Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget

Feb 13, 2018, 5:36 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend $19.6 billion for this Valentine’s Day holiday, which averages out to just over $143 per sweetheart.

But, there’s no law that says you have to spend that much. In fact, we dug around and found several ways to show your love for your valentine for less than half that amount.


First, candy gets pricey.  A 36 piece assortment of Godiva’s gourmet chocolates will set you back $49. Six chocolate-dipped strawberries from Shari’s Berries price out at $29. But, look online and you’ll find scores of candy recipes you can make relatively easily while spending no more than $10 – including your own chocolate-dipped strawberries.


We priced out a dozen roses from five Salt Lake area florists.  The quotes ranged from $65 all the way up to $135.  As an alternative, Trader Joe’s  sells a dozen roses with a vase for $17.99.  At Costco, you can buy 50 roses for $39.99.


You can expect to pay $5 to $10 for a greeting card at the store. Making your own card costs a fraction, and can often be more meaningful.  If you’re in a creative rut, look for ideas online.


A night at the multiplex is fun, but a night in with your sweetheart may be more romantic. Rather than dropping $50 or more on tickets and concessions, consider renting or streaming a movie at home.


How about some “Be Mine” salsa dance fun?  DF Dance Studio  in South Salt Lake is hosting an hour long beginner’s class on February 14.  The cost is $50 per couple, but it promises to be much more memorable than going out to a movie!


Here’s something that will cost you next to nothing – a stroll with your sweetie. You can take artistic photos and share the results and talk over an inexpensive dinner.


How about painting together?  You can find a set of watercolor paints from Walmart, or Target for around $6 and paint each other’s portraits.


Here’s a sweet 80’s throwback – make a mix tape!  Create a song playlist of music that reminds you of your Valentine. You can burn the music on a compact disc or share the playlist on a music service like Spotify or Pandora.


Here’s something that will really impress your date and it’s free! Put the phone down. Stop checking Facebook, Instagram and everything else.  This is one holiday where electronic communication can take the back burner. Spend the night fully focused on the one you love.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget