I love to celebrate the holidays, but when money get tight - there are still PLENTY of great ways to celebrate - heck, I've even broken them down by group: kids friendly, couples, and best gal-pal. See if there are any ideas you'd like to use - or even add to this list!

Kid Friendly:

1. Create a valentine box. How? Grab a small to medium sized box, seal it up, cut a card sized slit in the top of the box and ask the kids to decorate it. If the kids work well together, they can collaborate - otherwise, assign each child a side of the box and offer a prize for the best looking decorations! Drop your valentines inside, and you've got an evening worth of fun!

2. Make your own valentines! All you need is some colored construction paper, some magazines/newspapers that you don't mind them cutting up, scissors, glue, and your imagination. Make it into a game - the sweetest, silliest, and prettiest card each get a prize.

3. Who loves chocolate dipped pretzels? Everyone!! Grab a cheawp bag of pretzels and break out that almond and chocolate bark leftover from Christmas and make dipped pretzels. Before they dry, have the kids sprinkle Valentine's sprinkles on them. Or drizzle one kind of bark over the other. These make great gifts for your girlfriends, grandparents, teachers, friends, etc. Turn it into an all-night affair and have a movie to go along with it - don't they sell dipped pretzels at the movie theater anyway? A huge bowl of popcorn and you're all set.


1. Go for a picnic! Oh, wait - it's February in the Midwest. So, have a picnic in your living room. Lay down an old blanket, serve tons of (cheap!) fingerfoods. For DH & I - I used grapes, cheese cubes (I cut them up myself), ham, crackers, sausage medallions, and berries. Have a pile of napkins on hand. Want it to really feel like the beach? Light an ocean/water scented candle, grab your oscillating fan (breeze off the bay, anyone?), and put on some island music. If you're really feeling inspired, try to tango. It's fun! Trust me.

2. Build a meal together. Work side-by-side in the kitchen over a meal you can individualize like build-your-own burger/taco/mini-pizza, etc. You each get it your way and you get time together - nothing wrong with that! This is a perfectly suited project for the two of you!

3. Set a budget (half of what you typically spent in years passed) and each of you takes half of that budget to figure out either the dining or the entertainment. I'm surprised how much thought my hubby puts into something when I give him half of the responsibility of the planning. Next thing you know, one of you will have BOGOF coupons to a new restaurant and the other will have found a $3-$5 movie showing someplace in town or even in the next town over.

Gal-Pal Treats:

1. Don't be afraid to get busy in the kitchen! 90 minutes in the kitchen will yield you the following goodies that friends are sure you spent over slaving over:
1. Decadent Double Chocolate Brownies
2. Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
3. Vanilla Snowball Cake With Chocolate Center

2. Host a girls night in, watch chick flicks (encourage friends to bring their favorites), make tons of appetizers to pass through the night, and ask everyone to show up in their pink and red favorites (the sillier the better). Offer a small prize to the best/craziest outfit!

3. Got some old pictures of your pals? Copy them on your printer/copier in black and white and do a crazy collage - mix the old with the new, color in the pictures, or just get pictures of all your best pals together - everyone gets to take theirs home! Nothing like nostalgia on a night like this!

Tell me - what budget-friendly tricks are you using this Valentine?
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3 Responses
  1. Lisa B. Says:

    Glad to see you're back posting! These are great ideas.

    I want to do the candlelit picnic on the living room floor but have promised to go to a concert (free) that he wants to go to. {sigh}

    I've posted my frugal valentine gift to hubby and some other ideas as well. Check my blog out and let me know what you think.

  2. Precious Says:

    Thanks for posting such great ideas! I LOVE the picnic in February idea!

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