It's February! Which means, in approximately one week, it will be the good ol' Valentine's Day. It seems like the older you get, the less excited you are about Valentine's Day. It becomes less of a 'let's get dressed up and spend the whole night out' kind of day and more of a 'let's stay in and wear pajamas all day' kind of day. While everyone wants to spend their V-day differently, almost everyone can also agree that they would like to spend it cheaply.
1. Stick to the no gift policy
I know being romantic on V-day is fun and all but there are so many other holidays and events during the year. You really don't need to go ham on this one specific day. Especially if you are in a long-term relationship, you really shouldn't have to stress over the details. Consider agreeing not to give gifts or to give something small, like a cup she likes or a shirt he found funny at Target. It's not a go big or go home situation. Save your money for the big dates!
2. Cook at home or try a laid back restaurant
You don't need to spend a ton of money on food. You can spend the time bonding together in the kitchen, making a yummy dinner that you know you both will love, instead! Spice it up and cook together with only undergarments on. That's definitely something you can't do at the restaurant and you'll both have a fun time together.
If you really do want to go out, consider something more laid back and less expensive. No one is telling you to go to McDonald's, but you don't need your check at the end of dinner to be nearing $100. Chill. Pull out a blanket in the living room, light some candles and cozy up near the Youtube fireplace. Or get a tray and have a picnic in bed. Starting at home means continuing the sexy time right after dinner. If you don't want to cook AND you want to stay home, order some take out!
3. Become your own bartender
Load up on the booze at the liquor store and become your own bartender! Hey, you'll get service faster and, again, you can be naked. Drinking at home rather than at the bars means you'll spend a lot less money and you can make a variety of drinks you've never tried before. Plus, you'll get to spend some quality alone time together and not have to yell over loud music or other people's conversations.
4. Skip the theater
There's nothing good out right now anyway. If you want to do the whole 'dinner and a movie' thing, go back to your cozy apartment and lay around (naked) watching a movie you both actually want to watch. Try sticking with a romantic comedy. It is Valentine's Day after all and it's not very sexy when you're too scared to turn lights off in the room.
5. Don't buy from the florist or a candy store
Flowers are a standard V-day gift. However, buying them directly from a florist is scary expensive. Instead, go to your local market and get a bouquet of beautiful flowers at a cheaper price. While you're at it, pick up a beautiful box of chocolates. To be honest, flowers and chocolates are just for the looks and the affection. Your S/O is not going to rate the taste of the chocolate on a scale from 1-10. Just make sure the box is gorgeous.
If you really do want to put some thought into the chocolate, buy your S/O their favorite, even if it isn't in a V-day box. Check out this Raffaello box! How romantic is that? If you really want to put some love into it, buy the candy in a regular plastic bag at a cheap price and create something with it, like a bouquet of chocolate.
6. Leave the teddy bear in the store
You're sweet but, unless she really loves stuffed animals (which not many girls do), that teddy bear will lay in the corner of her room for the rest of the year. Everyone has enough crap at home. If you want to get her a bear, get her those boozy gummy bears that you BOTH can enjoy instead. They won't go to waste!
7. DON'T PROPOSE.
If you have been together for a long time and you want to make this day extra special so you're thinking about proposing, DON'T. Come on, you know better. Pick literally any other day. Pick February 15th. This is just too tacky. It's like those people who propose close to Christmas on the ice skating rink. Those guys have no imagination.