Valentine’s At Home and Virtual Date Night Ideas on a Budget

This Valentine’s Day looks to be a little different, as the global pandemic continues. If you are unable to get out for a Valentine’s date night this year, or feel safer celebrating at home – here are some low cost ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day at home or virtually.

If You’re Celebrating V-Day At Home:

Fine Dining. You can definitely recreate a restaurant experience at home, complete with dressing up for the occasion and actually sitting down and/or being waited on. Take it a step further by printing real menus, get dressed up, set a fancy table, and pick your own restaurant name. Have fun cooking something you typically don’t make together, or if you have children who will be home and want to participate – include them as well and make it a fun family affair.

Ballroom (or any kind of) Dancing. You might not make it out to your local dance studio or any Valentine’s Night Out Parties this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn how to dance or dance at home and still have fun! Find a YouTube video, clear out a spot on the living room floor, and give it a spin.

Game Night. Maybe it’s not the peak of romance for some, but sitting down to a game of Scrabble or Monopoly together is a great way to spend some quality time while also giving your brain a workout. Get dressed up, serve up some snacks and pour the wine to make it feel even more like a date night.

Virtual Hometown Tours. If you didn’t grow up in the same place as your love, Google Earth offers a great date night opportunity – a virtual tour of your hometown, complete with stops at all the most important places. Even if you are both from the same area, use Google Earth or Google Maps to show your sweetheart around your college campus — or explore a city you’re hoping to visit together someday.

At Home Spa Services. Treat yourself — and your significant other, to some DIY indulgence. Whether you give each other manicures, facials, or massages, it’s bound to be more affordable (and more fun) than it would be in a salon or day spa. Check out this list of spa treatments you can do at home.

If you can’t be with your love in person this Valentine’s Day, here are a few virtual ways to celebrate, or adapt some of these ideas to your at home February 14th plan:

Virtual Coffee (or Cocktails). Zoom and FaceTime make it easy to recreate classic first date ideas like grabbing a drink together, or a cup of coffee while chatting over your drink of choice.

Read to Each Other. This can be romantic whether you’re at home together or apart. If you’re not in the same location, you can read to each other via video chat or over the phone. The options are endless, choose a book neither of you have read before or revisit an old favorite.

Live Stream Concerts and Events. Since the pandemic began, many entertainers have transferred their live shows to streaming services or made them available on their websites. Many are even free! Re-create the concert experience at home with a drink and sport some concert attire. Not to mention the added bonus of being able to hear each other talk during the virtual show and not have to shout over the music.

Virtual Movie Nights. It’s always fun to snuggle up with your sweetheart for a movie, even if it’s on the couch at home. If you’re stuck apart this year, you can spend time in front of the screen together. A browser extension called Teleparty is able to sync Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and HBO videos for multiple viewers while also providing a scrolling text chat along the right side of the screen. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Arts and Crafts. A romantic idea for the daring: paint or draw each other while on a video chat application. If that’s a little too intimidating, you could also spend virtual time together being creative with a craft like knitting, cross-stitch, or something else entirely. Plan to gift each other the products of your art creation!

Some Other Tips: If you’re at home together – put away the phones and digital devices, and look for the joy in the little moments spent together. If you’re spending the holiday apart or virtually – get dressed up anyway, and remember this is only temporary.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Article Source: The Penny Hoarder

 

How to Get a Great Valentine’s Gift on a Limited Budget

Valentine’s Day is … tomorrow. If you are still trying to find a last minute unique gift idea for that special someone in your life and stay in line with the budget that you’re probably still paying off holiday bills from, keep reading! You can still give your Valentine a great day tomorrow without going broke.

The most important word you can remember about Valentine’s Day: Thoughtfulness. You truly don’t have to spend a ton of money on lavish gifts, experiences, or dinner at a fancy restaurant. Don’t underestimate the value of a nice home cooked meal, a homemade card, or an activity you both love doing together.

