Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Play for Less Part V: V day!

Hello, friends!  Well, it seems I am still battling this silly bug, but feeling a bit better than yesterday, so....on goes life.  Seems our wacky weather up here is making everyone feel a bit sick....but I'll take 55 degrees in January/February any day of the week!  Onward.  Who cares about sick bugs, though?  I wanna talk about another kind of bug today!  How 'bout the LOVE bug?  Yup.  In case you haven't checked your hallmark calendar or bought your hallmark cards's just 13 days till Hallmark Valentine's day!  Have you planned something special yet?
Yep, me either.  Don't tell the hubster.  I'm workin' on it, though!  See, I have a love/hate relationship with V day.  I am very much in favor of sharing the love, but....February 14th...Hallmark day.  Flat out.  Moneymaker.  Husband guilt tripper.  Lonely women feel bad holiday.  Restaurant conspiracy.  Take your pick.  Not trying to be a Debbie Downer....I don't wear black, dis chocolate (the horror!) or Bah humbug the day (wait....)  Rather, I work around it!  I try to find a way to make the day special for the hubster and I (and he reciprocates!) without breaking the bank or getting ridiculous.  So, how do the hubster and I "love the one you're with" on the big day?  Here are some tips...
1.  Number one rule:  Never EVER go out to eat on Valentine's day.  Restaurants are crowded.  You can't use any coupons or deals.  And god forbid they have "prixe fix" menus that jack up their standard rates even more!  Service is slow.  Waiters are harried.  No thank you!  The hubster and I pick an "alternate" valentine's day to go out to dinner....this year, Saturday is our V day.  We can use a groupon, not wait for a table, and enjoy ourselves without breaking the bank.
2.  Cook Dinner for your S.O.:  We alternate at this.  The hubster has made me V Day dinner quite a few times in our 7 years together....he picks out something that looks good or is my favorite to order out, and re-creates it....even healthily!  (what a keeper).  Two years ago, I perfected Chicken French. Last year he made chicken and dumplings a la cracker barrel, but made with extra veggies and heart smart Bisquick.  yum.  bonus-he did the dishes and I had leftovers!  This year I'm making dinner and he's in charge of dessert....gotta start looking up some good Mexican or chinese dishes now.... :-D
3. Just be...together. When Valentine's day is on a weeknight, it's kinda hard to plan a date night with the day to day "chores" and "school night" mentality. See tip #2....set a weekend day for date night but take some time to spend with your S.O....even if it's snuggles while watching trash TV or an evening walk....or even banging your head against the wall by putting a puzzle together. Just spend time together. Can't put a price on that!

4.  Go card the dollar store:  $3-$4 for a hallmark card.  2 for $1 at the dollar store.  Decisions, decisions.  Even better....make a card!  Being married to a graphic designer, I get my own homemade cards.  Never too old for that, they tend to be sweet and sappy (yeah, I called him out.  love it).
5.  Set a price limit.  We are big fans of this for Christmas, anniversaries, etc.  This way, you save some coin, and don't make the other half feel bad if you spend a zillion dollars and they spent $20.  You'd be amazed at what one can buy for $20 that's not cheesy or stupid.  I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.....
6.  Save the flowers for a random Friday.  Roses are jacked up to at least twice the cost on February 14th.  It's a bit ridiculous.  Think outside the box and save the flowers for when you screw up a random "I love you" surprise.  Or a rose plant.  I prefer those.  They don't die.  unless I kill them :-P  Or the cat eats them.  Yeah, I'm going with that one.
7.  Shop in unexpected places.  "I'm thinking of you" isn't always chocolates and flowers.  Think about who you're shopping for....sometimes the most random gifts work.  Take my yearning for a puppy, for example.  I got one for Christmas.  Not the way I wanted, but the thought was there.  (Note...tip 7B....SPECIFY SPECIFY SPECIFY!)
8.  Singles tip:  If you don't have a S.O. on Hallmark day, fear not....and no cat lady bemoaning the day away.  Grab a buddy and watch a ridiculous sappy movie, taking shots during the mushy scenes, do an "anti" valentines day get together with onion rings (bad breath food), horror movies (anti love) and, well, heck, go ahead and pull out the boyfriend bonfire if you want.  Can't say I never did something ridiculous like that (chucking your ex's photo over the grand canyon counts, right?  Hey, I was 17!)

  Well, there ya go.  However you choose to spend it, Happy Hallmark Valentine's Day, everyone!  Stay tuned for some yummy dinners comin' your way as I perfect my gift to the hubster :-D
How do you celebrate Valentine's day?  Any good tips?


  1. 9. Save money re-stocking your chocolate stockpile (what, you don't have one?) by buying discounted chocolate February 16-18.

    1. yesssssss!! I'm all about that one!