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Budget-friendly Valentine’s Day date tips

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Save money on romantic adventures

Looking for a great way to spend Valentine's Day without spending a ton of cash? Learn how to go on a budget-friendly date this year.

Couple on romantic dinner date

Don’t mistake frugal for cheap. This Valentine’s Day, go on a memorable, romantic date without spending a lot of money. Remember, this holiday is all about love, and love comes from within. Try these money-saving ideas for a budget-friendly Valentine’s Day.

Use group savings sites

Start looking now for Valentine’s Day opportunities through sites like LivingSocial and Groupon. Boutique hotels, spa afternoons, dinners for two and outdoors adventures are just some of the savings opportunities that show up daily on these crowdsavings sites. If you snag a great deal, make sure you call to reserve your spot early. You won’t be the only one shopping with Valentine’s Day on the brain. When you attend your Valentine’s Day deal, don’t forget to bring your printed coupon or use an app on your phone to activate the discount.

Have a dinner date at home

You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate romance. Try planning for a homemade meal. Shop for what’s on sale and don’t go overboard with expensive ingredients. Invite your loved one to cook with you. Put on some romantic music and enjoy the time spent together preparing a meal made with love. And since you’ll be ready to eat dessert and relax when the dinner is finished, visit a local bakery for a ready-made dessert you can enjoy with a crisp glass of white wine before bedtime.

Picnic in a local park

Instead of going on an expensive date that requires a ticket, visit a local park that requires a low or no entry fee. Get adventurous and visit somewhere you’ve never been before, like a local nature preserve or a city park. Pack a picnic basket with homemade treats or easy-to-carry foods from your local deli. Focus on food that isn’t too messy and doesn’t require extended refrigeration. Be sure to check into local open-container laws before packing that bottle of bubbly.

Do dessert together

Eat a light meal at home and visit a gourmet restaurant for dessert instead of dining out for a full meal. When you skip those expensive main courses, you can splurge on the fancy desserts you’ve had your eye on all year. Add a moderately priced bottle of Champagne and you have an indulgent, romantic date for two. Try a restaurant that has a dessert room or a restaurant that serves chocolate fondue.

More on saving money

How to live off of 50 percent of your income
Working with your teen to save for college
10 Tips for living within your means

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