While we all know you can’t put a price on love, this Valentine’s Day U.S. consumers are still expected to spend $18.2 billion, or $136.57 each, doing just that. Whether you are saving for a down payment or trying to re-do a bathroom, that can seem like a lot of cash being diverted from a bigger goal.
To help keep you from feeling guilty—or cheap—here are some of our favorite suggestions for spending less of your cash and more of your time with your Valentine this year.
7 Budget-friendly Ways to Say I Love You
- Candy is dandy but… Consider forgoing the big box of assorted sweets for a single serving of the one type your Valentine actually likes. That way, less will go to waste and there is even less that will end up going to either of your waists as well.
- Stemming the splurge. Flowers are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift with 34.7 percent of consumers expected to make a purchase. While the big bouquet is showy, you may find it’s more romantic to make your point with a single perfect rose. After all, it works on “The Bachelor.”
- Create a memory. Whether it’s a picnic for two in the living room, a romantic evening stroll or a flick capable of bringing you both to tears, consider staying in and sharing the moment without distractions…like waiters and other couples.
- The mix tape lives! Sure, we live in the age of Pandora and Spotify, but a hand-picked playlist of music that speaks to different phases in your relationship remains an effective way of saying, “Not only do I love you, I know you.”
- Love letters over cards. Whether it’s a note stuffed into your beloved’s lunch, or a message that appears in the bathroom mirror during a shower, your own words can be more meaningful than those of a professional writer.
- Pool your funds. Instead of spending money on dinner, chocolates and flowers, buy something for your home that will remind you of what you share.
- Reminisce. Share a favorite photo, perhaps newly framed—or create an album—and spend Valentine’s Day remembering what drew you to each other in the first place, and the experiences you’ve shared. Need a conversation starter? How about taking turns finishing sentences like:
I love you because________ or Remember the time we_____________
You may even want to go back and recapture a special moment by proposing all over again.
Remember it’s the Thought Not the Expense That Counts
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, the options are limitless for ensuring you express your affection from your heart rather than your wallet. However you choose to spend it, and regardless how much you spend on it, here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!