Being on a budget doesn't mean you have to skip the romance this Valentine's Day.
If you're on a budget this year, you don't have to give up the Valentine's Day traditions you love. Here's how to save on your celebration:
If your love language involves giving flowers, there's no need to eliminate this show of affection. Hand-delivering flowers to your spouse can easily save $10 to $20. Another fun option is to go to The Flower Expert to find out the meaning of different flowers. Yes, we all know red roses mean romantic love. But red carnations—a far less expensive option—convey love, pride, beauty, and admiration. Daisies, another inexpensive option, represent loyal love, while a sunflower symbolizes pure thoughts. So why not select a cheaper flower and write a note explaining its meaning and why you chose it for your Valentine?
Find deals on dinner
Before you make a reservation at that fancy restaurant you've been wanting to try, check out Groupon and Restaurant.com for offers. You can also go to Retail Me Not and snag coupon codes to use on Restaurant.com.
Cook a candlelight dinner
Babysitters are hard to come by on Valentine's Day, but you don't have to sacrifice the celebration if you're stuck at home. After you put your little ones to bed, cook a candlelight dinner together. Plan this night in advance for the best deals on groceries: Try an introductory offer to a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. If you head to the grocery store, use the app Ibotta to get rebates and cash back on items you've purchased.
Enjoy a glass of wine together
You don't have to head to your local wine bar to sip on a nice glass of Pino. Subscribe to Winc, a wine subscription service that delivers four bottles at a time. You can pick your own, or let their team select bottles that match your taste.
Watch a movie for free
If you're spending a night in with your partner or friends, browse a collection of free movies to watch on popcornflix.com. You can also find local free movie screeners in your area by signing up at GoFobo. Search for your zipcode and see if there are any new movie screenings or events near you.
Celebrate on another night
Don’t feel compelled to celebrate on February 14. That night, do something special at home, and then choose to go out on another night when restaurants (and sitters) aren't charging top dollar. Then you can use The Happy Hour Finder and search for local discounts at bars and restaurants in your area. Some bars offer free apps and discount drinks. That sounds like a dreamy offer, if we've ever heard one!
Ellie Kay is a family financial expert, the author of Heroes at Home and a mom of seven. Read more of her advice at elliekay.com.