How To Have A Fun Yet Frugal Valentine’s Day In 5 Simple Steps
For those of us who eye-roll when Valentine’s Day comes along, imagining how much money we’re going to spend on our dates and partners, fear not, because The Frugal Monster is here to give you 5 simple steps for a fun yet frugal Valentine’s Day hangout that’s sure to please.
Step 1 – Get your Partner’s Favorite Snacks
For example, popcorn and candy. To have a fancier yet frugal Valentine’s Day, start by putting the popcorn and candy into bowls. This will show them that you care enough to put effort into the presentation of their favorite snacks. This is also doing what psychologists have observed in the book, Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein, as manipulating the perceived quality of the product.
In Nudge, the scientists mention an experiment where they had two separate groups of students sip the same coffee. The only difference between the two groups was that one group sipped the coffee in a cheap looking cup and were in a shabby looking establishment. The second group sipped the same coffee but in a pricer looking cup and in a fancier looking establishment. The first grouped perceived the coffee as being low in quality whereas the second group perceived their coffee as being higher in quality. What does this mean? It means that it’s important how you present your offerings to your date.
Just as we tend to associate a handmade lunch at a restaurant as being higher quality than a microwavable boxed lunch, when you present popcorn and candy in bowls, they’ll be psychologically perceived as having more value than if you just offered them in the box.
Doing this is a beautifully simple way to present your date’s favorite snacks and is sure to get kudos, i.e., brownie points over just giving them snacks in the box. Who says a frugal Valentine’s Day can’t be fancy?
Step 2 – Light Candles
Lighting candles is an effective way to set the frugal Valentine’s Day mood. In his book on Hygge, Danish happiness researcher, William Morrow, mentions how humans have a predilection for fire, whether bonfires, campfires, or candles. This is because humans respond favorably to light within this spectrum, think: sunsets and campfires.
We find it cozy, comforting, and soothing. That shade of lighting makes it easier for us to relax and be at ease. I also think this is why turning off the home fluorescent lights and lighting candles tends to “set the mood.”
* Make sure you set the candles away from curtains and other flammable objects. You don’t want to put them in a place where you can get frisky and knock them over and end up burning your house down.
Step 3 – Make A Small Dinner
Now that you have candles, make a small dinner. You can be frugal and still be fancy because it’s the thought that counts.
Imagine, you could end up going out to eat for Valentine’s Day and spend well over $30-50 . Or, you could buy an $8 bottle of wine, $1 box of pasta, and $2 can of pasta sauce, and for under $15, have pasta and wine for dinner.
Remember, it’s not about how much money you spend because, if you’re doing it right, your date should be there to spend quality time with you. Spending quality time does NOT mean spending quality money.
Step 4 – Watch a Romantic Comedy on Netflix
Instead of going to a movie theatre and spending money for entertainment, a frugal idea is to use Netflix. Ideally you should do this before your date comes over: choose a few romantic comedies (rom coms). They should be easy to find because Netflix allows you to search by genre.
What you don’t want to do is ask your date after dinner, “Hey sweetie, what would you like to watch?”
What you want to do is have a pre-selected choice of two to three movies to suggest to your date. This allows your date to make an easier decision and shows them that you’ve already done your homework (giving you more brownie points).
Also, they’re full of food and wine, there’s candy in the bowls, and the candles are lit and setting the mood. All of this allows for a more cozy, comfy, and intimate couch session. Dinner and a movie, anyone? 😉
Step 5 – Get Playful In The Bedroom
Ties are perfect for blindfolds and restraints. They’re also a frugal choice because you should have them already. If you don’t, there are always other options, such as your belts. You can also tie plastic bags together or use a lot of saran wrap.
Use your imagination to go all 50 Shades on your date. Make it a Valentine’s Day they’ll never forget.
At around $15 or less for the dinner, and $15 or less for the candles and snacks, you’re looking at under $30 for this Valentine’s Day. Not too shabby, considering that’s how much it costs just to go out to eat for any regular night, not including entertainment.
If you implement all 5 steps, you should have a pretty frugal Valentine’s Day that’s also fun (if not a little frisky). Remember, your date should be there for you, not for how much money you spent trying to make them happy.
If you’re not spending time at your place and instead are going out to the mall to hang out for a frugal Valentine’s Day, check out my other article on how to be frugal and still have fun while hanging out at the mall.
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