Hellooo February. I don’t know why January felt like it lasted forever, but it wasn’t just me right? With Valentine’s fast approaching, the essence of Valentine’s is quite quickly missed with all the shops offering discounts on fancy jewellery, expensive chocolates and overpriced wine. Now without trying to sound like a Debbie Downer – I must admit that I think we sometimes miss the point that Valentine’s is about spending time (not money) with our loved ones, and truly appreciating them. If you’re with the right person, don’t get me wrong, receiving flowers, or spoiling someone is lovely – but you don’t need the excuse of Valentine’s to do that.
Myself and Tom are as soppy as we can get, and we can definitely go stupidly mad at Christmas and birthdays BUT Valentine’s happens to be our speciality because we really like to strip it down and just be together, especially when our anniversary has just passed so recently. Our plan this year is True Crime, takeaway pizza and some rosé snuggled up in bed, and I tell you what, I cannot wait.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to enjoy Valentine’s, without saying goodbye to your bank balance.
EAT OUT CHEAPER:
Eating out and going on date nights is so important, it gets you out of the house and it’s so nice to dress up together and do something romantic. If you’re one for a Valentine’s meal, here are some ways to make it that bit cheaper.
Now the good thing about Valentine’s, is that a lot of restaurants know that people want to eat out, and so to match the competition you’ll find deals galore! Make sure that you shop around and find the one that fits you both the most, there’s nothing wrong with being a bargain hunter. From just a quick Google I’ve found that Bella Italia (our first date) is doing three courses for £19.99 including Fizz etc, so round up where you’d want to go and see what’s to offer. Most places have a set Valentine’s Menu so always try and book ahead. I ALWAYS check sites like Vouchercodes, Wowcher and Groupon before I buy anything because you never know what’s there!
I got a Tastecard Deal with O2 last year which meant that instead of £70 a year (I’d honestly pay that), I pay £35 a year for a Tastecard and I honestly cannot tell you the amount of money that me and Tom have saved. Basically it’s a huge eating discount card, most restaurants are on there, (probably 90% of chains are and a few independent ones) and usually with your card you get 2 for 1, or 50% off excluding drinks. As you can imagine as a couple who like their food, £35 is EASILY saved. We can honestly eat out so so cheaply, for example if we go to Prezzo’s (can you tell I like pizza?) our bill comes to around £12. £12 for a meal.. it’s insane, I couldn’t recommend it enough if you eat out a lot. The only time I wouldn’t recommend it is if you live in a small village or somewhere where there aren’t many chains around!
Me and Tom are suckers for a picnic. Now I know that it’s not exactly sunshine and Pina Colada weather, BUT there’s always a way to make a nice little romantic picnic – and, who’s to stop you eating a dessert out afterwards? You’re saving money and having some romantic one on one time, AND eating a dessert? You’re onto a winner. (There’s a dessert parlour being built in Birmingham’s Bullring and oh my god, do I have my eye on it).
As I mentioned before, we’re having a much needed night in. We don’t get much time together and so just being with each other is all we need (soppy soppy soppy). Order in some food, Chinese, Pizza, Curry (making myself so hungry here), and make sure that you look for online deals too. I know that with Just Eat there are always deals that you can find online with a quick search!
If you’re a bit of a Jamie Oliver and cooking is for you, there are amazing deals at all supermarkets, for example at Marks & Spencer’s, you can choose from starters, mains, sides, dessert, a box of chocolates AND a bottle of wine/Prosecco all for £20!
FREE DAYS OUT:
There are so many days out for completely free, from museums, art galleries, to even going for walks together. There are many many lists on free days out in different cities!
I see a lot of online pressure about getting the biggest and best gift but Valentine’s isn’t about that. You don’t need an excuse to show your partner how appreciative of them you are, you should do that on any day. For me, personalised gifts are always the most heart touching, I’m a sucker for it. For our first Valentine’s, I did a set of ‘Open When’ letters for every kind of situation and I know that it meant so much to him, he’s made me scrapbooks of our story etc and for me it’s better than panicking and buying a Pandora ring because you weren’t sure what to get them.
Basically ignore the pressures of Valentine’s, there is none! It’s just another day of being with someone you love, and hopefully getting to spend time with them. I hope you all have a lovely day (taken or not). Happy February!
Love Soph x0