Making Valentine's Day Special

Written by Cassie Trammell

This Valentines Day, why not try to save a little money? Rather than going to a restaurant and being forced to choose one of two options on their special holiday menu, make something at home!

Honestly, I don't see the point in spending between 50 to a 100 dollars out at dinner just because of the date on the calendar. If it's once every few years then OK, but it seems a little overboard (for me personally) to ask my fiancé to spend that much on me again.

Last year we went to a nice restaurant and did a fondue dinner, which was really fun even though we shared the table with another random couple. Literally, all that separated us was a huge plant in the middle of the tiny table. When I had to use the restroom, I had to ask the other girl if she could let me out of the booth … awkward! It was still an awesome time, don't get me wrong; I just think we could benefit from doing something more low-key this year.

My fiancé just flipped to full-time at his new job, and I'm still in school, so we don't have the money to spend and go crazy! Plus, we are trying to save so that when we're on our honeymoon, we won't be constantly worrying about where the money is coming from. So this year we're going to do a casual night at home. I have a few ideas as to what we can cook together, but nothing set in stone. I just really don't want to empty our pockets over one date night when we can spend quality time together anywhere!

With that in mind, here are a few ideas for gifts or gestures for your sweetheart this Valentines Day:

  1. Make them help you with dinner. Nothing is better than having a night off and cooking with my fiancé. I always find something for him to do in the kitchen or outside on the grill. It makes the dining experience more fun, knowing that you made it together.
  1. Eat your dinner on the floor on a blanket by the fire, or outside by the fire pit!
  1. Rent a silly movie, or watch each other's all-time favorite movies.
  1. Make homemade chocolate-covered strawberries. It's really easy, and if you buy them somewhere it costs a fortune, so it's a win-win situation! All you have to do is melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds, then dip the strawberries. After that, you just place the strawberries on wax paper and in the fridge for the chocolate to harden. You can learn online how to make them fancy with designs and toppings. Super easy and so yummy!
  1. Plan a game night with other couples.
  1. Give your significant other the easiest gift ever: A coupon book of things you can do. For example it can be anything from cleaning the house to doing the dishes, or something like taking their truck to be washed. I know that having my fiancé's truck washed for him would make him happier than any cheesy valentines-themed gift.
  1. Paint something together. A few years ago, I had a friend who bought a canvas and paint, and she and her boyfriend literally just splattered paint on the canvas. It turned out so cute. It made a really cute decoration, and it had sentimental value for the couple.
  1. Hide notes everywhere, reminding them of the reasons why you love them. It will be fun for them to keep searching, and every note will make them smile! You could also do a mini-scavenger hunt if you got them a gift or several little gifts.
  1. Make fake Whoopie pies with chocolate chip cookies and cream cheese icing. I made these for a birthday and they were a hit. I just baked store-bought cookie dough, and put the icing between two cookies.
  1. Get an activity book for couples and fill it out together. A lot of bookstores sell them and they ask questions like where did you meet, how many kids do you want, and what is your favorite part about dating them and vice-versa. They ask a lot of questions that teach you things about one another that you didn't already know.
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