It would be nice to spend indiscriminately, especially on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. But not everyone has the necessary financial situation to go on a spending spree. The good news is: you can have a great Valentine’s Day without spending a lot of money! Retailers want you to spend your money, but there’s no reason to buy into their hype. Love can’t be bought.
Try these inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas:
1. Eat dinner at home, but go out for drinks and dessert. Forget the reservations and the high cost of a meal on the town. Cook a delicious, romantic meal at home. Head over to a nice coffee shop for dessert.
2. Find a flower option besides roses. Roses cost a small fortune on Valentine’s Day. Find another flower your significant other loves. Many women don’t like roses, ask about her favourite flower.
3. Go through the DVDs or look for a few romantic movies on Netflix or Stan and stay on the couch. It’s easy to find a list of romantic movies. You don’t even have to get dressed up. The popcorn is less expensive at home, too. You can even talk during the movie without getting the evil eye.
4. Go to a hotel in lieu of a trip. Save on traveling expenses and visit a local hotel for the night. Consider finding one with a tub for two.
5. Have an indoor picnic. Clear out a space on the lounge room floor and have your picnic inside. Anything is possible.
6. Look for free or inexpensive entertainment. You can find quality entertainment on the cheap. Museums, local theatre companies, art galleries and food and wine tastings can all be both entertaining and inexpensive.
7. Use a coupon. A coupon might not go over well on a first or second date but if you’ve been together for a while, that awkwardness no longer exists. Both parties realise the saved money could be spent on something else to enjoy together.
8. Deliver your own flowers. The florist is more expensive than the supermarket or the green grocer. Deliver them yourself and enjoy the smile you receive - it's much more romantic than having a stranger dump a bouquet and leave.
9. Choose a different date. Valentine’s Day might officially fall on February 14th, but why not consider celebrating the following day. Restaurants, flowers,and cards are all significantly less expensive. You can avoid the crowds, too.
10. Write a love letter. Everyone has a sheet of paper and a pen. Take a few minutes and put your romantic thoughts down on paper. It’s free, and you’ll score big points.
11. Give each other a massage. Pick the music and the massage oils. Light a few candles and turn on some music. Let your fingers do the talking.
12. Make your own card. There’s no law that states you have to support Hallmark by purchasing a card that costs $8.99. They usually end up in the recycling anyway. Make a card this year, it will be remembered forever.
13. Go out for breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and the least expensive. Why not go out for breakfast instead of dinner this year? Lunch is another option.
14. Make a gift. Make a scrapbook. Create a CD of his or her favourite songs. It’s the thought that counts.
15. Set a budget and brainstorm. Sit down together and determine how much you’re willing to spend. See how many ideas you can list that stay within the budget constraint.
A fun and memorable Valentine’s Day can be enjoyed on a budget. Make a list of inexpensive ideas that will thrill your significant other. Avoid letting financial challenges ruin your holiday.
Love doesn’t require money.
When kids are first introduced to Valentine’s Day it is by their parents. They are told that it is a day to show those we love how we feel about them.
These days Valentine’s Day is a day for treats as well as expressions of love. So skip the commercial hype and show your love and affection by spending time with the kids (or grandkids) and make some special sweet treats with them. Here are two ideas for making biscuits and cupcakes that ooze with love and fresh baked goodness.
Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn regular biscuits into creations of love. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.
Cupcakes are much the same way. Make little heart shaped cupcakes by putting a marble or large bead between the filled patty pan and the cake tin. The marble pushes the cake mixture in, making a little indentation that forms the heart shape. Decorate with white icing and red jelly crystals or pink icing and sprinkles.
Biscuits and cupcakes can get a nice makeover for Valentine’s Day to help reflect the good feelings of the holiday as well as create great family togetherness.
Basic Butter Biscuits
250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar mixture
2-1/2 cups plain flour
Beat butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in the flour, in two batches. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 25cm log. Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll dough out to 1cm thick. Cut into shapes with floured cookie cutters. Place biscuits on greased oven trays 2cm apart. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutess or until browned lightly. Turn cookies onto wire rack to cool.
The Worlds Easiest Cup cakes
1 cup cream and
1 cup of sugar
1-1/2 cups SR flour
Combine cream and sugar. Beat into flour. Light beat eggs and stir into mixture. Spoon into patty pans and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
This Valentines Day say I Love You with some extra special homemade biscuits, decorated especially for Valentines Day.
Use our Bargain Bikkies recipe, you'll get around 100 decent sized biscuits from this recipe for approximately $4.00.
7 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Mix vanilla essence with eggs and add to butter/sugar, mixing well. Add the flour. The mixture becomes quite stiff at this stage but make sure all the flour is thoroughly mixed in.
Now comes the fun part – creating different varieties of bikkies.
Divide the dough into portions – 4 is a manageable number – and flavour each portion.
Cornflake: Take spoonfuls (tea- or dessert- depending on how big you want them) of dough, roll into balls and then roll in crushed cornflakes. I have also used the Weetbix crumbs from the bottom of the box too.
Choc Chip: Mix ½ cup choc chips through the dough. Then either roll into balls and freeze or bake, or into a log.
Thumb Prints: Roll into balls, flatten out and then poke a dent in the middle of each bikkie with your thumb. Add a dollop of red jam.
Sultana: Mix through a handful of sultanas
Sugar Cookies: Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little milk or beaten egg white and sprinkle generously with coloured sugar. To make the coloured sugar just put some sugar in a plastic bag and add food colouring, a drop at a time, massaging well into the sugar until the desired colour is reached.
Apricot & Almond: Chop a few dried apricots and add with ¼ cup chopped almonds.
Cherryripe: Add a packet of glace cherries, 1/4 cup choc bits and 2 tbsp coconut.
Coconut & Cranberry: Add 1/2 cup dessicated coconut and 1/2 cup Craisins to the mix. Roll into logs or shape into balls and flatten.
Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Watch with the choc chip variety that they don’t burn on the bottom – the chocolate melts and may catch on the tray.
Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn these biscuits into creations of love. Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut the biscuits. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.
This mixture freezes really well. You can simply flash freeze the individual bikkies and then bag them, ready to bake. Or you can roll the mixture into logs and freeze. Then simply thaw a log, slice and bake.