Valentine's Day Dates on a Budget

Valentine's Day.  It's the nemesis of many singles, a much-anticipated fabulous date for the young and in love, and an opportunity to eat candy in school for kids.   For some couples with kids (see me raising my hand over here?), it unfortunately means another budget-busting expense to try to celebrate with my husband the way I'd like to.

I'm a firm believer that it isn't what you do, but who you're with.  That absolutely applies to Valentine's Day, too.  So here are some fun and frugal ideas for a romantic Valentine's Day that won't make you tighten your grocery budget.

1.  Go out for a romantic dessert.  Can't afford a fancy dinner out at your favorite restaurant?  Try going out for dessert only.  You can still dress up (if you want to), spend some child-free time together, and enjoy the luxury of a dessert that someone else made.  And the total cost of two desserts (or just one, if you choose to share) is a lot less than dinner, drinks and dessert.  Plus, there's something fun and decadent about ordering dessert first.

2.  Enjoy a movie, at home.  Rent a movie from Redbox, Netflix, or pick a favorite out of your collection.  Pop popcorn, have some wine, and cuddle up on the couch.  Sometimes the movie that you can both quote ad nauseum is also the one you'll have the most fun watching together.

3.  Have a poker tournament.  Start a friendly two person poker game.  Be creative with your betting and enjoy the silliness.

4.  Have a picnic.  Since we live in Montana, I'm thinking an indoor picnic.  Pack a basket, lay a blanket out, and bring all the romance of a summer picnic to your living room floor.  It doesn't matter what you serve, pb & j's shaped like hearts sound like fun to me.

Also, remember that Valentine's Day isn't about the date.  If one of you works, or you can't get a babysitter on the 14th, don't worry about it.  You can celebrate any day.  Or preferably, remember to celebrate your love a little bit, everyday.