Fun, Cheap, or Free Valentine’s Day Ideas…saving money WHILE spoiling your honey!

Welcome back to “You're Welcome” Wednesday, where I share a creative tip (or in today's case, many creative tips!) with you that are bound to make you say…THANKS.
Today is a special MEGA POST. 
Valentine's Day is coming up.
What a fun holiday! It reminds us how important love is, how good it feels to be loved, and how fun it is to spoil those you love!
However…VDay can be expensive.
Fancy dinner.
Babysitter.
Roses.
Gifts.
New outfit.
Valentines for school.
Decorations.
Cookies, candy, treats…the list goes on and on.
But guess what? Vday doesn't have to be expensive!
In all honesty, it doesn't have to cost you hardly anything.
YIPPEE!!
All it takes is a little creativity and some planning ahead.
Here are my ideas for a Fun, Cheap, or Free (and memorable) Valentine's day:
(Note: Most of these things you can find on my pinterest boards.)
Decor and Projects
  • After Vday go stock up on clearance holiday items and use them for future Vdays.
  • If you like to make your own decorations, make decorations that will last from year to year so you don't waste materials…or time!
  • Reuse Christmas items: red and gold ribbon, tissue paper, white and/or red lights, candles, etc. Anything that is red and isn't too “Christmas-y” is perfect! Save your wrappings and/or buy them on clearance after the fact like I did HERE.
Here are some DIY decoration ideas:
  • Make a heart-shaped wreath, one method is using my tutorial HERE. You would use the same technique as my tutorial, just find a heart-shaped form from the dollar store or using a coupon at a craft store. You can also use this technique with cupcake liners for a more wrinkled effect, I just question the durability,
  • Use leftover Christmas gift tissue paper to make Vday pomander balls (see my tutorial HERE).

  • Use leftover Christmas ribbon to make roses (See the tutorial HERE), string garland together, decorate your table (see photo below), or tie ribbons around candle sticks for simple touches.
  • Have your kids help you make valentine's hearts with things they love written on them. String them together as garland, or put them up on your windows or walls.
  • Make sewn heart garland using this tutorial HERE.

  • Make your kids' valentine's for school at home. It's a fun family bonding project, and is a good way to use materials that you might already have lying around. HERE are some ideas.
Food and Treats:

  • Change the shape of your cinnamon rolls for a fun breakfast.
  • Add pink food coloring to your pancake batter, then pour the batter into metal cookie cutters placed on the skillet to make heart-shaped pancakes.
  • Make strawberry or red velvet cake/cupcakes.
  • Make your own chocolate dipped strawberries rather than buying them. I prefer to use Almond Bark (I find mine at Walmart). Dip the strawberries in chocolate, drizzle with white, or dip them in fun sprinkles.
  • Cut your kids' PB&J's into heart shapes using cookie cutters.
  • Put cheap or homemade treats into sandwich baggies topped with scrapbook paper for a creative treat for friends.
Gifts and Cutesy Stuff
I  think Valentine's Day gifts get SOOOO overdone! You do NOT have to spend a lot to show someone that you care.
I repeat, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND A LOT TO SHOW SOMEONE THAT YOU CARE.
Here are some fun/cheap/free gift ideas:
  • 100 Reasons why I love you in a picture frame. I did this for my brothers for Christmas. I cenetered a photo in a Word document, made 4 separate text boxes and filled them with words, printed it on nice cardstock, and there you go! I put them in nice Costco frames (2 for $14 and come with a 100 free prints coupon). They were touched, and it was one of the best gifts I have ever given. 

  • Write a cute love note with candy hearts.
  • 52 Reasons why I love you, each glued to a playing card. Punch holes in each card, hold together with paper rings, and there you go!
  • Make “why I love you” fortune cookies out of felt.
  • If you must send flowers, check daily deal sites (see my big list HERE) leading up to Vday. They always have deals! Might as well get them for cheap…even though I think flowers are a waste of money 🙂 The thought is cute, but they are so expensive and die! Check them also for massages, gifts, getaways, etc (see tip down below for more info). 
  • Rather than sending flowers, buy a plant. It will be enjoyed for much, much, much longer.
  • Use balloons. Write something you love about the person on a slip of paper inside each balloon and fill their room, office, car, kitchen, WHATEVER with them. Yes, the cheap-o balloons from Walmart or wherever work great. No helium needed.
  • Simply get thoughtful. Jewelry and electronics are great, but the true meaning of Vday is to express love. Putting a bit of thought into something will be much more valuable than a gift that could break someday.
  • Make a pact with your significant other that you won't buy each other gifts, but will make something. It will be so sweet to see what the other one comes up with!
Special Date with that Special Someone
  • Swap babysitting. This may not work for all Vdays since most people will be going out, however, Vday is on a Tuesday this year. Buddy up with a friend – one of you take Friday night, the other take Saturday night, and there you go! Paying a babysitter (especially a good one) can get pricey. Trading is cheap-o. H
  • Make dinner at home! Using my price-matching/deal shopping technique you can get a nice dinner for a screamin' deal. Take advantage of all the cheapest local prices and only make one trip to one store! Click HERE for some of my favorite recipes. Trust me, men…nothing is sexier than coming home to a thought out, homemade meal. 
  • Set up a picnic somewhere. If you want to get out of the house, you still don't have to buy dinner at a restaurant. Cook the food and pack it in the car ahead of time, then drive to a romantic spot and eat on the grass (if you have the luxury of living in a warm place!) or park somewhere with a view. Snuggle up with blankets in the back of the car and watch a romantic movie together.
  • If you do decide to eat out, be smart about it…NEVER pay full-price. 
    • Always search for coupon codes, coupons, and deals (sometimes if you eat before 6 you get a discount, etc.).
    • Buy unused gift cards for a discount from sites like THIS.
    • Check daily deal sites for good deals in the weeks leading up to Vday. 
    • Buy restaurant coupons from restaurant.com, but read the fine print! Sometimes you have to spend a certain amount or can't use them on the weekends depending on the restaurant.
    • Split a meal.
    • Ask about their specials and deals. They often have promotions running that aren't on the menu, but are in ads and commercials that you might not have seen.
    • Go for water, and skip dessert…see my next tip.
  • If you go out to dinner, make dessert at home. They jack up the prices on drinks and desserts at restaurants, so opt out, and do a romantic dessert at home. Chocolate fondue, dipped strawberries, sundaes, brownies and ice cream, basically anything chocolate-y, right?! 🙂
  • End the night romantically. Get into some PJ's and play games together, talk, eat chocolate, sit by the fire, set goals, reminisce about when you first met, go through old photos, play a get-to-know you game (remember my recommendation HERE?)…after that I'm leaving entirely up to your own imagination. 🙂
  • If you really feel adventurous, go away for the weekend. Remember when my hubby and I went to Vegas last year? It was SO CHEAP because we did a timeshare presentation, as well as a bunch of other things. See our trip tips HERE
  • Take advantage of daily deal sites to find deals on what you do decide to do. They will have discounts on getaways, hotel stays, restaurants, massages, pedicures, roses, gifts, anything you need, they will have them! Yes, you get lots of emails (each one will send one email a day) but it's a great way to get discounts on everything, including Vday stuff! I've compiled a list of some sites HERE.
There are a bazillion more ways to have an incredible Vday without spending much. Keep your eye on the real goal, which is to show love to those you love…NOT pay a lot because you feel like you have to.
What are some of your favorite fun/cheap/free Vday things?
Happy love-birds day!

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