by Michelle Peterson
Even though Valentine’s Day is typically centered around couples, you can turn this day around and reclaim it for yourself. This year, make V-Day all about spreading love in other ways. Whether you focus on yourself, your friends, or helping your community, there are plenty of ways to save money while indulging in a day full of love.
Pick Your Own V-Day Gift
Getting gifts is amazing, but how often do we give ourselves gifts? If you’re on a budget and don’t usually treat yourself, there is no better excuse to finally do it than Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is great, but think outside the box to find something that will really make you feel special. Have you been wanting to upgrade your phone or buy a new tablet? Or, would you just love to indulge in some nice spa products? You can gift yourself and stay on budget by saving money at your favorite stores, like with Target coupons. Plus, indulging in a little online retail therapy is even more fun as you anxiously await your gift.
Another fun and affordable way to gift yourself comes from the blog Jess in a Dress. She suggests getting friends together for a clothing or jewelry swap. Break out a bottle of wine and some inexpensive snacks, and everyone can have a blast discovering new treasures. This is a way to treat yourself and your best gal pals at the same time.
Enjoy Some Girl Time
Speaking of celebrating the love of friends, why not do something special with your best friend or host a Galentine’s Party? If you think the red and pink hearts of Valentine’s Day are cheesy, embrace that spirit and grab some V-Day themed decorations from a dollar store. Keep planning simple and save money by emailing invitations instead of printing them. Another way to keep costs down is to make a yummy meal at home rather than going out. The whole point is to get together and have a good time, not to spend a fortune.
It’s also perfectly fine to make Valentine’s Day all about you. Besides gifting yourself something nice, spend a little time doing something that makes you happy. Take yourself out somewhere fun and focus on enjoying that me-time. Going out doesn’t have to be expensive! If you’re outdoorsy, go for a hike. If you love art, look into whether a local museum has a free or reduced admission day. When you go out on a day other than Valentine’s, you may avoid higher prices.
Another affordable option is to have your self-date-night at home. Take time for self-care by popping some popcorn and vegging on the couch with a good movie, or binge watch seasons of your favorite show on Netflix. If you like to cook, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to prepare a gourmet meal for yourself. Even when you make something special, cooking your own fancy meal is way more affordable than going out to a restaurant. Save money on ingredients by using grocery store coupons or rebate apps.
As an alternative to traditional Valentine’s Day, make spreading love extend beyond yourself and your inner circle. According to Thought Catalog, February 11-17th is Random Act of Kindness Week, so your community may even have events organized that you can join in. If there’s a cause that speaks to you, call up a local agency and ask what you can do to help.
Random acts of kindness can also be doing simple things for the people you care about or even strangers. The Yogi Movement suggests some amazing kindness ideas — give lots of compliments, pay for a stranger’s coffee, or write a “thank you” note. Doing something kind fits every budget because it can be inexpensive or even free.
Holidays can be rough when you’re single, but Valentine’s Day takes the cake when it comes to something that’s all about couples. Remember that love is about so much more than romance, though. Your friends, your neighbors, and, most of all, you deserve a little love and attention. What’s more, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time.