2 Ways to Stretch Your Valentine’s Day Budget

When Cupid drew back his bow, his aim wasn’t just your lover’s heart. As the most romantic day of the year rolls around, cupid’s arrow can pierce your budget, too. Last year, the average American was expected to spend $143.56 on Valentine’s Day — that’s a collective $19.6 million on significant others across the country!

If you’re worried how you can spoil your better half without jeopardizing your finances, check in with this quick guide. It shares two easy ways to impress your loved ones without breaking hearts or budgets.

Make a homemade meal

As the saying goes, you can reach a man’s heart through his stomach, but tasty food is a good bet regardless of your SO’s gender. Making a meal with love as your number one ingredient is a sure-fire way to impress your loved one on the big day.

Unfortunately, a plate of delicious food needs more than just love — you’ll most likely have to stock up on groceries before you’re able to serve a meal of your own making. This can be your undoing. It can be far too easy to load up on specialty items and gourmet to impress your partner.

If you shop without a thought for your budget, your homemade meal can be as expensive as a dinner out at a fancy restaurant. To make sure you aren’t overdoing it at the grocery store, check in with a blog like MoneyKey. They offer tips for saving on groceries at any time of the year, and share the smartest ways to shop without overspending. With tips like making a meal plan, shopping with rebate apps, and avoiding brand name products, their advice is easy to follow while shopping for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

If you’re struggling to create a meal plan for the special day, check in with food blogs like The Food Network, Food and Wine, or Bon Appetit. Every year, these sites produce Valentine’s Day menus for every skill level. Spend some time looking for the right menu for their tastes and your culinary abilities, and you’ll be able to serve up a dish without breaking the bank.

Use a coupon or two

Paying full price for a necklace or beach getaway for two is only ever romantic when you can afford it. Using a credit card, line of credit, or installment loan to help boost your V-Day budget isn’t sexy. In fact, if they find out, it signifies to your partner you may not be responsible with your money. After all, most financial experts recommend using cash advances or online installment loans only for emergency repairs or urgent bills.

Strip your budget of artificial cushions and you may be left with a smaller amount of money to spend than you realize. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck buying them costume jewellery or booking a shared Airbnb in your hometown.

You may be able to find a way to boost your budget without touching credit. Coupon websites like Groupon, Woot, and Yipit share promotions on popular destinations, activities, and items. Around Valentine’s Day, these websites are often flooded with couple’s retreats, massages, and wine tours — to mention just a few! Check out what they have to offer for yourself to see if you can get a discount on dinner or a romantic activity.

You may also find further savings by equipping your phone with shopping apps like RetailMeNot, Snip Snap, and Yowza. These apps search the web for the best deals available on a variety of items, including clothing and jewellery. Redeeming these coupons is easy as long as you remember to bring your phone with you when you shop.

Valentine’s Day is a difficult time of year for people in love. It can be a challenge to show your significant other just how much you appreciate them when you’re on a tight budget — but it’s not impossible! If you shop with your brain and not your heart this V-Day, you’ll be able to snag deals or whip up a delicious meal for a fraction of the cost of lavish gifts or fancy dinners.