I Heart You: 
Show your love by making your spouse a good old-fashioned valentine. Using red construction paper, lace doilies and crayons, cut out paper hearts just like you did when you were little. No one can resist a homemade Valentine, not even when you are an adult! Want to make a more powerful statement? Include a letter about what that person means to you. There is nothing more powerful than the written word!

Send them searching:
Send your loved ones on a Valentine’s Day themed scavenger hunt. Use construction paper to cut out heart shapes and share a special memory on each heart that will lead them to the next clue!

Recall family moments:
Sit down as a family and write down your favorite family moments. Put them in an old box or a jar. You can decorate it together to display in your home, adding to the jar every Valentine’s Day. You will have a meaningful decoration and another great family memory!

Surprise them with a visit:
Show up unexpectedly to have lunch with the kids at school. Or, if possible, make a surprise visit at your children or significant other’s place of work. Create a printed agenda for the evening, including the menu and any other activities. Share it as you leave so they will look forward to what’s to come!

I will add more as I think of them, or as I discover them on the mighty internet.

Do you have any suggestions?

~~~Deals I found~~~

Sweet deals
Krispy Kreme: Now through February 14, when you buy a dozen donuts, you get 12 free Valentine’s Day gift cards. Each card is good for a free donut, including two limited-time heart-shaped iced donuts with sprinkles.

Baskin Robbins: The ice cream shop’s flavor of the month has chocolate ice cream and chocolate-flavored hearts with raspberry filling. It comes pretty much any way you want it, the only bummer is it isn’t any cheaper than usual.

Dunkin Donuts: Throughout the entire month of February, DD is offering Cupid’s Choice Donut: a heart-shaped donut filled with Bavarian Kreme and topped with strawberry flavored icing and heart-shaped sprinkles. Unfortunately, no deal involved with this deliciousness – but if all you need is one sweet treat, it’s a good one.

Dairy Queen: The ultimate Valentine’s Day blizzard is back. DQ is offering the Choco Covered Strawberry blizzard and various heart-shaped ice cream cakes.

Cold Stone Creamery: The expert ice cream maker is offering Valentine-themed gift cards. If you and the sweetie are too full from the romantic dinner, a gift card for dessert is a great way to keep the celebration going.

Pretzelmaker – Get a heart-shaped pretzel with every pretzel purchased. The catch is you have to like the company on Facebook.

ProFlowers.com: If you’re looking for a deal on flowers, for any occasion, check out this flower shop’s coupon page. For Valentine’s Day specials, ProFlowers is offering 20% off orders of at least $39. If you want something a little cheaper, you can still get 15% off lower-priced options, and there’s even a 50% off deal. The only tricky part is these discounts don’t cover shipping, so make sure you factor that in, and maybe look for an extra coupon code online.

FloraFlora.com: This flower shop has a $6.95 flat rate for shipping on Valentine’s Day. You also get an extra 15% off with the coupon code CUPID12.

Dining Deals
Waffle House: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Experience: “Scattered, Smothered, and covered” is once again a romantic phrase for Valentine’s Day fine dining. For daters looking for a more affordable dinner option, Waffle House is offering reservations for a romantic candle-lit atmosphere. Make sure to check for participating locations.

White Castle: The fast-food joint is also once again offering a fine dining option with table service and candlelight dinner. You can even send your significant other a “White Castle Valentine’s Day SliderGram” on Facebook.

Qdoba Mexican Grill: Here’s a unique Valentine’s Day deal. The Mexican restaurant is offering a free meal to people who share a kiss with a significant other, friend, family member, or “even an understanding stranger at the cash register.” Give a kiss and get a second entrée of equal or lesser value for free.

Groupon: The popular coupon site has tons of Valentine’s-themed deals and discounts. There’s a wide range of deals including bottles of wine, massages, hotel deals and gift baskets. Scroll to the bottom of the main Valentine’s Day page, and the site has deals categorized by gifts for men, gifts for women, popular gifts and gift cards.

Facebook gifts: Choose from hundreds of gifts in categories like Wine, Food, Style, and Gift Cards & Digital. All you have to do is select the gift you want to give, attach a card, and send!

Living Social: The deal site also has tons of Valentine’s-themed coupons that you can either give as a gift, or share with your significant other. Just enter your city and see what deals are available in your area.

Savvysugar: Check out the site’s ideas for cheap ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Fat Wallet: The site has tons of last-minute gift ideas and coupon codes for extra savings on things like flowers, candy and even jewelry. Check out the full list of Valentine’s Deals.

RetailMeNot: The coupon site has a wide variety of Valentine’s Day deals and you can browse them by category!

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