February 14th is one day of the year in which people are to express their love towards friends, family, and significant others. Just like any other holiday, Valentine’s Day requires some splurging. What other way to say “I love you” than material goods? These gifts include expensive flowers, jewelry, and a fine dining experience. As wonderful as these gifts sound, they are fairly unachievable on a college student’s budget. So how do yo celebrate Valentine’s Day without paying the high cost for these extravagant gifts? The answer is actually quite simple… Stick to the basics. For this year’s Valentines day my boyfriend and I decided we were going to make it the best, but cheapest, Valentines Day yet. We immediately set a budget for gifts. We decided ten dollars was a fair amount; three dollars for a card and seven dollars for candy bars, such as Snickers. The best way to keep this special day cheap was to make our own dinner. Making your own dinner not only saves money that would need to be spent at a restaurant, but provides the perfect bonding activity. Instead of paying for a movie, we watched our favorite TV show and cooked! We estimated the cost of a nice dinner would near $80, compared to the cost of groceries to make homemade Penne Alfredo with asparagus and chicken, around $25. Another factor that helped save money was to purchase a bottle of wine instead of having to pay for individual glasses at a restaurant.
It is possible to have a romantic and special Valentine’s Day without emptying your wallet. The key to this is to stick to the basics. Simply set a low budget for gifts and cook your own dinner. By staying home and making your own food you can save on the cost of dinner and wine! The best way to say “I love you” is to spend time with the one you love.