Set the Mood
There’s no place like home when it comes to creating an intimate, romantic setting. Plan Valentine’s Day at your apartment (or your partner’s) and decorate with items that represent romantic memories—photos from a trip that you both took, crafts that you made together or pieces of furniture that you picked out as a couple.
Turn off cell phones, computers and the TV to minimize interruptions. Create and play a mix of your partner’s favorite love songs or music from a special concert that you attended together. Light candles, dim the lights and make sure that your Valentine’s favorite scent is in the air. Our sense of smell can trigger feelings of relaxation and pleasure, so wearing a perfume or cologne that your partner loves can help set the mood.
Table for Two
Preparing a meal at home will save money and you’ll avoid the hassle of crowded restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Some couples might enjoy making dinner together, or you may want to cook your partner’s favorite foods ahead of time. If cooking is not your thing, many supermarkets offer fully or partially prepared meals that you can dress up with garnish or by presenting with your best plates, silverware and cloth napkins. Decorate the table with candles or fresh flowers, and pick up a bottle of champagne or wine to enjoy with your meal.
If your date has a sweet tooth, don’t forget the dessert! Petits fours, fruit dipped in chocolate and truffles make fun treats that you can share. If you have a fireplace, roast marshmallows or make s’mores by a cozy fire.
Pamper Your Valentine
Does your loved one need a little TLC? It’s easy to turn your apartment into a spa. Run a bath with scented salts or a few drops of essential oil. If you’re on a budget, add baking soda to soften the water or create bubbles by pouring in some shampoo as the water runs out of the faucet. You can also use sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or jojoba oil for a massage. Heat a couple damp, rolled up hand towels in the microwave for a few seconds and place them on the neck and shoulders to help release tension.
There are many other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget at home—paint a portrait of your date, restore an antique that he or she purchased or write a song together. You don’t need a big wallet to show your love, just a big heart!
Photo credit: iStockphoto/AlexandrMoroz