Thrifty Thursday: Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a pricy affair. Here are a few ideas for celebrating your Valentine’s Day on a budget.

Take Advantage of BOGO free meal offers
I don’t enjoy dealing with crowds, so the idea of eating out on Valentine’s Day has never really appealed to me, but if you are planning on eating out this Valentine’s Day, take advantage of buy one, get one free meal offers.

Click here for a printable Buy one entree, get one free coupon from TGI Friday’s. (The coupon is not valid on 2/14, but you can celebrate your Valentine’s Day earlier or later and take advantage of the deal! It is also good until 3/1/09)

Invest in an Entertainment book – they have lots of coupons with BOGO free offers. (If you want one now, check out your local Walgreens store….if you want one for the future, click below to order)

Use a gift card and eat for free
I love It’s easy to earn points that can be exchanged for gift cards. They current have gift cards for: Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Papa Johns, Burger King, Cracker Barrel, Black Angus, Applebee’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Panera Bread, California Pizza Kitchen, TGI Friday’s, Red Lobster, Landry’s (which includes Rainforest Cafe and Saltgrass!), and many more. When I cash out my points for gift cards, I get them for the places where we like to eat out, so even when we’re eating out, we’re not spending much (if anything at all) to do it.

We also have a Discover Card where we can cash out for gift cards to restaurants such as: Applebee’s, Black Angus, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and TGI Friday’s. The rewards add up quickly!

Order (or make) a heart-shaped pizza
Many pizza establishments will offer heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day. This idea is catching on, so if you decide to have your pizza delivered, it might take awhile. Consider picking it up or making one of your own at home.

Make your own meal
Beat the crowds and save money by making your own meal. Check out the link below for free recipe ideas.

Look for “freebie” deals
This deal comes from the “Thrifty NW Mom” blog:
Check out your local Old Navy store. They have Valentine’s Day cards that your child can color. If your child colors it and brings it back on or before Valentine’s Day, you get a coupon for $5 off a purchase in exchange for the card. The $5 off coupon is only valid on Valentine’s Day. Here are the “fine print” details:
Only at Old Navy Stores in the US and Canada. Not valid online. Coupon is good for one-time use only and must be surrendered at time of in store purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. If value of the purchase is less than the total value of the coupon the unused balance will be forfeited.

Get LOTS of budget friendly Valentine’s ideas by downloading the free “Valentine’s Day on a Dime” E-Book here.

Treat yourself and register below to enter a free shoe shopping spree:

Get your Valentine’s Day cards for free (or close to free):
If you have a CVS in your area, they have a deal on American Greetings/Hallmark cards (depending on what your store offers). If you buy 3, you get a $3 ECB. The ad says that prices start at $2.49, but the $.99 cards work toward this offer, as well. If you buy 3 of the $.99 cards, you get a $3 ECB back! If your area carries Hallmark cards, the limit is 2. If your area carries American Greetings cards, the limit is 1.

Surprise your kids with Madagascar 2 for almost free:
CVS has a deal this week where you can get an instant $15 off Madagascar when you spend $20 on P&G products. The products included are: Tide, Bounce/Downy, Duracell batteries, Pampers Jumbo pack diapers, Pantene Pro V, Crest or Oral B products, Dawn dish liquid, Always pads, Bounty paper towels, and Charmin toilet paper. There are lots of great coupons to match up with this offer. There was also a $3/1 manufacturer’s coupon for Madagascar in many newspapers last Thursday/Friday. So, you end up buying household items that you need anyway and getting Madagascar for $2. Check out my scenario for this deal here.

Make chocolate covered strawberries for your sweetheart!
You can spend big bucks buying chocolate covered strawberries at a store, or you can save money and make them yourself. Check out this link for an easy recipe that your kids can help with, too!

Make someone’s day
Surprise a spouse, friend, or family member by “heart attacking” them. Cover their door or car in hearts that share all of the reasons that you love them. It’s easy and inexpensive to do, and it’s a great way to make someone’s day!

Create family traditions
Create this link for ideas on family traditions you can start for your own family.