As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

6 Tips for a Frugal Valentine’s Day (Reprint Plus)

This article was written by in Consumer. 19 comments.

This article was published here on Valentine’s Day 2007. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to reprint it with perhaps a few updates every successive Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life. Enjoy.

Do you want to be romantic and save money? In a world where romanticism is portrayed by the media as the giving of expensive gifts like diamonds, a Lexus, and a tropical vacation, romanticism and frugality are seen as incompatible. Here are some ways to bring the two concepts together in a beautiful marriage of ideas (without the expensive caterers, wedding dress, and relatives).

1. Make your own cards. You don’t have to be a great artist, but some effort can go a long way. Fold a piece of paper in quarters, draw a simple design on the front with no more than two crayons, and write heartfelt words inside (in pen). You’ll be fine, and you’ll avoid the clichéd imagery.

Personally, I can never find cards that express what I feel — they’re either too cheesy or too stupid — so I opt for blank ones anyway.

Chocolate Heart2. Pass over the chocolate. Chocolate (represented by the pictured chocolate heart) is expensive this time of year, especially if you’re a fan of Godiva. Chocolate is such a pleasureful food because its chemicals react with the chemicals in the brain to create a slight euphoria.

Other options that create the same feeling include papaya and other juicy fruit, as well as marijuana. Drugs may not be the most frugal choice, however, depending on your source.

3. Don’t rent pornography. Doing so supports a dangerous industry (and terrorism, of course!). The best alternative is to select your videos for free at your local sex library.

Another option: film your own scene for your private home viewing. It’s more “personal” but less sexy to anyone other than you, so keep it to yourself.

4. Avoid lingerie. Why spend so much money on small pieces of fabric that will quickly be removed from the body anyway? Nudity is much sexier, and doesn’t fund terrorism.

5. Turn off electrical appliances. No television, no lights, nothing that draws power provided by an outside source. Light a candle if you need to see, but otherwise just get in bed and cuddle in the dark… without the aforementioned lingerie.

6. Skip the gourmet dinner. Homemade filet mignon sends a message to your sweetie: I’m willing to spend extra money for meat depending on its originating proximity to a bull’s ass. Skip the fine foods. When everything comes out, it smells the same whether it’s Omaha Steaks or McDonald’s.

Note: Don’t feel bad if you are without a partner on this Valentine’s Day. All of the above activities can be accomplished as well, if not better, on your own.

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day from Consumerism Commentary! ♥

Updated May 30, 2014 and originally published February 14, 2008.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

True, spending money isn’t necessary on V-day, but it can also be a reminder to actually spend some of that hard-earned money on someone you love every now and then. I did and it was one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Anonymous

There is a reason that people will save months to have dinner at Per Se or The French Laundry…because eating there is an almost transcendent experience.

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Luke Landes

Flaime: I have no doubt. Those restaurants, while transcendent, don’t really fit into a “frugal Valentine’s Day” plan. A more frugal approach might be to disguise yourself as a bus boy and pick the scraps from other people’s plates when you clear the tables. Same restaurant, same food… :-)

Reply to this comment

avatar 4 Anonymous

Pass over the chocolate? Are you kidding? I think chocolate on Valentine’s Day should be mandatory. Even if I get nothing else….chocolate makes me (and most other women I know) quite happy…much more so than papaya ever could. Give up the lingerie and expensive restaurants, but not my beloved chocolate!

Reply to this comment

avatar 5 Anonymous

I’m quite interested in your statements that pornography and lingerie (!) support terrorism. What in the world are you talking about?

Reply to this comment

avatar 6 Luke Landes

Last year, visitors had a much better sense of humor. It’s a joke, people. It’s *all* a joke. The terrorism thing should have been a dead giveaway. So much for my plans to re-run this every year. :-)

Reply to this comment

avatar 7 Anonymous

Huahahaha… I was wondering about the terrorism as well… ^_^

Thanks for the tips.

Reply to this comment

avatar 8 Anonymous

Yay, nudity doesn’t support terrorism! :)

P.S. You’re silly.

Reply to this comment

avatar 9 Anonymous

I guess I support terrorism…ha!

Reply to this comment

avatar 10 Anonymous

Last Valentine’s Day I went to the local hardware store and purchased a key with a red plastic identifier on it. I added a note saying “You have the Key to my heart”. Very inexpensive, very sentimental.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.