Budget Friendly Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Good day boomers and seniors of all ages.  Ready for some fun and inspiration.  Here are several ideas I have used in the past to add some zip and style to Valentine’s Day, and not break the bank.

Plan a romantic dinner at home and get dressed up, just do the messy stuff in the kitchen first.  If you’re not into cooking, then pick up your favorite take out.  In any case, serve dinner on your finest plates, set your table with your best dinnerware and linens, and add some candles and a great bottle of wine.  Oh how nice we look in candlelight at this age.  Use these precious items to set your table; they will bring you joy from days past when you used them for special gatherings with friends or family, or better yet, give you a thrill that you actually made the effort to dust them off and set a piece of art on your dinner table.  So often, we save the fine china and dinnerware—for what—so they can end up in a thrift store, or worse yet, the trash.  What we cherish, your heirs may not.  So use them and make your meal an event worthy of a few pictures.

Several years ago, my BoomerGuy and I made dinner plans (not reservations, which was a mistake) on Valentine’s Day eve at PF Changs in northern California.  We were really looking forward to an exciting evening because Changs is always a hub of great activity and outstanding food.  Wow, were we ever surprised that everyone else had the same idea.  We should have known when we pulled up to the parking lot and it was valet only because of the glut of cars.  We couldn’t even get a seat at the bar while waiting for our table, it was three deep and forget about ordering a drink.  But if you prefer the feel of being packed in like sardines, then I have just the place for you to go.  After standing for an hour waiting for our table, we cancelled and picked up a pizza on the way home.  Funny night that we still laugh about.  But here’s the thing, we improvised and flexibilized and our night was actually more memorable than if we would have had dinner at an overcrowded restaurant.

Lunch out.  Just as fun and much less stressful.  Pick her or his favorite place and book it.

Plan a scavenger hunt for each other.  You don’t have to leave home, you just need to come up with a great reward at the end of the hunt for the winner.  Here’s where you can get really creative.  Leave a note at each stopping point telling the other person how much you care.  Remember when we were kids how fun it was to go on these.  Bring back a little joy. And it’s OK if you’re in your pajamas.

Take a trip down memory lane.  Perhaps you can go back to where you met, or at least flip through your photo album, and maybe you’re ahead of the game if you’ve downloaded your photos onto your computer.  Great for you if you did.  Relive favorite trips you took together and maybe tell each other what made you fall for each other.  Now that’s the true story of Valentine’s Day. And this one doesn’t cost anything.

Go shopping for gifts for each other.  Set your budget and make it fun.  Maybe you end up simply window shopping which is much less expensive, then stop off at a Starbucks for coffee and a scone.  Whatever you do, don’t rush it.  Take it leisurely and enjoy the time with one another.

My husband and I will most likely do this very thing tomorrow.  A mid-morning Starbucks with a muffin, which we usually don’t eat because it’s not on our diet.  So we just look at it. Now that’s funny.  But come on, it’s Valentine’s Day.  I can tell you one thing for certain, we will sit outside under an umbrella and enjoy the nice weather, sunshine galore, and each other.  

Spend the day with someone who doesn’t have a Valentine of their own.  This may have a slight cost, but the reward will be worth it.

One year my husband was traveling for business and I was alone for Valentine’s Day.  He has always been wonderful for being there on special occasions, but this one year it couldn’t be worked out.  So I reached out to some of my single girlfriends and we chose to meet at my house.  They each brought something to eat and drink.  We rented a chick flick for the evening, served some memorable cocktails and had a delightful Valentine’s Day evening together.  

Whatever you do, and with whomever you do it, make it special and enjoy every moment.  From your BoomerGal and BoomerGuy, Happy Valentine’s Day and make it great one.  

We are spending the day together with a fairly large agenda, so we will see you next week with a whole new set of blogs.

“Love is friendship that has caught fire”

Ann Landers

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