Go on an Outing this V-Day

Sometimes an experience creates more memories than a big gift or expensive flower delivery. Would you rather buy your true love a giant flower arrangement that more than likely won’t be around to see February 21st, or recall a fun day out together that you can look back on for years to come? Planning an actual activity also shows creativity and effort. Need some lower cost ideas?

  • Go geocaching – this is completely FREE. What is geocaching? This is a real life outdoor treasure hunting game using the GPS device on your smartphone. You will need to find and register locally, and then you’ll be given GPS coordinates to navigate to and find a geocache container that’s hidden at the designated location. Find out more here.
  • Try an escape room – averages about $30 a person. This is a lower cost, fun and adventurous activity to try with your loved one. You’ll need to work together and communicate, and it’ll be an exciting experience you won’t soon forget. Hit the web and find out where the nearest escape room is to you.
  • Wine and paint class – another lower cost activity that is BYOB, and typically under $40 a person. You’ll get to paint together, drink wine, and take home some beautiful artwork! To save even more money, try looking for deals online for a class local to you on Groupon.
  • Go axe throwing – cost also averages about $30 a person. See if there’s a local venue near you for throwing axes and/or darts. These locations are also typically BYOB which will save you some more money as well.
  • Actually see a movie in the theater – when was the last time you went to the movies? These days it seems like most people tend to take advantage of Netflix and other streaming at home movie services. This also is probably one of the cheaper outing options on this list, around $20 per person. Check your local theater and purchase tickets online in advance.

Ways to Save on Flowers

Being that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – it’s probably going to be tougher to order online now, have them delivered on the actual holiday, and not pay a fortune. If you are in this boat and didn’t preorder, instead of purchasing a whole bouquet – don’t underestimate the gesture of buying just one single long stemmed rose, or try a less expensive flower bouquet instead (think red/pink carnations).

Are you against the idea of buying flowers altogether and spending a great deal of money on something that may not last longer than a few days? How about sending your Valentine a photo of virtual flowers. You can send them anything, they’ll last, and won’t cost you a dime!

But, if you’re still set on buying flowers – look online for deals, or try ordering through a cash back site like Rakuten.

How to Save on Valentine’s Dinner

At this point, it’s probably going to be next to impossible to get a dinner reservation. However, most of the time a home cooked meal is more private, less expensive, and better than dining out.

Do you have an InstantPot? This wonderful kitchen device allows you to cook a gourmet-like meal quickly. If you don’t – hit your local Target or Walmart and pick one up (they range in price with an average of around $50, but you can probably get one on sale or look for store coupons too). All you have to do is find a recipe, purchase your ingredients, close the lid, and push a button. You’ll impress your love and probably have leftovers for the next day also! You can even make dessert in your InstantPot such as cheesecake, the day before. Or if you want to opt for something easier to make the day of that’s still seasonal – try your own chocolate covered strawberries and open a bottle of wine or champagne.

If You Still Insist on Buying a Gift

If you’ve thought about it and you are set on purchasing a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift but don’t want to spend a fortune, opt for one that includes a photo of the two of you. This is still sentimental, a nice memory, and won’t cost a lot. Simply print out your favorite picture together at your local Walgreens (which you can do almost immediately), put it in a nice frame, and if you have extra time – have it engraved.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Article Source: Rick Broida for cnet.com

Valentine’s Day On a Budget: How to Find Love & Laughs for Less

When it comes to the topic of Valentine’s Day, public opinion seems to be split. Some people love everything about it. Hearts, roses, candy, flowers, cupid — you name it, they’re here for it! On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find “Valentine Scrooges” who consider February 14th a day like any other. They’re convinced the celebration and fanfare are nothing more than Hallmark-sponsored money grabs. To be fair, these positions are extreme.

