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Save money this Valentine’s Day

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Valentine’s Day can be a joyous time for couples, but it can also be expensive. A bouquet of roses and some new jewelry capped off with a night out on the town adds up, and many men and women find themselves looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.

While a night in is always a great way to save some money, couples can still spend a night away from home without straining the wallet. The following are a few ways cost-conscious couples can save some money this Valentine’s Day.

* Avoid prix fixe. Many restaurants offer prix fixe menus on Valentine’s Day. These menus reduce the amount of options at a couples’ disposal, and couples might be forced to pay for several courses when they would prefer just an entree. If cost is a concern, pick a restaurant that offers a full menu instead of prix fixe. This allows you to avoid potentially costly appetizers and desserts while still affording you the opportunity to share a night out together.

* Avoid going out on Valentine’s Day. Another way to save money is to go out a day or so before or after Valentine’s Day instead of on the holiday itself. Many restaurants are fully booked for dinner on Valentine’s Day, so you might be forced to choose a restaurant that stretches your budget. It should be easy to book a reservation a night before or after the holiday, and doing so allows you to choose a restaurant that’s more aligned with your budget.

* Shop ahead of time. It’s customary to exchange gifts with your significant other on Valentine’s Day, but it might be difficult to find a good deal on a gift if you wait until the last minute. Rather than procrastinating, shop for a gift well in advance of the holiday. Because of the proximity of Valentine’s Day to the holiday season, you might be able to find a gift when shopping for the holidays. The holiday shopping season is known for its great deals, so look for something you can save until mid-February. If you go this route, just make sure the gift you buy will still be eligible to be returned or exchanged if need be. Even if you wait until after the holiday season to find a gift for your valentine, the earlier you startshopping the more time you have to comparison shop and hunt for a deal.

* Consider a picnic. A day or night away from home doesn’t have to be spent at an expensive restaurant or on a romantic getaway. If the weather allows, consider a picnic in the park. Cook up your valentine’s favorite meal and bring along a bottle of wine and then enjoy some time together under the warm sun at a fraction of the cost of a more traditional Valentine’s Day date.

* Forgo roses for a rose bush. Roses are a staple of Valentine’s Day, but they can also bust a budget. Instead of an expensive bouquet, tell your loved one you will plant him or her a rose bush instead once the weather warms up. This frees up some money in the short term, and once the rose bush blooms this will prove one Valentine’s gift that keeps on giving.

Valentine’s Day is a beloved tradition for many couples, but it doesn’t have to stretch your budget.