Valentine’s Day Romance

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Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the best Valentine’s Day gift ideas cost very little, since they come from the heart. Making someone feel loved and appreciated can come in many forms, on any day of the year. So what can a pennywise couple do to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank? Here are some of our ideas:

After 25 years of marriage,  we have learned that romance can come in all forms, from the traditional candlelit dinner to a massage, a bubble bath, or gifts of appreciation.

A gift of time is my favorite gift. Whether my time was freed up when my husband did chores for me (without being asked), or he did something thoughtful that came from his heart. In the past, he has taken my birthday off to clean the house, so when I come home everything was already done. On other occasions, he has made me breakfast in bed, given me a couple of hours to do my crochet while he watched the kids, and photographed a re-enacted a part of “our song”. A gift of time, in whatever form, is an incredible gift that I always appreciate.

Another year, he gave me a love letter he wrote himself instead of buying an expensive card.  A card you created, (look on Pinterest for ideas), a love letter you wrote expressing your love and appreciation for your spouse, a poem you wrote, or even a card from your local dollar store will work if it expresses your heartfelt love.

Buy a Journal at the dollar store, office supply store, or create your own with a composition notebook, some scrapbook paper, and glue.  Write a love note for your spouse and ask him or her to write one back.  Write notes to each other all year long.  My husband and I did this one year, and every time I saw the journal on my pillow, I knew another note of appreciation or love was there — written expression of your love will help him or her to feel blessed and loved again and again.

Make breakfast in bed, or bring your spouse a cup of coffee or tea. There is something special about not having to get out of bed to enjoy your first cup of coffee.

Make your own Chocolate Covered Strawberries with dipping chocolate and a pound of strawberries.  There are many YouTube videos that will show you how. You can do this ahead of your celebration, so they are ready, or make a fondue and dip strawberries, marshmallows, and pound cake together. Just be sure to kiss each other every time you lose an item off your fondue fork!

Buy a coffee cup  with a nice sentiment on it and fill it with Hershey Kisses, Miniature Chocolates, Jelly Beans, or whatever small candy your spouse loves — you can even wrap it in the special cellophane that florists use, if you desire.  Buy the cellophane at your local craft store, and tie the cellophane at the top with a ribbon.

Buy a photo album at your local dollar store and fill it with nostalgic pictures. You and your spouse can spend time going through the pictures together, remembering the special times you have shared.

I found some other inexpensive gift ideas at PTMoney.com, some of my favorites are:

Make your own Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt. Write clues and hide them all over the house for your Valentine to find! At each station, put a gift you bought from the dollar store, or something you made yourself — a stuffed animal, a candy bar, a Valentine card, etc (ptmoney.com).

If possible, arrange for a babysitter, who isn’t at your house, grab some microwave popcorn, and a movie from your local library, a thrift store, or your local “Redbox” and enjoy some special time together (ptmoney.com). There are couples out there who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day–my husband and I are one of them. We prefer to show our love and appreciation on alternate days. On Valentine’s Day, we stay home with the kids, eat pizza and watch movies. Perhaps a couple you know does the same, or maybe you could trade nights babysitting each other’s kids if you want to go out, so you could save the cost of babysitting.

On that note, if you really want to go out, and can’t afford either the time, or the cost of dinner, go out for a Valentine’s breakfast, or lunch, and then spend the evening with the kids watching a family movie.

Place a love note somewhere your significant other will find it –in their briefcase, on the bathroom mirror, in a pot — anywhere (ptmoney.com)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the best Valentine’s Days come from the heart. Making someone feel loved and appreciated can come in many forms, on any day of the year. Here are some of our ideas.

Use bamboo skewers and strawberries to create a “bouquet” of roses that you can eat!  Couple this gift with a pot of chocolate fondue, whipped cream or some melted chocolate and enjoy! (ptmoney.com)

What are some of your best pennywise ideas? Please comment below.

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$5 to $10 Date Ideas

Follow my blog with Bloglovin“>Follow my blog with Bloglovinย Thisย time of year I often realize that it’s been a while since my husband and I have gone out on a date. With large medical bills and 3 kids (2 teens), we have amazingly tight finances.ย  Unless someone gives us a gift card to a restaurant we don’t have the option to get out and go anywhere, just the two of us to spend some time together catching up.ย  So, with little to no money at the end of the month, how can we go on a date?

