How to celebrate Valentine's Day on a budget

#Managing your money

Valentine’s Day is a time to show your significant other just how much they mean to you. While it’s fun to celebrate, it can be costly.

If you’re buying a gift, going out or scheduling other festivities, it doesn’t take long for costs to add up.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are lots of creative ways to keep costs down, while still making Valentine’s Day special and memorable.


Celebrate on a different day

Going out for dinner on February 14 is a common way to celebrate but it could be expensive.

Many restaurants increase their prices that night because they know the demand for a reservation will be high. They may have special menus or offers to draw you in, but you may find their prices have gone up significantly for one night only.

One way to avoid this is to try and go out on a different night. If Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday, why not hold off and celebrate at a restaurant on the Saturday of that week. You’ll avoid the frenzy of trying to secure a table on the 14th and should see more reasonable prices on the menu. It will also allow you to relax a little more by going out on the following weekend, rather than trying to squeeze in a nice evening out on a worknight.



Stay in and share a home-cooked meal

Who says you have to go out for dinner to enjoy a meal?

Sometimes simple is better. A meal doesn’t always have to be fancy or cost a lot to be good. Why not cook your partner’s favourite dish from scratch? Or you can both share in making a homemade meal as a way to spend time together. It doesn’t have to be a five-star meal, and your significant other will appreciate the effort you put in to make the day special.

Andrea Muscat from Toronto proved just that. She was planning to cook a fancy dinner for her husband on Valentine’s Day a few years back when their power went out because of a storm.

“So much for my surf and turf extravaganza,” she said.

The night wasn’t lost, though, as her husband suggested a brilliant alternative.

“Knowing I felt bad about the ruined dinner, my husband reminded me one of his favourite things to eat were sandwiches,” Andrea recalled. “With the baguette I bought that afternoon, we turned the would-be garlic bread into a fun feast of subs and picking plates.”

 “With a wool blanket spread across the living room floor, our goodies plated across it and a bottle of wine opened – our little picnic by candlelight turned into the perfect romantic evening,” Andrea said.


Make a homemade gift

Flowers, chocolates, and jewellery usually can’t miss on Valentine’s Day, but a homemade gift can hit the mark, too.

The gifts your partner will really enjoy don’t always cost a lot of money. Much like the home-cooked meal idea, your significant other will appreciate the energy you put into the gift. You know the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Maybe it’s as simple as putting together a collection of photos from the significant moments of your relationship or making a heart-shaped pastry. Material items will always come and go, but the warm memory of a well thought-out gift will last much longer. 

The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors.


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