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.
2. 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.