My husband and I have been together since we were teenagers so needless to say, we've shared a number of Valentine's Days.
Pre mortgage, children and so on, we would make a big deal out of the day including the usual roses, dinner at a nice restaurant and so on. Although this was nice, I have more recently come to realise sometimes this isn't always an option. Sometimes you need to stick to a budget and Valentine's Day shouldn't be any different.
Here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy celebrating your love without breaking the bank. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Okay, so take out still costs money. You're still ordering and paying for food, you still have to go and get it (cheaper than delivery) and you are still not using what you have in your cupboard.
But... when you order take out either online or over the phone you most likely have a menu in front of you and can take your time before deciding what you want and how much it will cost - whilst you can do this at a restaurant you're probably less likely to when you have a waiter standing there pen in hand.
You will also be less likely to order extras, therefore, saving you money. Get the basics and perhaps eat ice cream for dessert or treat yourselves to some chips, lollies or other snacks after your main meal - check to see what's on special and get something you really want. Remember, just because you're an adult doesn't mean you can't have your favourite Allen's Lollies or Peppa Pig iced creams.
Since Valentine's Day is in summer here in Australia, take the opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the sunset while enjoying a yummy dinner.
Head to your favourite fish and chip shop, order just hot chips to save money, find a good spot either on a bench, picnic table or even on the sand and watch the sunset.
If you're in the southern suburbs I can highly recommend Champion Take Away at Christies Beach. Not only is the food delicious but it's also reasonably priced.
Not near the beach? No problem; grab a blanket and head to your local park, sit under the trees and enjoy the quiet (can I recommend not setting up next to the playground if quiet is important to you).
Valentine's Day doesn't have to include going out. Sometimes it's nice just to stay home, put on your comfy clothes and chill.
Perhaps decide on a favourite meal, go shopping for the ingredients and come home and cook it together. Remember it doesn't have to be anything over the top with expensive ingredients. Pasta is a good, filling, cheap meal that is loved by many and extremely versatile.
Okay, I know what you're thinking. Postpone Valentine's Day? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? What about all that social pressure?
As with any event, mention the word 'wedding' and the cost of the event skyrockets. The same can be said about Valentine's Day.
Whilst a lot of restaurants offer great dinner packages including wine, dessert and so on, the packages are generally more expensive.
Especially when you are paying for a set meal - why spend money on food you don't really want? Would you spend less if you went out another night and chose what you want instead?
The extra plus of this is if you choose another date, say, the weekend following Valentine's Day, restaurants will be quieter as the hype of the day has passed. Make sure you both agree on this before the day though!
I have nothing against technology. I have an online business so technology is definitely a big part of my day - and of course, I write for WeekendNotes which would be hard to do without a computer.
Having said that, I'm well aware that sometimes you just need to switch off, put the phones away and actually spend time together. Play a board game, go for a walk, go for a drive; do something that involves just the two of you.
Even if you watch a movie or your favourite TV series you're still watching the same thing. You're both following the same storyline and you're not completely in your own little worlds.
Whatever you do this Valentine's Day or even if you don't do anything, remember it's the little things that count - but try not to steal too many flowers from the neighbour's garden and if cooking stresses you out, perhaps go for the take out option.