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Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day for less (without scrimping!)

Feb 7th, 2012
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Valentines-Day-CardWhat better ways to let the apple of your eye know just how much you love them by spoiling them on Valentine’s Day? It’s the perfect day to take time out and concentrate on the person that makes you the happiest. One thing that is unfortunately associated with Valentine’s Day is the cost. Cards, presents and a meal out can be very expensive so we’ve put this guide together to help you beat the expensive nature of the day of love…

Gifts
It’s normal to want to shower your other half with gifts on Valentine’s Day, but the thought of splurging on the most luxurious items can be daunting, especially when our finances are getting back on track after Christmas. With the help of some great discounts and deals you can cut the price of your gift shopping dramatically. Here are a few tips on how to get the most of for your money on popular Valentine’s staples:

Cards
Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without receiving a card from your partner. It’s a token of their love and is probably the most traditional Valentine’s pastime there is. You can currently get 10% off cards when you use this Hallmark voucher from MoneySupermarket.com, so make sure you order in plenty of time for delivery.

Flowers
Most women (and some men) would love to receive a bunch of their favourite flowers this Valentine’s Day, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Don’t be lured into buying red roses which are synonymous with Valentine’s Day. These can be expensive and prices can be hiked to go with the large demand in February. If your partner has mentioned they like a specific type of flower in the past buy them a bunch of those instead; tulips, lilies and carnations can look just as special and will probably be half the price. Alternatively buy a pretty pot plant, like an orchid which will last a lot longer.

Chocolates
Chocolate is a popular gift choice for both sexes, but a box of the finest could cost you a packet. Many high street chocolate retailers are offering discount codes in time for Valentine’s Day which could save you a considerable amount. Have you ever thought about making your own? Making your own truffles is very easy and basic ones can be made with just a few ingredients. Present them in a homemade gift box and save yourself some pennies.

Eating Out
If you plan to book a table at a restaurant for the 14th Feb, be sure to be prepared for the cost. Valentine’s Day is one the restaurant industry’s busiest days so most restaurants will cope with demand by creating set menus at relatively high prices. If your other half is a fussy eater this could cause problems because the amount of choice at many restaurants is decreased. Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day a day or so early or late? This means that you can have a choice of whole menus instead of being restricted. You can also choose a time which suits you and pick a time when you could use a restaurant voucher to save some money on the total bill.
Alternatively, cook a meal at home. This gives you the chance to spend some quality time alone and to practice your culinary skills. You can create your own romantic setting and make your other half their favourite. This is bound to be cheaper than shelling out for a set menu at your favourite restaurant.

A break away
Fancy sweeping your loved one away for a romantic break? This can be expensive because of the time of year and like the restaurant industry this will be one of the busiest periods for hotels too. There are a few ways which you can book time away for Valentine’s Day that won’t cost the Earth. One way to save cash is to choose the beginning or end of February for your break away. As mentioned before the hotel industry is likely to be fully booked for the 14th and the days that surround it. Book for the first week or last week in February and enjoy lower prices and more availability.

When choosing your destination, don’t just think close to home. Due to the economic climate airline companies are offering flights at heavily discounted rates (especially if you book in advance). You can get flights to some fantastic European destinations like Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Rome for less than what you’d pay for train fair to a UK city destination. You can also use MoneySupermarket deals to find great discounts on hotels, which will again be cheaper if you book in advance. What better way to impress your partner by whisking them abroad? Trips to places in the UK can come at high costs, especially when factoring in petrol and train costs, so always explore your options before booking your trip.

Be romantic
Being romantic costs nothing and can overshadow the most expensive gift. The idea of romance is different for everyone, so take note of the little things your beau likes and pay attention to them. Lighting a few candles, baking a cake, going for a romantic walk or doing their share of daily chores are all either free or low cost ideas to really make the day special.

Written by the Deals and Vouchers team at MoneySupermarket.com

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Birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, new houses....so many special occasions happen every day sometimes it’s hard to keep up!

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