• 6 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Breaking the Bank

    You may still be reeling from your December bills so you might not be so eager to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Try out some alternatives from contributor and mom, Lorela Sandoval, and still express your love meaningfully.
    by Lorela U. Sandoval .
  • The month of February ushers in several things: love, romance, Valentine’s dates, gifts, and, most especially, expenses. While a lot of couples continue to be smitten with this tradition, some parents might still be reeling from the holiday expenses and may view Valentine’s Day as yet another occasion for breaking the bank.

    So for those parents who are dreading Valentine’s, below are more affordable yet still wonderfully expressive ways of celebrating that special day.
     
    Do Something Out of the Ordinary

    There are the ordinary Valentine’s day staples—flowers, chocolates, stuffed toys. They’re certainly not bad ideas. But they may still be undeniably pricey, especially in February. Why not try these instead?
    Write a love letter tracing back the loving roots of your relationship. No one gets over the excitement of reminiscing the good old past—the day you first met, the feeling that suddenly swept you off your feet. You don’t have to be a great writer, or write your thoughts in perfect grammar, though. If the English language is out of your league, simply write it in Filipino or Taglish for as long as you are fully expressing yourself.For people who are no experts of the written word, you can copy or quote great love poems from the internet, and have it printed on a personalized greeting card, along with your best picture together. Adonis Maranan, father of three, attests to the efficiency of an electronic greeting card. “Simple lang, but it comes from the heart,” he admits. He personally made one for his wife and emailed it, which the latter appreciated. The internet is a gigantic bank of craft ideas for cards and letters. All you need is a little imagination to make the most of it.Also, you can also download favorite love songs from the internet and compile it in a blank CD. It’s an updated version of the mixed tape of the 80s. Perhaps asking someone to burn a copy for you is another way to do it as well. You can put your CD and your card in one package. 

    DIY Chocolate Goodies

    You don’t need to give up chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Instead of buying them, though, why not make some?  Add a personal touch and spend less by making some chocolate goodies at home. Chocolate making is easy to do and relatively affordable. Try searching the internet for resources. You can buy one bar of chocolate and make personalized chocolates in different shapes and sizes. Put it in an attractive box and you have a personalized, affordable and yummy Valentine gift! You don’t have to stop at chocolates, bake other chocolate goodies as well.
     
    DIY Romantic Dinner

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    Instead of reserving seats in a posh restaurant, prepare a breathtaking dinner date at home or a favorite picnic spot, if you prefer. Cook a simple dish, or ask someone to prepare it for you. Reinvent your home or garden and make it a stylish setting, complete with your favorite music and candle light. For parents with older kids, you can have your children act as restaurant servers so they can join in the fun.  Again, you will need a little creativity here, but this approach is absolutely much less expensive than dining out. Breakfast in bed is also another alternative.
     
    Find the Best Sunset Spot

    Watching the immeasurable beauty of the sunset by the bay and spending a romantic evening simply by talking and sharing your favorite soda, chips and ice cream may seem cheesy but it’s definitely worth doing. After all, that’s what being married means: “for richer or for poorer,” you’re together and making it work out.  
     

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