Try as I might, I was never able to convince my wife to call February 14 Commercial Exploitation of Romance Day. As valid as my arguments were about inflated price gouging – and the fact that I was a fairly romantic guy year-round – like my girlfriends before her, she expects a token of affection on Valentines Day. And, as RateSupermarket.ca’s Cost of Love study illustrates, these romantic gestures can be pricey over time!
Here are some options for getting through the day without going broke, or ending up in the doghouse.
A Home Cooked Meal
If you leave it too late, it can be near impossible to get a reservation at your sweetie’s favourite restaurant. And even if you do get a table, the place is liable to be packed with other romancing – or guilt induced – couples. Nothing can ruin the romance like having to eat surrounded by other couples’ public displays of affection.
Why not enjoy a home cooked meal in the privacy of your own place? One option is the themed menu. Think pink, with a smoked salmon appetizer, pasta with rose sauce, and some pink frosted cupcakes, all washed down with pink champagne.
If that’s too kitschy for your tastes, even the most high-end meal (say, steak and lobster tails) cooked at home will cost you a fraction of what it would at a restaurant, plus you’ll get the brownie points for the personal touch.
Have a Date Night – at Home
Sure, you could go out to a movie, show, or other event, but remember all those PDAs you’d rather avoid at the restaurant…? Granted, simply watching the latest rom-com from the comfort of your sofa isn’t likely to cut. So spruce up the place a bit: 10 or 20 bucks spent at the nearest dollar store will net you a bag full of decorations, add in some candles for mood lighting and a selection of your loved one’s favourite treats from the snack bar and you’ve got yourself a romantic home theatre.
Coupon Clipping For Your Crush
Some of the best gifts cost nothing at all. Offer to pamper your loved one with a coupon a back rub or foot massage, a night off from doing the dishes…whatever would most make his or her day. You can pick up coupon books full of ideas at novelty shops, print off free ones from sites like GiveCoupons.com and LovingHugs.com, or make your own.
Speaking of make your own, why not craft a gift with your own hands? You know all those photos you have of your birthdays, vacations, and other milestones that you have just sitting on your hard drive? Print off the best ones and organize them into a photo album or load them onto a digital picture frame. Are you still hooked on the knitting craze? No one would turn down a warm hat or scarf at this time of year. Or maybe you leave a trail of romantic clues sending your Valentine on scavenger hunt. The choice of which room you end up in is yours…