9 ways to do Valentine’s day inexpensively. The hanging out in the back of a bookstore, reading books and talking quietly idea sounds nice. [The Simple Dollar]


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  1. serreca says:

    Or you could just ignore a made-up holiday. That’s what we’re doing.

  2. samurailynn says:

    I don’t like going out when places are going to be crowded. We treat our anniversary more like Valentine’s Day. At least as far as going out to celebrate. This year for a V-Day present, we decided on adopting a cat from the Humane Society.

  3. shortergirl06 says:

    I made my boyfriend sugar cookies for Valentines day. Since we’re not going to be together, I made him one special large cookies to eat on that day, and he gave me a box of stuff to open on Thursday.

    $12 for ingredients, and a couple hours of my time.

  4. We turn off our blackberries and cook dinner together. With the price of raw/fresh ingredients so high, it certainly is a treat.

  5. Anitra says:

    We’re using a restaurant gift card that we got for Christmas… we’ll either go on Friday or Monday (President’s Day).

    It gives us a “special occasion” to go to our favorite restaurant, and it’s already paid for!

  6. just_paranoid says:

    @HRHKingFriday: ain’t that the truth! it seems cheaper for folks without kids to eat fast food vs. cook at home.

  7. snoop-blog says:

    i always take advantage of the after x-mas sales for v-day. i bought her some jewelry on x-mas because i got a $25 off my next purchase of $100 or more when i did, went back for a %50 off after x-mas sale, bought a $100 necklace for $25 bucks!

  8. UpsetPanda says:

    For Valentine’s I’m going to make my fiance a big box of candy, cookies and all sorts of goodies.

  9. B says:

    Or you could just be single. Then every day is sad and depressing and cheap.

  10. snoop-blog says:

    @shortergirl06: home made sugar cookies? mmmmm. icing on top? if so, if you and him don’t work out,……

    on a serious note, i love food gifts (home made). that’s like the best thing ever! way better than chocolates and flowers!


  11. snowmentality says:

    I posted over there with my favorite story — a male friend of mine called one day in a panic, because he’d neglected to make Valentine’s day reservations until the 13th, and every restaurant was booked. He’d wanted to take his gf to a romantic fondue restaurant. So I made what I thought was the obvious suggestion — buy a fondue pot, cheese, bread, and wine, and have romantic fondue at home. He thought I was a freakin’ genius, and apparently it was a great success.

    With my own boyfriend we just don’t do Valentine’s Day on principle. Sometimes he’ll grab some good chocolate (Green & Black’s) afterwards, when it’s 50-75% off. I told him I’d be so much more upset if he wasted good money when he could get the same chocolate super-cheap the next day!

  12. snowmentality says:

    Snoop-blog — let me tell you, it’s the best way to a woman’s heart too, so you men need to learn to cook too!

  13. Mr. Gunn says:

    snoop-blog: Amen brother snizzle.

  14. SonicPhoenix says:

    Since my wife and I enjoy the idea of celebrating our lives together but detest the artificially created holiday, we’ve decided to henceforth celebrate Valentine’s Day on the day after Valentines Day. This way we get to be together, she still gets flowers and chocolate but it costs about 25% as much and the restaurants and other popular locales aren’t crowded. Additionally, we get to stick it to the retailers by buying the chocolate and flowers at 75% off.

  15. KogeLiz says:

    I liked this comment from the link provided:

    “Time Enough For Love is an odd choice for a Heinlein book… I guess you chose it based on the name and author, but have you read it? It’s about a guy that travels back in time and bangs his mom.”

  16. KogeLiz says:

    @snoop-blog: eff that. It’s the best way to a WOMAN’S heart. Trust me, my cooking is the best way to getting myself injured.

  17. savvy999 says:

    We stopped going out on Valentine’s day decades ago…

    Our tradition is now to get a bag of fresh mussels (steam them in a simple tomato/garlic/capers/shallots sauce), a warm baguette, a nice bottle of white, and two slices of take-out tiramasu from the local Italian place. Total = $10 + $2 + $18 + $14 = $46

    This recipe can’t go wrong. Everyone is guaranteed to end the night with a smile on his or her face :)

  18. snoop-blog says:

    man i just realized my wife know’s i’m on here a lot……. hope she doesn’t see my comment about what she got or how much it costed.

