MRS. LEMONTREE'S GUIDE ON HOW TO BEHAVE HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE: Valentine's Day for the Financially Challenged!

Stressful financial situations shouldn’t put a damper on showing your love how you really feel on Valentine’s Day but what is a sweetheart to do when the heart is full but the wallet is empty? A little creativity and a genuine desire to impress your loved one can go a long way without having to spend a ton of cash!

Everyone loves a good meal and a night out but how about a great meal and a night in? Get in that kitchen with your favourite recipe in hand and whip up a delightful and inexpensive dinner for your Valentine. Not only will you show them how crafty you are in the kitchen (always a bonus!) but the time and effort you will spend can’t compare in the eyes of your sweetheart to any meal served in a fancy restaurant.

Roses are usually the standard for Valentine’s Day bouquets but prices are elevated beyond the norm in the days running up to the holiday. Get creative with a quick trip into any neighbourhood grocery store and you will find that most grocers carry a variety of bouquets, small and large, that usually come in well under the price that you might pay at any flower shop. A dozen roses still a little steep for you? Pick flowers in your Valentine’s favourite colour and don’t forget to take a sniff!  Some of the loveliest looking flowers smell less than delightful so when choosing flowers you are not familiar with, let your senses lead you to the winning bouquet before you set your money down. Dress up the bouquet with pretty wrapping paper and a bow. Not handy with the paper and ribbons? Recruit a friend or family member that’s handy in the bow making department (everyone knows a Martha Stewart wannabe!)  and get them to help you out with the fancy touches.

Can you tell the difference between a two dollar card and a ten dollar card? Probably not since there usually is no difference but there is a way to set your card apart from the others and it won’t cost you an extra dime! Pick up a card from your local dollar store or Walmart, where you will find an abundance of variety and personalize it with words and sentiments from the heart. No ten dollar card can compare to one filled with words that describe exactly how you feel. Since most of us aren’t born poets, keep it sweet, simple and above all, straight from the heart.

Can’t boil water to save your life and not a penny to your name? Like Mick Jagger once sang, “Time is on your side!” - spend your time being fully present when you are with your Valentine. Your undivided attention should be something you shower on your beloved all through the year but on Cupid’s special day up the ante by making the extra effort in ways that might usually slip your mind.

Skip the gym for one night and take a rain check on meeting with your office colleagues after work. Call or text your Valentine as soon as the work day is done, letting them know the evening is all about them and that you are eager to begin your romantic night!
 Switch off the television and turn up the tunes! Not an easy task tonight for us Torontonians since the Maple Leafs will be playing but come on, who has a better chance at turning up a winner at the end of the night? (Sorry Leafs!)
Turn off that cell phone or at the least put it on mute and out of sight. Avoid glancing at it every five minutes for that ‘all important’ email or text coming in (for most of us, it’s not!). Unless you are an obstetrician on call or Barack Obama’s emergency stand-in, you can make it through one night concentrating on the real person in front of you.

I promise you that the romantic pay-off for a little creative frugality will be more than you could ever stuff in your wallet!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  1. Bravo! I love this post.
    Hope that you have a great Valentine's Day!

  2. Love this post! Tonight hubby and I are dropping the kids off with granny, making dinner at home and renting a movie from redbox! There's nothing more romantic than a quiet night in, no crazy crowded restaurants, 45 minute wait times and over $50 bill! :)

  3. I made my husband a heart made from post-its with each post-it listing a reason I love him- meaningful, simple & cheap :-) Happy Valentine's Day!

    always, koru kate

  4. Love this post. My Hubs and I have always fought against the commercialism that is Valentines Day. However, we do try and do a little something as a reminder of the day.Today Hubs left me little treats hidden around the house so that I found them in the morning; small little things but each one made me smile or brought a tear to my eye. The perfect Valentines ;-)
    TYSM for your lovely comments over at mine Lily xx

  5. I loved this post, you are so cool Mrs, L!
    With love,

  6. I think this is fabulous advice even if you do have pennies to spare–attention and thoughtfulness can't be replaced by a high spending limit!