Valentine’s Day usually makes people groan whether they’re in a relationship or not. Though, I’ll be honest, when you’re single on Valentine’s Day it’s even more annoying. I come from the school of thought that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be relegated to the obnoxiously bright red aisles of the drug store intended to burn our retinas and guilt us for not having someone to buy an oversized teddy bear for.
A few years ago, I was single and decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether or not I was in a relationship. I have some tips to make it frugal, fun and kind of ridiculous (in a good way, I hope) to celebrate love the way you want to!
1. Celebrate Galentine’s Day instead of Valentine’s Day.
Leslie Knope from the popular show “Parks and Recreation” makes it a point to celebrate her friendships on the day before V-day by having a brunch and exchanging handmade gifts. Leslie Knope’s planning is as cheesy as it gets- embroidered pillows, matching glasses, but honestly, Galentine’s Day can be anything you want.
In that spirit, plan an outing where you can do activities such as paintball, bowling, crafting or watching a movie marathon. Several years ago, I hostessed a Valentine’s Day cocktail party for all of my single friends- believe it or not, you’re not the only one! Get crunk on mimosas, overdose on sugar and spend time with your gal pals. Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be cheesy for couples, it can be just as cheesy and fun for chicks who know how to turn the holiday on its head, or just an excuse to drink some cocktails and eat chocolate before the 14th gets you down!
2. Hostess A “Cheesy Valentine Party,”
If you’re like me, you may feel the urge to don a pair of sunglasses whenever you walk into a grocer or drug store during the month of February. Those blindingly red aisles are enough to make anyone motion sick. Many of us groan when we think of the goofy presents that line the shelves of drugstores and card stores – oversized stuffed animals, ridiculous boxes of candy and sappy cards.
If you have a group of single friends, host a party with a gift exchange highlighting the cheesiest gifts you can buy for under $15. The person who brought the most ridiculous gift wins an extra prize. See, though most of us think Valentine’s Day is ridiculous, we’ll all admit we want one of those damn oversized teddy bears or at least a box of truffles, especially if we don’t have to gift it to ourselves!
3. Turn your attention to “puppy love.”
If you have a pet, spending a special day out together is a great way to celebrate the season of love. Going to a pet meet-up, scheduling an extra long walk, taking goofy photos together and pampering your pet with a spa day could be fun- even if it just means giving them a much needed bath.
Additionally, if you’re ready for pet companionship, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day by volunteering at a local animal shelter or seeing if you’re ready to adopt a furry friend? In February 2011, I adopted Ralph- an 8 year old rescue pug that has been my Valentine ever since. There’s nothing more lovely than saving the life of a shelter pet who needs a home!
4. Treat Yo’Self…Frugal Style
Honestly,there is nothing better for the soul than a good polish. If there’s a grooming ritual you love, treat yourself to it, especially if you can snag a coupon! Beat the winter blues and experiment with a new hair color, or finally use that spa voucher you got as a gift but never had time for.
If you subscribe to daily deal sites like Groupon, chances are you can get a mani-pedi half off and getting a good deal means there’s even more to love!
If you don’t have a gift card or coupon, call a salon ahead of time and see if they have discounted rates during slower weekdays and always avoid weekends and Vday itself unless you want crowds and “specials” that aren’t always so special (except for being expensive!) Make sure you also stop off for a martini, cupcake or treat yo’self to something sweet!
5. Create An Adventure With Random Acts Of Kindess For $5
There’s something tragic about Valentine’s Day that makes people feel more unloved than loved- ironic right? Sometimes we spend so much time in our own heads wondering why love has done us wrong, that we forget that we’re not the only ones feeling that way. A great way to feel love is to give it and let others randomly discover it for themselves.
For $5, you can take 5 $1 bills and leave them with a note for people to find- heck, even tuck them in those cheesy grade school Valentines. You can purchase silly trinkets and leave them in places for people to find, or you can print inspirational quotes, Valentine’s or words of encouragement to tuck in library books, leave in train stations or tape to windows and mirrors in public places. Sidewalk chalk is also a great and frugal way to leave messages to inspire others- only $2.99!