Enjoying Valentine’s Day on a Budget
by: Ashley Willis
Ah, Valentine’s Day. It’s the Hallmark holiday that some look forward to, and others dread. Many married folks aren’t even sure if it’s worth celebrating because it feels more like a holiday for those who are still dating and striving to “seal the deal.” So, what’s a married couple to do? Should we skip it and save the money? Of course, not! Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity to celebrate your love for one another, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are five fun ways that you and your spouse can enjoy Valentines on a budget:
1. Enjoy some time together outdoors.
Whether you are knee-deep in snow or enjoying some milder weather this time of year, spending a little time outdoors with your spouse is both inexpensive and romantic. If there’s snow on the ground, go sledding together. Pack some hot coffee or cocoa to enjoy afterward. If it’s mild, hold hands and go for a walk on your favorite trail. Pack a picnic to enjoy at your favorite spot. If it’s a little chilly, bring some blankets and cuddle at the end. There’s something magical about enjoying the outdoors together, and doing an activity together often leads to better conversations as well.
2. Experience a marriage conference from the comfort of your own home.
What better way is there to celebrate your love and commitment than to invest in your marriage? This is one of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s. I’m so excited to tell you that MarriageToday now offers our XO marriage conference at home, for a fraction of the price of admission! Put the kiddos to bed early, pop some popcorn, and snuggle up together while learning from some of the best teachers on marriage. You’ll laugh, you’ll think, and you’ll have lots of things to talk about. This is something you and your spouse won’t want to miss! Visit xomarriage.com for more information.
3. Write your spouse a love letter.
This may seem super simple, but it will mean the world to your spouse. We say “I love you” all the time, but we don’t often tell our spouse what we love about them individually. This love letter is your chance to tell your spouse everything you love about them. Tell her how her laugh is infectious and makes your heart skip a beat. Tell him how you love it when he looks deeply into your eyes and how you get lost in them. This letter can be both funny and serious. Take your time on this one. Be sure to put it in your handwriting and on some beautiful paper. Your spouse will love it and consider it a treasure.
4. Have a progressive dinner with some of your favorite couple friends.
This one takes a little planning in advance, but it is very budget-friendly and fun. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a “progressive dinner,” it is simply a 3-course dinner enjoyed in different places (in this case, homes). So, to pull this off, you, your spouse, and two of your favorite couple friends will need to decide who is hosting each course: the appetizer, the main course, and the dessert. If you have kids, you can either get a babysitter or include the kids. Then, you set a date and time, and start the progressive dinner at the “appetizer house” and then move to the other houses accordingly. Be sure to either make the food ahead of time and keep it warm and ready right before you leave, or use things like a crockpot/instapot to prepare as time is of the essence. Since these meals are homemade, you only need to spend money on the homemade meal that you are making in your home (and a babysitter, if necessary). However, you end up experiencing a fabulous three-course dinner with friends. How cool is that?
5. Plan a Goodwill Date.
If you love to laugh AND save a buck at the same time, then you will love this one. I wish I could take credit for coming up with this idea, but I can’t. I read a story about a couple doing this for their date night, and I thought it sounded like a blast. So, what exactly is a “Goodwill Date”? You and your spouse (and maybe a few other couple friends, if you’d like) go to a local Goodwill or thrift store together. Once you enter the store, you each separate and pick out the most ridiculous outfit for each other. You then go to the checkout and purchase the outfit. Then, you must each go to the dressing room and put on whatever outfit your spouse picked out (no questions asked), and you stay in that outfit for the rest of the night. Go to McDonald’s. Walk downtown. Go to the grocery store. Where you go doesn’t matter, but I guarantee that you both will be filled with laughter the entire date. (Note: if you’d like to wash the clothes before wearing them, you could go to Goodwill earlier in the day and then wear them to go on the date. Just be sure to keep the clothes hidden until right before your spouse needs to put them on.)
There are lots of other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget. It just takes a little creativity. If you are a crafter/carpenter, make your spouse something exceptional. If you’re a musician/songwriter, write them a love song. If you are good with words, write them a love poem. Whatever you decide to do, utilize the gifts and talents that God has given you to express your love to your spouse in a unique way. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be special. The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart.
For more tools to help you build a strong marriage, please check out The Naked Marriage Podcast and join us for one of our live events happening all around the nation. You can learn more at xomarriage.com.