Valentine's Day seems to either spark excitement or loathing from most people. For those of us who aren't in relationships, it can seem even more arduous to get through.
But singles still can celebrate Valentine's Day with friends and family. Here are five frugal and fun ways to celebrate love.
1. Celebrate "Galentine's Day" instead of Valentine's Day. Leslie Knope from the popular show "Parks and Recreation" makes it a point to celebrate her friendships on the day before V-Day by having a brunch and exchanging handmade gifts. She calls it "Galentine's Day," a sort of spinoff of the "Seinfeld" holiday "Festivus." In that spirit, plan an outing where you can do activities such as paintballing, bowling, crafting or watching a movie marathon.
2. Turn your attention to "puppy love." If you have a pet, spending a special day out together is a great way to celebrate the season of love. Going to a pet meet-up, scheduling an extralong walk, taking goofy photos together and pampering your pet with a spa day could be fun. Additionally, if you're ready for pet companionship, why not celebrate Valentine's Day by volunteering at a local animal shelter or seeing if you're ready to adopt a furry friend?
3. Host a "cheesy Valentine" party. Many of us groan when we think of the goofy presents that line the shelves of drugstores and card stores -- oversized stuffed animals, ridiculous boxes of candy and sappy cards. If you have a group of single friends, host a party with a gift exchange highlighting the cheesiest gifts you can buy for under $15. The person who bought the most ridiculous gift wins an extra prize.
4. Treat yourself. If there's a grooming ritual you love, treat yourself to it. Experiment with a new hair color, or finally use that spa voucher you got as a gift. Or, spend the day at your local salon if you can snag a deal. Such bargains usually are better before or after V-Day itself, as some salons offer discounts on slower days during the week.
5. Leave surprises for others. Sometimes giving is better than receiving, even on Valentine's Day. Leaving positive notes, little surprises or even a gift card for someone to find is a great way to turn someone's day around without spending a lot. In the past, I've discovered handmade bookmarks left in library books, encouraging notes left on public bulletin boards, and little trinkets purposely left in busy train terminals. It's a frugal way to pass on random acts of kindness on Valentine's Day.