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy spending the romantic holiday with your special someone, but you prefer to celebrate without spending a ton of money. Good for you. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who plans a financially responsible Valentine’s date. So, if you’re looking to create an inexpensive, fun-loving Valentine’s experience you’ll remember for years to come, we have a few suggestions you might enjoy.

Dress up and dine in. At first, this suggestion may seem pretty crazy. Why would you go through the trouble of getting all dressed up if you’re not going out in public? Because there’s a strange, yet undeniable appeal to doing something that doesn’t make sense to anyone else, that’s why. So, go ahead—go big. Glam it up. Suit and tie. Gown and heels. The more overdressed, the better. Whether you cook for yourself or order your favorite takeout, the food choice isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you’re both ridiculously overdressed for the occasion. And that’s the point. Have fun with it!

Dress down and hit the town. Like the previous idea, this one involves an unexpected combination of date attire and meal selection—but with a completely different twist. Before the big date, you and your date head to the nearest thrift store (you can shop together or separately) and buy a complete outfit for the other person, spending no more than $10 in the process. The clothing selections can be as tacky and outrageous as you please—the tackier, the better. The only catch is that you both have to wear the outfits to dinner, no questions asked. If you play this one right, not only will you save money and enjoy your date, everyone around you will probably get a kick out of it as well.

Dollar store gift challenge. You and your date can play this one a couple of different ways. The first approach involves heading to the nearest dollar store and seeing who can find the single best/craziest/funniest/most ridiculous gift for the other person. The second option involves setting a spending limit and seeing who can rack up the most entertaining gift collection. (No need to go above $10. After all, it’s still a dollar store). For a little additional fun, take some selfies with your newfound treasures, and share your pics on social media using the hashtag #DollarStoreScore. After your adventure, head out and grab some dessert. Since you did your Valentine shopping at the dollar store, you’ll have plenty left to cover a sweet treat or two!

Whether you use the tips above or come up with a clever idea of your own, being smart about your Valentine’s spending goes a long way towards ensuring your day is filled fun-loving memories instead of expensive mistakes. And when you’re wondering what to do with all your savings, don’t forget to stop by your local credit union — we’re happy to help you find ways to make your money work for you. And let’s be honest, long-term financial stability is sweeter than a $10 box of chocolates could ever be!

4 Unique Valentine’s Gifts Under $15

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Luckily, there’s still time to impress your significant other with something clever that won’t drain your wallet. Here are four unique but inexpensive ideas.

“What I love about you” journal

If you want to express your love but you’re not a poet, this sweet little book is for you. Each page contains a fill-in-the-blank entry, such as “I love your taste in _____” or “I love the stories you tell about _____.” The structure prevents writer’s block, while the blanks allow you to customize the book to perfectly suit your partner. You can make it funny, romantic or however you choose. This book also makes a great anniversary gift. Available for $9.95 on Amazon Prime.

Gummy Xs & Os

Trader Joe’s never disappoints, and this Valentine’s Day is no exception. This year, TJ is offering gummy candies shaped in adorable X and O shapes. Packaged in an adorable old fashioned bag design, the gummies are clear, pink and red. Perfect for sharing with your love or playing a yummy game of tic tac toe. Only $2.99 for a 14-oz bag!

Pink Himalayan Salt Massager

Foodies and natural health enthusiasts will love this 6 oz round sphere made from 100% natural raw Himalayan crystal salt. Heat in the microwave or chill in the freezer and use to ease tension. The stones also exfoliate and mineralize the skin, providing healthy magnesium and 84 other minerals and trace elements that alkalize the body. Sold at Urban Outfitters for just $8.00.

Zodiac mug

If your Valentine loves astrology, American Eagle’s zodiac mugs are a perfect gift. Each mug is a generous 22-oz size (that’s larger than a Starbucks venti!) and features a lovely blue and gold constellation design. Inside each mug is a sweet message and it comes in a nice box, too. Get yours for $14.95 at ae.com.

Article Source: Heather Anderson for CUInsight.com