Valentine’s Day on a Budget

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now is the time to begin planning that special let me wow her date. Many people may argue that Valentine’s Day is just a froufrou holiday established for the sake of drumming up business for card companies and heart shaped cardboard box makers. Even if that is the case, chances are you’re going to be obligated to come up with something clever for that new special someone in your life. How does one do that without breaking the bank? Well, here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning. Whether you live in a big city or in the rural country, these ideas are sure to provide inspiration for many a guy scratching his head thinking about what to do on Valentine’s Day this year. Take the ideas as is or expand on them. Whatever option you choose, just don’t forget February 14th.

– Make a romantic meal at your place. Set the mood with unscented candles purchased at your local Dollar Store. Can’t cook worth a lick? No problem. Hit up your supermarkets delicatessen section and purchase already prepared dishes! Nowadays many of the food store chains offer an array of delicious faire from roast chicken to pasta salad. Before hitting the checkout line, grab a bag of ready mix salad in the produce aisle, a bottle of Italian dressing and some sparkling cider. About 30 minutes before your date arrives, preheat your oven to 225 degrees and place the chicken (or other main dish you pick up) in an oven proof pan. Heat it just long enough to warm it up, careful not to overcook it. The aroma will waft through the air making you look like an ultra talented chef. While it’s heating up, prepare the salad in a bowl and lightly toss it with salad dressing. About 10 minutes before your date arrives, set the table, remembering to throw on a red tablecloth (or sheet) and light a candle or two. Viola, instant ambiance! Afterwards, go out for a walk or cuddle up in front of the boob tube and watch a romantic comedy together such as When Harry Met Sally (Meg Ryan), Breakin’ All The Rules (Jaime Foxx) or Two Weeks Notice (Sandra Bullock).

– Remember the cheesy mixed tapes you used to make for your first love back in junior high and high school? Well, nothin’ says lovin’ like a retro collaboration of R&B tunes mixed with a few classics from Sinatra and The Rat Pack fellas burned onto a cd. For added cheesiness, draw a heart on the label with a Red Sharpie! Put it in a self assembled gift basket chalk full of candy and flowers.

– Put together a mini scrapbook with things signifying your past dates together. Scrapbooks can be purchased inexpensively at your local chain store or craft store in the stationery department. Then, tape things like photographs of the two of you out and about along with restaurant menus, business cards and small trinkets from places the two of you have been together. Or, with a little ingenuity put together a home movie. No, not that kind of movie! I’m talking more along the lines of a video scrapbook. Go around filming places the two of you have been – the first place you kissed, the first movie theater you went to, the first place you belched in front of her. You know, all those butterflies in the stomach moments! Add your own commentary to the video by confessing how you were feeling (yes, women LOVE hearing about how you’re feeling!) at that moment you were about to suck face or how long it actually took you to pick out that outfit on your first date. Have fun with it!

– Go for a romantic day long drive through the back roads of the area you live in. Bring a map in case you get lost (not that men ever do that of course!), but as the Boy Scout motto goes, ‘be prepared.’ You wouldn’t want to spoil the outing by trying to find your way back home six hours later.

– Hire a friend that can sing (even off key to make it funnier!) and have them go to your girlfriends work to serenade her on Valentine’s Day. Write a funny song expressing your feelings; the cornier the better! Most women secretly like to be spoiled in front of others by their significant other. You’ll end up being referred to as ‘Mr. Thoughtful’ from here on out by all her co-workers. Just make sure your friend leaves the cupid costume at home in the closet, because well, that’s just weird!

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