Sweet and Savvy: Budgeting Valentine’s Day

valentines day imageIf you’re a college student, chances are that reservations at glitzy five-star restaurants, elegant truffles in glittering gift boxes and glistening diamonds aren’t quite in your budget. Regardless, Valentine’s Day too often becomes an expensive holiday that is defined by a sacred code in which the more you spend, the more you love your special someone. Remember, though, that February 14th is about celebrating love and treasuring the times you share with your beloved. Showing someone you care doesn’t have to blow your budget, and these ideas will help you focus on the real meaning of the holiday without needing to buy love.

Homemade Hamper

Baskets that are brimming with favorite goodies make wonderful gifts, but picking out a beautiful one in a store can leave you with little more than sentimental charm. Center your intentions on the meaning and not the expense of this holiday by customizing a gourmet gift basket. A wicker or wire basket that is decorated with ribbon or other frills can be both sweet and practically serve as a useful organizational container. Customize the interior based upon your Valentine’s interests. For example, bath products, body lotions and scented candles form an elegant theme with a romantic touch. Is he or she passionate about movies and music? Choose a DVD or CD from a favorite genre. Is reading a favorite hobby? Slip in a poetry book. Add a special touch by scattering wrapped chocolates throughout your basket and folding colorful tissue paper among your gifts.

Dinner Dilemma?

Worried about blowing big bucks on a ritual Valentine’s feast? You don’t have to go to an impressive restaurant to have a meaningful February 14th.

Instead, create a special dinner together. You can have a full course meal complete with “red” treats like pasta and tomato sauce and hit the sweet highlights by baking and decorating cookies or a cake. You can even share a bowl of succulent strawberries as you cuddle together on a comfy couch while watching your favorite flick. Enjoying a meal and a film is also great if you’re single and just kicking back with your friends. It’s all in the name of food and love, so you can’t go wrong!

Traditional is Timeless

If exams have you crunched for time and memorizing biology facts leaves your mind with little room for the creative and crafty, you can always resort to the simple traditions of Valentine’s gift-giving. Flowers and candy don’t have to be expensive though. A small yet elegantly presented box of chocolates wrapped in tissue paper can be made into a special treasure with a personal letter, and your Valentine will always appreciate a simple bouquet of roses that is picked up from your local supermarket instead of from a florist that specializes in extravagant, expensive floral designs.

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