Celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Budget

By Jessica Broverman, Editor

It is that time of year when stores are covered in pink and flowers, and chocolates and teddy bears flood the shopping aisles. Valentine’s Day gives us a heightened opportunity to show others that we care. We often take the easy route to fulfilling our loved ones expectations of expressing that love: a card, roses, or candy in a heart shaped box. There are so many other ways to not only express your thankfulness and love for the people in your life, but you can do it in a more inexpensive and thoughtful way.

Handmade gifts are always a go-to idea. Though they can be time-consuming, they are surely worth it. Creating a candy letter keeps your spending low and is an adorable gift for anyone. Simply create a message on a large piece of poster board and be sure to write your letter out while using the words Snicker, Milky Way, Pay Day and so on. Once your letter is written, tape candy bars over the written words that they match with. This will create a letter that will read, “I have searched through what feels like a Milky Way to find a man that makes me Snicker at his jokes.” This is much more fun and inventive than the average card and candy.

Ever heard of bacon roses? If not, guess what? They exist! This delicious treat is not too difficult to make, either, and there are tutorials online. A bouquet of twelve dozen bacon roses can cost less than $10. This price will vary depending on what type of bacon you decide to purchase. So instead of spending money on pricey flowers, you can spend less on a bouquet that may not last quite as long, but will be valued much more.

Keeping your gifts simple can also have the largest impact. Creating an activity jar is practically free. All you have to do is fill a jar with pieces of paper on which you have written different events. Once you have filled the jar with fun ideas, label the jar, “100 reasons why I love you,” or “100 fun things to do together.” You could even use different colored paper to explain what type of activity you’ll be doing. Green can mean costly, blue can stand for a low cost adventure and so on.

If you want to go big, but still keep your costs low, then it is time to get romantic. Instead of buying gifts, create a fun or romantic atmosphere. For a friend, you could stand outside of their dorm and blast one of their favorite songs out front. This will get everyone’s attention and will make your friend, dorm mate or family member feel special.

If you are looking to wow your significant other, you could do this same idea, but with a twist. Instead of playing a favorite song, pick a song that reminds you of them or even steal a song from a classic film like “Dirty Dancing” or “Say Anything.” Once they finally come down to meet you outside, start dancing with them. Male or female, this is sure to make your significant other know they have someone special.

Whatever you plan on doing this Valentine’s Day, always keep in mind that the people you love deserve to be appreciated not just on Feb. 14, but all year round. As Jack Layton once said, “Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”