Ways to save on Valentine’s Day

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Every year, certain types of retailers — those who sell flowers, candies and greeting cards — wait for February to cash in on Valentine’s Day. They increase prices of their goods and services, knowing that because of outside pressure people will buy them anyway.

Everyone realizes that even if you don’t get your significant other something overpriced on Valentine’s Day, you don’t care about him or her any less. Still, a lot of people get caught up in the hype. Here are a few ways to make your partner feel loved without breaking the bank.

  1. Cook a romantic meal at home. You can avoid the crowds, relax at home and still have a memorable Valentine’s Day. Help each other in the kitchen and dress up the table with a centerpiece and some candles.
  2. Make a homemade card or write a letter. While the cards at the store are often very nice, they are all the same and don’t point out the specific things you enjoy most about your partner. Write him or her a short (or long) letter and express your love, as well as some of your favorite memories.
  3. Prep your Netflix. Even if you decide you want to do dinner and a movie with your significant other, there’s no reason to spend upward of $20 on the movie after you just spent a lot on dinner. A cheaper alternative is to use Netflix. Make sure you’ve got a movie he or she has been dying to see.
  4. Give him or her some IOU cards. Find a few of the chores that your mate dislikes the most and give him or her a few IOUs for each. Perhaps it’s a few nights of doing the dishes or taking the kids out while your significant other relaxes.
  5. Travel before or after the holiday. Prices are usually unrealistically high on the weekend before and after Valentine’s Day, so consider planning a trip a few weeks before or after the big day.
  6. Go stargazing. All you need to do is get out of town a few miles, find an isolated stretch of road and pull off to look at the sky. If it’s cold, either stay in the car or bring a blanket.

What do you normally do to save money on Valentine’s Day?

Follow Jeff Fruhwirth on Twitter.