  19. samurailynn says:

    @just_paranoid: It’s not really so expensive to cook at home. I can get ingredients for most dinners for 3 for $5-10. Fast food for the three of is always at least $15 and sometimes more like $20. Dinners at home also usually have yummy leftovers which I can take to work for lunches. Fast food leftovers are rarely any good. So, I’m saving at least $5 per dinner, plus a lot of times I don’t have to pay for the next day’s lunch.

  20. Brie says:

    @SonicPhoenix: Speaking of the day after, The Exit daughters have the 15th off, so we’re going to MisterTheExit’s office to meet his new (female) boss who’s really nice. When she found out we were coming, she said we could have a belated Valentine’s Day thing so my plan is to pick up a 50-percent-off chocolate cake on the way. Then later MisterTheExit and I will go out for pizza and wine or something.

    I’m with Team Why Go Out Just Because Everyone Expects You To.

  21. @just_paranoid: @samurailynn:

    Consider what you would be cooking. I don’t dispute that cooking at home *can* be cheap, if you’re into beans, pasta, and cheap red meat. If you want to make a truly delicious meal (like that at a restaurant), it’ll be more expensive. Add up a nice cut of chicken, spice that you might not normally have, assorted vegis for a salad, ingredients for dessert, and you can easily spend more than 20 dollars.

    But hey, if you’re all about going to costco and getting 3 pounds of kidney beans, more power to you.

  22. bmwloco says:

    It’s a manufactured holiday. As such, we treat it that way.

    A bottle of Night Train or Ripple and a Hershey Bar is about all it warrants.

  23. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @serreca: Does made-up = not religious?

    The first thing I think every time someone says that is, “Aren’t all holidays made up?”

  24. JMH says:

    @B: Wow, and I thought *I* was unhappily single.

  25. samurailynn says:

    @HRHKingFriday: Most of the places that I’ve been to that I think use fresh and more expensive ingredients probably cost upwards of $20 a plate. I agree that if I were to buy these same ingredients for three people, I might spend over $20 for the meal. I do that sometimes, but not every night.

    Fast food, on the other hand, is often about $5-8 per person including a soda. I can make meals with chicken breast, lean red meat, or just vegetarian for about the same price, and the meal that I make at home will be healthier than a greasy burger and fries.

    Since the original poster said it was cheaper to eat fast food, I assumed that they were not talking about gourmet meals. I assumed that they were not even talking Applebee’s, but rather something more akin to Burger King.

    Of course cooking kidney beans is going to be cheaper than steak, but if there were a dining establishment specializing in kidney beans, it would probably still be cheaper to cook them at home than to go to that restaurant.

  26. @samurailynn: Yes, and I assumed you were talking about cooking on Valentines day. In my original post I was weighing the options of cooking a valentines meal at home or going out to a restaurant, as the ingredients to do it myself may very well be as much as a dinner out. I think SAVVY999 calculated the costs as being around 50 bucks, which isn’t bad considering they got wine as well.

    If you went to Maggiano’s you could get two 13 dollar entrees (which come with salad), a 9 dollar appetizer, and a 15 dollar bottle of wine. That’s right around 50 bucks, before tax and tip.

  27. serreca says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: No, it means it seems to exist for no reason. Like MLK, Jr. Day isn’t religious but it celebrates the life of someone for a good reason. Valentine’s Day may be based on St. Valentine but it’s pretty pointless.

  28. theblackdog says:

    Since it’s my first V-day with the new BF, we’ve planned to build teddy bears for one another, and enjoy dinner out, on Wednesday the 13th.

    On V-day itself, I’m surprising him with making homemade pizza.

  29. Matt says:

    I like the bookstore idea – Union Square B&N…combined with Trader Joes sandwiches and farmer’s market cookies = Perfect Saturday

  30. textilesdiva says:

    Broke up with my bf, and went to a strip club with two friends, who paid admission, drinks, and dances.

    It wasn’t bad, and it was cheap for me!