Spend Valentine’s Day on a budget

Spend Valentine’s Day on a budget

A trip to the grocery store can be a day filled with life-changing discoveries and hard-hitting realities. And if you are like me, who trails down the grocery aisles pre-occupied with budgeting woes, you would then come face-to-face with the stark reality that “everything is expensive.”

In that regard, this piece aims to effortlessly empathize with our readers and pay tribute to my frugal roots by suggesting inexpensive ways to celebrate this annual event we call, Valentine’s Day. Just like food is essential, so is romance and so are the niceties of this day– or month–as we often refer to February as the “love month.” As the title suggests, we don’t need to spend extravagantly on this occasion. Remember, (to quote the most cliché of all greeting card messages),“It is the thought that counts.”

Like I said, a day at the grocery can be fulfilling. For those who love to cook, it is where the magic begins. Who would think that the hors’ d’oeuvres you passionately prepared for hours were just a concoction of stuff that you picked up at the clearance section of the deli and snack aisle? And yet, these were enough to stimulate endorphins and bring out the most romantic date ever. So as my first advice, forget about calling that lavish fine-dining-yet-mediocre-food restaurant, and get into the hype of  having a culinary mindset of “home-made-everything.”

A friend of mine is into this seemingly cultic practice of making everything from scratch and at home.  She attributes it to a memorable trip to Rome that she and her husband had. This leads us to Valentine date tip number 1. Create a (meal) course that would remind you and your date of your best moments together. It doesn’t matter if it is that first movie date where you feasted on bucket-sized nachos and downed a large soda. The important thing is—aside from not having to stand in line and wait at the snack counter—that you creatively relived a scenario that is special to the two of you.  And that is romantic.

Going back to my “home-made-enthusiast” friend, she made an amazing Italian thin crust pizza and surprised her hubby with a “taste of Rome” preluded by a sweet girlish, “I-knew-how-much-you-adore-their-pizza-so-I-made-you-one” (with some eyelash-batting, if you know what I mean). Now, isn’t that “Rome-Antic?”

Another popular, yet far less costly kind of date is the one where you don’t have go out or travel too far. Yes! Like lovebirds in a cage, they just stay at home or in a hotel room, relaxing and being lovey-dovey all day as if on vacation. Hence, the coined term, “staycation.” This increasingly hash-tagged term for dating–by not going out or all-out–is known for the variety of ways it’s being spent. Including, a Netflix marathon with no interruptions whatsoever, and when the season finale plays, right into that hauntingly final scene, lovers hold each other’s hands, and say, “I love you more than this TV series.”

This is just one of the many staycation ideas. Some would go to a nearby resort or a backyard pool, or anywhere that has no lodging costs and/or minimal travel expenses. However worthwhile, there are still others whofind this date kind of boring and lacking in adventure but the economic benefits of “staycationing” far outweigh the adventure that dissipates when your credit card statement arrives; which would eventually lead to an argument and thus, the spirit of Valentines is lost—in a pile of bills.

So all in favor of staycation, say—WE!

Creativity goes a long way and your $20 can do so much as long as you are wise in spending it. Whether it’s a Rome-themed dinner or a relaxing “Sundate” a.k.a staycation, it is creating memories that make this day heartwarming.

In this poor economic situation, that you and I live in, it will do us well to think of ways we could stretch out that dollar. You don’t need to act so grandiose to impress your date this Valentine’s, for as the Beatles song goes, “All you need is love.”


Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com

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