Save Money and Celebrate Valentine’s Day for the Right Reasons

by Kevin on February 10, 2010

I can’t believe I’ve never shared this: we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

No dozen red roses.

No box of chocolates.

No fancy meal out.

None of that. It’s a waste in my opinion. I simply can’t get behind a holiday designed to sell greeting cards, knickknacks, and expensive flowers.

What is Valentine’s Day Really About?

Last time I checked the theory behind Valentine’s Day was to celebrate the love you have for your significant other. I’m totally behind that. Sounds like a great idea.

…but shouldn’t you be celebrating your love for each other every day of the year?

It seems extraordinarily sad to me that some people are reminded they are loved only one day out of the year.

In other words if your significant other saves up all their money and affection for one day, then go, “Phew! I’m glad that’s over!” at the end of the day…

Well, you get the idea.

Don’t You Love Your Wife?

Absolutely. We have a dedicated line item in our budget for dates.

I’m great with bringing my wife flowers or having a date night at one of our favorite restaurants.

I just don’t see the point in doing it at the exact same time as everyone else in the country and allowing retailers to jack up their prices for one weekend.

Why pay more than you have to?

I’ve seen prices from $24.99 to $39.99 for 12 roses. A simple dozen! That’s $2-3 per rose. Good grief, can I get a volume discount?

Contrast that with one of my favorite places to buy flowers: Fresh Market. I’ve purchased a dozen roses for $6.99 several times in the last year.

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

I’m curious to read your thoughts on Valentine’s Day. Do you celebrate it? Do you go “all out” and spend a ton of money? And most importantly: do you celebrate your love for each other the rest of the year?

Leave a comment below — I’d love to see if I’m in the minority on this.

I asked my Twitter followers what they thought about Valentine’s Day. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • @mbhunter: My wife thankfully doesn’t expect flowers on V’s Day because they’re $$ the day of … but I do get her flowers other times
  • @mpsmith82: Greeting Card holidays aren’t a waste as long as you don’t buy the lie: “U don’t love me unless U spend a boatload of cash”
  • @mpsmith82: We go to McDonald’s every V-day. No kidding. Total guilty pleasure and really inexpensive. Best of all, it’s not crowded!
  • @The_Weakonomist: vday is the culmination of greed, profit, and manipulation of women. But like Oprah, the ladies love it and we can’t stop it.
  • @fcn: I usually get my wife a card (and she does same for me) but that’s about it.
  • @FourPillars: We celebrate with a card and usually a dinner date (but on a different day).
  • @MattJabs: Yes, it’s a greeting card holiday. Wife & I decided to make homemade cards for each other & split a meal at our local fave rest.
  • @creditgoddess: Yes I celebrate V-Day. When you have kids it’s important to devote time towards your marriage/relationship.
  • @moneyfunk: I think for V-day, were making it a family night to that new V-day movie out on Friday. 🙂

I love the ideas of making hand made cards, celebrating at other times, and going to McDonalds. Great stuff.

I suppose at the end of the day I’m not against celebrating the holiday — but only if your celebration is part of an entire year of love and support for your special someone.

Readers: how do you celebrate?

{ 4 trackbacks }

Saving Your Marriage Daily Gossips
February 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm
No Debt Plan | Money Smart Life
February 23, 2010 at 3:49 am
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3 Ways Valentine's Day Can Put You in Debt
February 11, 2011 at 5:00 am

{ 18 comments }

Matt Jabs February 10, 2010 at 9:27 am

You hit the nail on the head when you said,

“…but shouldn’t you be celebrating your love for each other every day of the year?”

That was exactly what my wife and I talked about last night… we have incredible love for each other that we try to celebrate all year long.

Buttercup February 10, 2010 at 9:44 am

My husband and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day for several reasons:
1- we show each other and tell each other every day how much we love each other – no need for a special day to do that
2- I have never enjoyed Valentine’s Day as it is a holiday that makes women seem like they are demanding jewelery and flowers and chocolates (just look at the ads that they have on tv)
3- there is no real reason that Valentine’s Day is a holiday – it is supposedly to celebrate several Christian saints (all called Valentine) and put on a day that was a pagan holiday in order to bring the pagans into Christianity even more (everyone knows about Christmas right?)

Basically – if you need a special day once a year to show your partner how much you care for them I think you need to re-examine yourself and how you show your love to your partner daily. There should be no need for a special day, every day should be special.

Megan February 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

I agree with both of the above comments. I HATE the jewelry commercials for a boatoad of reasons. We women are always reduced to shrill harpies who demand tennis bracelets from our husbands, and woe to the husband who doesn’t follow through.

I think if we *do* go out, it will be to a pub for a traditional Irish breakfast – but that’s something we’ve been dying to do for a while, and it just so happens that we can do it this weekend. That also doesn’t exactly scream “romantic meal,” but that’s fine. We’re hardly conventional.

That being said, I’ve never seen the appeal of going out for a big, fancy meal on Valentine’s Day. It’s always crowded, and everyone’s short-tempered because of the stress of high expectations. No, thanks.

Bible Money Matters February 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

My wife buys into the V-day hype hook line and sinker. In the end I really don’t mind splurging to bring her out to a nice dinner and get her flowers once a year (granted it’s usually more than that).

I can’t stand all the hype surrounding the day, but whatever makes a happy wife makes a happy life!

Mrs. White February 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I totally understand not wasting money. In our case, we are going to do a few things, just because it is an “excuse” to have a little extra fun, during a cold winter month.

I will buy a pink tablecloth from the dollar store.
I will bake a cake to share with the family.
I will make everyone a root beer float. (There are 5 of us currently at home – 3 of my youngest children along with Mom and Dad.)

