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Frugal Living Tips For Valentine's Day
“THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE”
Thank you to the Beatles for that lyric, and isn’t it so true? And speaking of love, what day of the year is all about love? That’s right, Valentine’s Day! And what day of the year is it oh so important for you to do something special for your loved one? Right again, Valentine’s Day!
But what if you are a little low on cash this year? One thing is for certain and that is you had better not use poverty as an excuse for not presenting a gift to your lover; that will get you a death stare and hours of silence. Poverty is not a valid excuse on Valentine’s Day. Nobody wants to hear that you are low on funds and couldn’t find the perfect gift.
Still, many are having a tough time of it economically, so what is a guy or gal supposed to do? How do you show your love on Valentine’s Day and not spend a lot of money?
Luckily for you, billybuc is here! Yes, billybuc, your own personal love guru, and I am here to ease your mind and give you some suggestions that are sure to get you a little extra romance on February 14th….and these suggestions are not going to break your personal bank.
Men, and women, I’m going to give you a word of advice, and it should help you greatly during tough financial times. Are you ready? Love does not have a price tag on it. Love is felt and it cannot be faked or purchased. It makes no difference how much you spend on a gift; what does matter is that the gift reflects how much you love the person you are giving it to.
Bev, the love of my life, has given me two gifts in the past two years, both handmade, and both the most beautiful and heartfelt gifts I could imagine receiving. I cried both times she gave them to me, and I have them close by me each and every day. She could have purchased gifts that cost much more money, but they wouldn’t have meant half as much to me.
So let’s get busy! Let’s show you how it is possible to give fantastic gifts without spending a lot of hard-earned and in-short-supply money.
Repeat after me: expensive restaurants are a no-no! Good, now that we have established that fact, let’s move on to an alternative idea.
Make a special dinner at home for your loved one. Dress up for the occasion; put candles on the table, lower the lights, put on some romantic music, and let the feeling of love fill the room.
And if you have children, get rid of them! No, I don’t mean snuff them out; I mean pawn them off on relatives for the night. This is your night of love, and the last thing you need to do is change diapers. Nothing kills a romantic mood like stinky diapers. Trust me on this one!
GO FOR ATMOSPHERE RATHER THAN COST
If you are still Jonesin’ for the restaurant atmosphere, make your special meal at home and then dress up and go to a nice restaurant for dessert. True, it will cost a little extra, but not nearly what a whole meal would cost.
How about a poor man’s limo service? Have one of your best friends pick you and your lover up in their car, and drive you two to a restaurant for dessert. You can do some necking in the backseat while your buddy drives you. It will seem like college all over again!
LET NATURE BE YOUR BACKDROP FOR ROMANCE
Do you have a beautiful park in your area? If so, pack a picnic dinner and go to the park for dinner. Spread out a blanket, make sure you have your candles, and let nature provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic meal.
What, you say it is snowing and ten degrees outside? Well gosh, if you are going to be a wimp I doubt I can help you.
Do you really want to score points? Pull out a radio, turn it on to some slow music, and ask your partner to dance with you in the park. I don’t care how many people are watching; dance in public and show others what real love looks like.
LET’S SKIP SCHOOL
Take a day off from work. This might require a little advanced planning, but use a vacation day, or just call in sick. Spend the day together watching romantic movies on tv, and then refer to the first few suggestions for your love meal.
Seriously, the very fact that you cared enough to leave work behind and spend it with your lover will gain you huge bonus points for the effort.
JAMMIN’ TO THE TUNES
Check around town and see if there are any free concerts playing on Valentine’s Day. You can dress up and go out on the town and not spend a penny. Again, it’s the thought that counts and not the cost. Anybody can use a credit card to buy a gift; few people go to the bother of actually thinking of a romantic way to spend the night.
Guys, remember this: they may say that diamonds are a gal’s best friend, but actually showing that you love your wife is a much more precious gift.
For an alternative idea, spend a few hours prior to Valentine’s Day burning a CD with some favorite tunes that your lover enjoys.
MAKE A GIFT
I mentioned earlier that Bev has made me a couple gifts in the past. Check out the picture on the right; she took all the farewell messages that my students had written for me, and put them in a display case. It is hanging above my writing desk right now, and it reminds me daily of how much I love that woman.
That, my friends, is a romantic gift that keeps saying “I love you” each and every day.
DON’T FOLLOW THE FLOWER CROWD
Frugal people do not buy roses on Valentine’s Day! Period! Frugality does not allow someone to spend $50 for a dozen flowers that will die in a week. Are you kidding me?
If you think flowers are a necessity, go with the lower-costing carnations. They still say “I love you” but at half the price. Better yet, buy a potted plant that will keep giving love all year round.
Hey, if your loved one is a gardener, then make a gift basket of flower seed packets and other garden necessities. You can get a basket at the Dollar Store; toss in some seeds and a spade, maybe some gloves, cover it with colored paper, and you can do it all for less than those stupid roses.
One more thought: plant a love tree in your yard. It will represent each and every year the love you have for each other. Just don’t plant a crabapple!
MAKE HANDMADE CARDS
Not only cards, but leave notes around the house so your lover will find them all day long. Leave a note in their car, in the bathroom, on the front door, and anywhere else you think they will see them. Constant reminders throughout the day will provide smiles and warm fuzzies for hours.
Do You Remember Your First Date?
RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE
Oh my God, how romantic is this idea? Wives will love this one, guys, so pay attention.
Men have a rep as never remembering romantic events, so dazzle your wife with a replica of the first time you went on a date. Remember, these are frugal ideas, so if you took her to the Bahamas for a week as a first date, skip this idea and move to the next one.
HAVE A SCAVENGER HUNT
Leave clues all through the house; your loved one can spend a few hours hunting down the clues, each one leading to the next. The final clue will lead them to that special gift that is waiting for them, and of course the special gift will be frugal in cost but oh so romantic in reality.
Make a photo album for your mate; include pictures of the two of you over the years. This will be called your Love Album, so make it special and decorate it accordingly.
LETTERS? WE’VE GOT LETTERS!
Write a love letter to your mate, and don’t rush through it. Give it some thought, and make sure when you are done with it that it represents how you feel about them.
Cool thought! Get some fortune cookies and remove the message with tweezers. Then insert your own love message in the cookies. Oh, this idea is worth bonus points and will surely get you a big, sloppy kiss.
All You Need Is Love
AND ABOVE ALL…..
Do all things with love! This is a special day designed to show how much you love your mate. Don’t scrimp on the effort. Effort costs no money at all, but it means a great deal. With a little creativity and a lot of love, even the poorest man or woman can demonstrate an overflowing heart of love.
As the Beatles said…..”All You Need Is Love,”…..and a frugal mindset of course!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)