Monday, February 13, 2012

It's The Day Before Valentine's Day!!!!

Did Valentine’s Day sneak up on you too?  I spent most of last week making a Little Red Riding Hood costume for my oldest granddaughter and realized yesterday after it was done that Valentine’s Day is here!  Are you celebrating with the obligatory dinner out, candy, flowers and a gift?  The tab for all of this can easily be several hundred dollars.  Even if we weren’t in such terrible economic times, I’d still question the validity of spending that kind of money for one day.  

Think about it.  What makes the dinner out more special than any other dinner out?  The extra long wait times for a table and the over worked server?  It’s the same thing with the candy.  Does the heart shaped box make it taste better?  Floral wholesalers raise their prices which forces florists to raise their prices for Valentine’s Day.  As far as the gift goes, I’ll give you that one.  Only if it’s a well thought out, useful gift that will be used and/or cherish and fits within your budget.

So if we aren’t going to do the usual Valentine’s Day routine, what do we do?  Do we just pretend that Valentine’s Day doesn’t exist?  Of course not!  What we do is think about how we can make it a meaningful day without breaking the bank.  Let’s start with dinner.  If you absolutely have to go out for dinner, go the day before or the day after Valentine’s Day.  The wait time will be shorter and your server will be happier.

Dinner out will cost $60 and up.  The wait for a table will be long; your overworked server will be rushing you out so someone else can have your table.  Cooking at home will cut that bill in half or more.  Splurge on  your favorite food that doesn't fit in the budget normally.  Buy a pre-assembled dinner that all you have to do is put it in the oven.  (I did a Google search for pre-assembled meals and got several pages of results.  If you’re not familiar with the concept, the store employees do all the prep work.  All you do is assemble the meals.) We buy pre-assembled main dishes at Costco.

Candy, flowers, and gifts are all one topic for me.  These should fit in your budget.  No putting off the utility bill to buy a gift! I know that not  everyone shares my love of handmade items.  To me, handmade symbolizes a gift from the heart.  The giver took the time to handcraft something special just for you.  Not only are they giving you a gift, they are giving you their talents, their time and their love.

100 Reasons I love you - Fun Cheap or Free
The web is full of wonderful handmade ideas for every occasion.  One of my favorite places for ideas is Pinterest.  That’s where I found these ideas for gifts you can make today!  This first one, 100 Reasons Why I Love You, is from Fun Cheap or Free.  Center a photo in a Word document, make 4 separate text boxes and fill them with words.  Print on nice card stock; frame it and your done! (Don’t tell Bill but I think this is what he’s getting.)  Write down 52 Reasons why I love you, glue each one to a playing card.  Punch holes in each card and hold together with paper rings. This could be a game for children or adults.  Hide the cards throughout the house and have a card hunt!

Tater Tots and Jello

Here’s a fun idea that costs almost nothing.  Tater Tots and Jello has free printable Love Coupons.  Use the ideas provided or come up with some of your own.  Either make a coupon booklet or tuck one in his lunch, coat pocket, under his pillow.  Here’s another take on the idea at Mommy by Day… Crafter by Night.   Everything Etsy has links to 101 handmade Valentine’s Day ideas. 

I hope that this will help with your Valentine’s Day celebration.  Remember that what counts is that however you celebrate, it is from your heart. 

PS: Don’t forget to pick up things for next year later this week when it’s on clearance. It will make next year even more fun and frugal!