My husband will buy me some inexpensive flowers ($5 or so), but I will give him the money for this. I will use these to decorate the table. We will be sharing the day with our children.

I would like to say, that it really does make a wife happy even to get a small box of chocolates, a homemade card, or some little gift to make her smile. It doesn’t have to cost much, but it sure brightens the day.

Blessings,
Mrs. White

JOHN February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Spending tons of money on flowers, dinner out and possibly a movie out and/or a box of chocolates is really a big waste just because it happens to be Valentine’s Day. The retailers and those who benefit
from selling whatever just because its Valentine’s day do raise their prices, because they want to make money. Valentine’s Day is just like any other day. You should love your significant other every other
day of the year to make that love meaningful for your entire family.

Abigail February 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I’m somewhat indifferent about Valentine’s Day. My husband is more interested in it. So long as I get to spend it with him, I’m not too bothered. But he likes to do a little something.

This year, we’re keeping it VERY simple because we’re paying to get him up to a wedding later that week. But my mom passed along an AMEX gift card she got as a rebate. So we’re going to go to… wait for it… Friday’s! He never gets to go to these, so it’s a treat for him. But with their specials, we should be able to dine almost exclusively on the gift card. I think it’s a good trade-off.

lauren February 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I think it’s lovely that so many people are saying that they celebrate their love all year round. I know I love my partner all year round and he loves me too, but we rarely dedicate an entire day to just celebrating that fact. So I think V day has its place. Some of the comments above say that the imminent approach of V day has prompted a discussion between them and their loved one that they love each other every day of the year. I think that even if that’s all V day does for that couple, it’s still a pretty special day.

That being said, I want to be frugal and I don’t enjoy buying ‘useless’ stuff for my partner. So we’ll make a special effort to thank God for our love and happiness all day, and just take time to remember how lucky we are.

Jamel Rose February 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I also agree with the comments above. It is more romantic if you celebrate your love everyday, even if there is no occasion. Its just like an ordinary day. Showing your love to your significant other doesn’t have to be that expensive. Valentine’s day is not the only day of the year you can be romantic.

Ted February 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I love celebrating my wife on valentines day. But she hates $40 flowers, expensive dinners, and crowded restaurants. Hah. So lets just say we celebrate at home valentines day and then take a date night the week after to celebrate each other. It is much easier to find a babysitter the week after than valentines night as well.

But we do make sure to celebrate our love a bit extra on the day. It is a good reminder.But dropping $100-200 just to say I love you doesn’t do it for us.

Golfing Girl February 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Our 1st Valentine’s Day in 2000, we tried to eat dinner out. We were told there was a 2 hour wait so we went to the grocery store and each picked out a favorite frozen dinner and a cheap bottle of wine and spent the evening at home watching a rented movie. Ever since, we’ve only gotten each other cards (sometimes homemade) and dined out at a reasonable restaurant, but never the same week as Valentines.

This year we celebrated on Feb. 6th eating at Chili’s since the grandparents were in town and providing free babysitting. Total cost was under $50 and we enjoyed our conversation and margaritas immensely! (It was my first margarita in almost a year since our son was just born a month ago.) 🙂

KyuJones February 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

My lovely boyfriend of 3 years and I don’t celebrate V-day. Aside from the fact that it usually catches us at a bad time financially to go “all out”, we both agree that it’s a holiday made to make $$. I don’t want either of us to ever EXPECT the other to get something. That’s selfish in my opinion. (unless it’s your b-day… that can always be a special selfish day. ^_^)

It is so much better to celebrate your love for your significant other RANDOMLY and out of the blue. I definately feel more loved with an unexpected gift on an ordinary day.

Evan February 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

I am with Peter, The Wife is into it. This year we decided to forgo presents but we rocked out dinner and The Met, and I ALWAYS pick up flowers.

I don’t mind doing it, because in the end she feels special for a couple hundred bucks.

Frugal Babe February 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

On Valentines Day my husband used our son’s Etch-A-Sketch style toy to write “I Love You”, and had our son bring it to me while I was folding laundry. Sweet, simple, and perfect. We do stuff like this all the time for each other – don’t need a particular day, and definitely don’t need to spend money to show someone that you care.

Crystal February 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

My husband and I are 26 and 27 and have been together since we were 18 years old.

In the beginning, it was living up to assumed expectations. Now, Valentine’s Day is just an excuse to exchange gifts we didn’t get at Christmas and to be even more lovey-dovey than normal.

For this Valentine’s, we went to Jack in the Box and had a really fun evening in *wink*…it’s led to a very good week so far.

We’re always in love, and we surprise each other throughout the year with little notes and gifts like flowers (for me) and Magic: The Gathering cards (for him). We are that gooey couple that people can mock playfully…that works for us. 🙂

I guess we use Valentine’s Day as a little excuse to treat ourselves since we are kinda’ cheap otherwise. We just treat ourselves with stuff we wanted anyway, not with expensive VDay stuff…although I usually pick up a few 1/2 off boxes of chocolate the days after…yummm….

Olivia February 22, 2010 at 4:54 am

We rarely eat out or have desserts so “holidays” are nice little diversions. We make a big (creative and frugal) deal out of birthdays too. We have kids and we all like treats. This year I picked up a couple of bags of Hershey’s kisses after Christmas. Took out the red and silver ones (saving the green for St. Patty’s Day), put them in heart shaped tins I got years ago from an after Valentine’s Day sale with some small bar candies and laid them at their places. I also made pancakes for breakfast (layered with strawberry jam and peanut butter), took a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out a heart and laid it on top of the stack. The chocolates cost under $5.

lovelyn February 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I HATE V-DAY!!!!!

lovelyn February 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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