Romantic Date on a Lake – $8

In the summertime, when my husband and I were dating, we often didn’t have money for dates. On one occasion, he took an inflatable boat he already owned, a 6-pack of soda, and a $5 pizza and we had a romantic boat ride all around a man-made neighborhood lake. I still think fondly of that date, even though it has been nearly 30 years since that date with him.

Dinner and a Movie for Around $10

We have two restaurants in town that serve tacos for a very low amount. One has two tacos for $1.37 (after tax) and the other has 79 cent tacos. There are also many places where you can buy $1 cheeseburgers, or $1 chicken sandwiches, and one that I know of that charges $1 for any size soda. Of course, you can save $2 if you each order water. ๐Ÿ™‚

My husband eats more than I do, so one $1 cheeseburger or chicken sandwich will not fill him up. But, two are plenty for him. For us, our meal comes to $3 plus tax (he has two and I have one sandwich/burger). At our dollar theater, you can pay $1 plus tax to go to the movie without getting any goodies, or you can pay $3 to have popcorn or a candy and a soda. For each of us, that would be $6. After tax, we still spend less than $10 for a few hours away from the kids, enjoying each others company.

When Kids are Away from Home

We have three kids and every once in a while all three kids spend the night somewhere else. When this happens, we get a rare chance to have a special night together without going anywhere. (If you have a friend with kids, you could trade babysitting nights so you each get some time alone). That’s when it’s time to break out that inexpensive wine from the trader store with the name about two-bucks? ๐Ÿ™‚

After we’ve got that bottle of wine open, we put out a linen tablecloth and set out our special dishes, light candles and enjoy a candlelit dinner at home. My husband had this idea one year and it was amazingly wonderful. After dinner, we cuddled on the couch to binge watch tv or watch a movie. On another candlelit dinner, we just talked for hours after dinner. We caught up on our busy lives, talked about favorite hobbies, music, or sports. Talking helps us bond and rebuild our friendship, and it’s free — all it costs is a bit of time. If we keep our talking to subjects that will not cause a “loud debate”, it stays an enjoyable evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dancing in the Moonlight

This date idea isn’t just for the movies. Have you ever driven to a lake, a park, or even a parking lot with a view of the city, or the mountains, and realized how beautiful the night sky is? If you have a beautiful person with you, and you have great music on the radio, why not roll the windows down, turn up the music, and turn on your charm, so you can dance in the moonlight with your special someone. This date idea is free — it just takes a bit of time getting to your location, and possibly some time convincing your partner to dance with you under the stars. ๐Ÿ™‚

Picnic in the Park

Of course, this idea is cliche’. Most people, at some time in their life has had a picnic in the park — they’re inexpensive, fun, romantic, and easy. In the winter time, this idea is not very practical – it’s often too cold, but you could drive to a park, find a nice parking space with a view, and eat your lunch, or dinner, in your nice warm car while you enjoy some casual conversation watching the traffic go by, or the ducks land on the water.

My husband and I used to have a private place for a picnic, for conversations, for cuddling — a little alcove in the bushes right next to the river that we could go to during the spring, summer, or fall. During the river, there were no branches on the bushes, making our “private space” too public for use — not to mention, it was very cold to be outside, next to the river in the winter. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wine Tasting

If you are able to get a Groupon, or some other promotional special, you can generally take part in wine tasting for around $10. Sometimes, you can even get a coupon that will allow you to have wine tasting and take home a bottle, or two of wine. My husband and I watch for this type of coupon, and then schedule our wine tasting when the winery has an event going on allowing us to have two experiences for the price of one! We love to go to wine tasting whey the winery is having a concert, so we can listen to terrific music while we are enjoying each others company, relaxing while listening to each other’s conversation and the terrific music being played live.

Sunset Trip

I love sunsets. I think the different colors on the clouds, and in the sky are absolutely gorgeous! To me, there is nothing more romantic than cuddling with my husband watching the sun set; the pinks and blues painting the sky. If you live in the city, there is nothing like watching the sunset in the country, or high up on a mountain overlooking the city. Once the sunsets, the stars come out, and you end up with a romantic, sparkling blanket of light.