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Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Valentine’s Day. You either love it or you hate it. If you’re FI-minded, veering away from mindless and compulsory consumption can lead to creativity and personalizing an expression of your affection. Thus, making Valentine’s both special and FI-friendly.

Get Creative, Not Consumerist

Are there things the two of you haven’t done since you first started dating? Perhaps a special memory could be replicated. Or maybe it’s getting out and doing something that’s been on your to-do list that you simply never seem to make the time for?

From cooking classes to taking time to peruse bookstores together–there’s a lot you can do on Valentine’s Day that will be memorable beyond sitting down at an overcrowded restaurant for a mediocre meal.

Refresh On Your Love Languages

Do you know your special person’s love language, or heck, even your own? Each person has a way they prefer to express and receive affection. This can complement or contrast with one another in a relationship. If you haven’t spent time getting to know your love language and your significant other’s, it can be a fascinating way to explore a bit deeper into your relationship.

The 5 love languages:

  • Receiving Gifts: It’s more than just materialism. Gift giving expresses the emotions and thought behind what was chosen in this love language. Even if the gift is inexpensive or free, like a flower picked from the garden, what is conveyed is deeply meaningful.
  • Quality Time: Time spent together, without distractions is highly rewarding for this person. Whether it’s cooking a meal or watching Netflix together, this person thrives on getting time carved out for one-on-one attention.
  • Words of Affirmation: Compliments, praise, encouragement mean the world to this person. Taking time to talk, and affirm this person with praise without being requested is highly rewarding.
  • Acts of Service: While fixing a leaky faucet doesn’t seem romantic, it is for this person. For this language, taking the burden of chores, finishing projects, or making life easier for the one you love has a huge emotional payoff.
  • Physical Touch: Whether it’s giving a gift certificate to the salon or a massage, this person thrives on physical contact. Fortunately, you can also show your love this way for free by making it a point to hold hands, hug, and cuddle up on the couch.

Most of us focus on the first language–gifts, for Valentine’s Day. But if you or your partner don’t normally derive the most satisfaction from this one, why follow the crowds for this one day?

Skip the gifts and instead explore the other love languages. Perhaps scheduling a weekend home together to binge on your favorite movies. Or finally, knock out that annoying project in the garage without being asked will be the ticket.

Being creative can express your affection and be received with more emotional payout than the typical dozen roses!

If you’re not sure which love language suits either of you, this can be a great opportunity to explore together. Take the weekend to try each one and see which makes you feel the swoon.

No matter what your love language, spending time and putting some thoughtfulness into your Valentine’s Day is far more rewarding than a hurried last-minute trip to the grocery store for a generic card and a stuffed bear you’ll never use again.

Make Something That Lasts

Other than on wedding days and for Christmas cards, when do you get photos done?

We’re not talking about a family photoshoot with kids, dogs, or in-laws stressing everyone out! Have a friend take photos of just the two of you. Or even making it a point to get dolled up for some selfie action. This way you’re sure to have nice photos of each other and a low-budget but effective photoshoot can be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Additionally, there are keepsake journals that you can fill out for someone, or do so together. For about $11-18 on Amazon, you have an activity that opens the door for connection and conversation. If your love language is “time together” this can be a truly meaningful way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Learn A New Skill Together

Taking time to smell the roses and learning how to dance in the rain are aspirations many of us share but never realize. For Valentine’s Day, pick up a skill you both have been meaning to do. Many of these class passes can be picked up in advance for a discounted price on Groupon. Whether it’s a cooking class, painting class, or even something like a self-defense class or boxing, there are lots of classes to look into.

Airbnb also offers really interesting classes. Depending on where you live, you can finally learn how to kayak, cook a roux, or make a table together. These Airbnb experiences vary from city to city, but we’ve seen everything from candle making classes to sewing lessons and improv lessons!

Related: How To Save Incredible Money By Learning One New Skill Every Month

Play Tourist Where You Live

No matter how long you’ve been in love with each other, every couple could benefit from a change of scenery and some novelty to make it feel like it was when it was new. Taking a day or a weekend somewhere else and break your routine. You could go hiking, veg out, or explore someplace (even your own town) to mix things up. This could be a fabulous alternative to a predictable Valentine’s Day.

Chances are, there are spots in your town that you haven’t seen. If you usually have kids in tow, it could be a fun opportunity to pay for the sitter, get a designated driver, and maybe dance it up at a dive bar. Picking activities around a theme (for example, nothing over $20) can make planning a bit easier and execution a bit more cohesive.

Valentine’s Day can be a fantastic holiday when it’s not spent stressing in the card aisle of a major grocer at the last minute. With a bit of planning and an attitude of adventure, you can reclaim the holiday to be fun and totally frugal to boot!

Want to know how we celebrate Valentine’s Day over here at ChooseFI?  Check it out.

Related Articles:

Frugal Valentine's Day Ideas For 2020

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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