Love is in the air and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner you don’t have to spend a fortune to knock the socks off your significant other and show him or her just how much they mean to you.
Flowers, chocolates and dinner are all do-able on a budget, and we’ve got some great tips that really do give a big bang for low bucks. But if you’re in the mood to splurge, a mini-loan could give you some fast cash so you can turn your Valentine's Day ideas into reality.
You won’t find any cheap flowers at your local florist – after all, Valentine's Day is the busiest day of the year for flower orders and the only way prices go on this day is up. This year Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday so if you hit the markets on Sunday you’ll be able to grab a nice bunch of flowers that will still be fresh on the big day – or better yet, choose a flowering pot plant for a colourful gift that lasts a lot longer than cut flowers.
Chocolates are one of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune buying them. Ditch the department stores and chocolatiers – check out what’s on offer at your local supermarket, or better yet, make your own. Creating your own chocolatey delights is a lot simpler than you might think and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a cheap chocolate surprise for your other half.
For some ridiculously easy but insanely decadent truffles, just throw 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a saucepan with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and stir on a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, transfer to a bowl, then cover and place in the fridge. After 2 to 3 hours of chilling, shape the mixture into balls and then roll in the covering of your choice – coconut, crushed nuts and cocoa powder all work well. That’s it – job done!
Dine in Not Out
If you eat out on Valentine's Day you’ll pay big bucks – and the restaurant you choose will probably be crowded and noisy. So why not prepare a relatively cheap dinner at home with some extra touches that will turn it from ordinary into something extra special!
If cooking isn’t your thing, you can still turn out some amazing food with not much effort. Here’s a few ides: