Valentine’s Day… it’s not us, it’s you.
We’ve fallen out of love with February 14th. The annual love-by-numbers day has become something of a cliché, where we’re forced (or at least, strongly encouraged) to splash cash on gifts that mean so little to the ones we love.
Love don’t cost a thing
Money can’t buy love, but that doesn’t stop us Brits spending £1.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, shows 2016 research* from Worldpay cited by the Telegraph. This means that, on average, each person parts with £45.10 in a bid to woo their loved one.
They say that variety is the spice of life; so this year, why not boycott the restaurants, choccies and shop-bought cards and put the money towards something meaningful? You needn’t splurge to show affection; in fact, small, personal gestures are far more likely to leave a lasting impression.
Here are six alternative, low-cost ideas to get you started:
Set the wheels in motion and head out for a leisurely bike ride with your beau. There are plenty of traffic-free trails* across the UK, whether you fancy cruising along the coast or getting lost in the countryside.
Rather than re-fuelling at a pub or café, why not pack a picnic? Just don’t forget your gloves and flask of tea – it is February, after all!
Remember, Valentine’s Day doesn’t dictate that just you and your other half do something together. Instead, how about inviting one or two other couples over for a games night? From Mr and Mrs-style quizzes to games like Articulate, Heads Up and Pictionary, working in pairs will remind each other of why you make such a good team. And by spending the same amount you’d fork out on a bunch of roses, you could order in a takeaway or ask each couple to bring a course. A night of guaranteed laughs – and, as they say, laughter is the key to the heart…
Be each other’s sous chef
Otherwise known as VAT (Valentine’s Added Tax), the average restaurant prices rise by 35% on the annual day of love, according to a 2014 Match.com research cited by the Daily Mail*.
As an alternative, why not rustle up your favourite three-course meal together from the comfort of your own kitchen? Would you normally have crab bisque, beef wellington and tarte tatin on a Tuesday? Not only is a meal at home cheaper and more personal, but when you’re both feeling stuffed, your sofa is merely a few metres away!
Frame your words
The great thing about being in a couple is the accumulation of in-jokes you have between you, some of which may date back so long you don’t even remember where they originated from. Why not do something with these jokes or memories? Some online companies offer personalised gifts such as framed poster prints; so whether it’s song lyrics, the story of how you met, or your partner’s likes and dislikes, you can make a real feature from the words that mean the most. Much more personal than a generic poem inside a shop-bought card…
DIY your gift
Nothing says “I love you” more than a homemade gift; and thanks to that little thing known as the internet, you needn’t possess the skills or knowledge of Kirstie Allsopp to succeed in getting crafty.
Use your skills to your advantage. Good in the kitchen? Bake your beloved their favourite tasty treat. Enjoy creative writing? Flatter them with a poem. Music maestro? Compose and perform a song that’s just for them.
Get your adrenaline pumping
Why not step out of your comfort zone together? Take to the skies for a zip-lining session, brave the waters and go wakeboarding, or be bound together for a couple’s bungee! Pick something that’ll excite and scare you both – something that’ll linger in your memories for years to come.
It’s time to put an end to the conventions and clichés and do something different this year. Say goodbye to sickly sweet Valentine’s gifts (cuddly teddy bears holding hearts between their paws, we’re looking at you).
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