Money savvy Jo Threlfall reveals her Valentines Day spending tips – and it can save you a LOT of cash on a meal out or romantic evening.
In the United Kingdom the average Valentines Day spend on gifts is £45, but the 27 year old from Leeds tells us how she enjoys Valentines Day on a budget – and spends £40 less.
“….Whether its a first Valentines Day together or you have already gone through a couple together, planning the perfect get together can be quite expensive. Shops on the high street always increase the prices of flowers and gifts and finding a restaurant which is not fully booked is impossible. But I like to do things on a budget so I’m never looking to pay full price for anything.
I’ve found that you can have an incredibly fun and romantic day on a budget. Also, if you shop wisely, you can purchase a gift that is much more affordable and that your partner will love.
“…Depending on my schedule, I like to cook a meal at home, or dine out for a cheaper price tag.
You can take the chance to go out for the evening and tuck into some delicious street food, or you can make a fresh meal at home for less than £5 per person.
There are plenty of choices here for almost any kind of couple which don’t break the bank. I use some fun ideas that your partner will love.”
Eating Out on a Budget
Dining out can be quite challenging on Valentines Day if you’re planning to eat in a restaurant as many people reserve tables weeks or sometimes months in advance.
However, you can still eat out and tuck into some delicious meals for a much friendlier price tag.
“…One of my favourite date recommendations is to go out and try some local street food. Its normally much cheaper than a restaurant and its great relaxed environment to enjoy a meal. I discovered a place called Assembly Underground in Leeds which serves authentic Indian, Brazilian, Italian, Greek and American street food.
From freshly made pizza, halloumi fries, falafel wraps, grilled meat, you’ve got endless options that cater to your taste buds.
For just £8 (which works out at only £4 per person), you can mix and match and share a multicultural platter with a wine, beer or cider – this also saves on buying a bottle of wine in a restaurant which normally comes in £10-£20 a bottle which offers poor value for money.”
A Romantic Meal In
A dinner for two is always a go to for Valentines Day as Jo tells us how to save.
“….When it comes to selecting what to cook for my valentines date, I want to pick a dish which both of us will enjoy eating for this special occasion.
One of the meals that I rarely get the chance to make is steak.
So, I found two steaks in Aldi for £3.80 and made some homemade sweet potato fries, legumes. For dessert I made a batch of brownies with all the left over chocolates from Christmas.
This whole meal added up for just £7.50, working out at a meal for only £3.75 per person. My local Miller & Carter Valentines Day menu came in at £26.50 per person – A total saving of £45.50 – and that doesn’t include drinks!
“When it comes to finding the right gift for Valentines Day for me its about the sentiment behind the present and not the price.
I normally shop online rather than the high street. You can find some romantic or funny cards and personalised pieces of jewellery on sites like Etsy which fit within your price range.
You can filter down your maximum spend and find a gift which is within your budget.
I managed to find a J charm and gold chain for £2.80, which worked out much cheaper than the majority of the pre-made necklaces on the website (Average was £16 so I saved £13.20).
Another item which is quite hard to purchase on Valentines Day is flowers, so I would recommend getting these a few days in advance and find a batch which hasn’t fully bloomed!
The reason why this is a great idea is that it can grab a bouquet for a much lower price before they sell out which have blossomed just in time to give to your valentines. Also, if you buy them early you can take advantage of discount codes.
You can get £10 off flowers at Bunches.co.uk simply by ordering a few days in advance and they’ll be delivered to your door.
However, if flowers aren’t your dates cup of tea, I get creative in other ways and make some romantic gifts with items already in the household. I recycled an old jam jar and used a piece of floral fabric to make a cute little note jar.
These messages can be words of appreciation, compliments or date night ideas as it will show your love on that you value them and the time you have together..and cost less than £1 to make.”
Jo’s tips on how you can save money this Valentine’s Day
- Avoid restaurants and try street food! – Valentines Day is one of the most challenging times of the year to reserve a table at a restaurant. However, you can enjoy a pleasant dining experience if you choose to eat elsewhere in a much more casual surrounding. Opting to eat street food will allow you to try some new cuisine or tuck into a dish that both of you love for a much lower price – you’ll also save on that expensive bottle of wine!
- Get your flowers a couple of days in advance – Avoid the risk of them selling out by grabbing your bouquet in advance. Pick a bunch of flowers which haven’t fully opened yet so it will be fresh just in time for valentines day and take advantage of discount codes if buying online a few days in advance.
- Make use of the food you have at home – If you’re cooking at home, try and make use of the chocolate and sweets that are roaming around in your cupboards. You can make some tasty desserts with ingredients from your fridge for you and your partner to enjoy.
- Recycle household items to make personalised gifts- Don’t be afraid to get creative and make a present which your partner will appreciate. Remember is the thought that counts so you can make some romantic gifts which can help you plan your next date or remind them of how much you adore them!