Who says that romance has to be pricey? (Except for jewelry companies.)
With a little stretch of the imagination and a good radar for deals, you and your lucky special someone will be well on your way to a fabulous evening that won't leave you broke. Here are a few date ideas to get you started:
Sing Sing It
We love ourselves some good karaoke and nothing seems more natural than belting out cheesy love songs with that special someone. V-Day falls on a Sunday this year so you can start early—happy hour Karaoke special deals abound. For what will easily come out to be less than $60 you can get songs and sake galore. Just promise us you'll include at least one Barry Manilow song? Thanks.
Find Fancy Dinners for Un-Fancy Prices
Many great restaurants this year are offering special Valentine's Day dinners priced for this economy. For example, the super-chic Manhattan restaurant 5 Ninth offers three courses for $59 per person, which includes a complimentary glass of champagne. Try Open Table and Zagat which list deals, but it's not a bad idea to also simply call your favorite local spot and ask the manager about V-Day dinner specials. If there isn't one available, your forward- and frugal-thinking might inspire the venue to create one. Although these meals can sometimes net out expensively, the romantic ambiance and lavish dinner can often supplant a separate Valentine's gift.
Spice Up a Home Cooked Meal
Valentine's Day restaurant reservations are hard to nab, and romantic meals can quickly become pricey. Instead, cook a meal together, and try to include some aphrodisiacs: stuffed mushrooms, artichokes, oysters, figs, and dark chocolate-covered cherries. Spices and herbs like saffron and Ginkgo biloba are also known for spicing up a romantic evening. We found a handy list of foods that set the mood from Allrecipes.com, which also features nice ideas for dinners for two. You could slash your check in half if you cook these fancy meals at home, as opposed to going to a fancy restaurant.
Dance With Your Date
Dancing with the Stars may be a guilty pleasure, but who says you can't do your own version IRL? Sign up for a couples dance class on Feb. 14, we've seen posted around the country for $30 per person, or simply create an intimate dance party in your living room for two. Put together a makeshift dance floor, string up some lights, and turn on the (i)tunes.
Flex Your Heart
For all you Yoginis, many yoga studios offer couples workshops to connect your body and soul. Stretching your limbs and releasing endorphins together is modern love at its best. We've seen a few at $70 or less per couple, which is less than the price of a nice dinner.
With some proper planning, you can cut the big spending from this Hallmark holiday while adding some priceless romance to your Valentine's Day.