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Spend time not money for Valentine's Day

By Natalie Kanakares
On February 12, 2013

  • Philosophy Professor David Bullwinkle. Michael Coglan

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Love birds will be singing, couples romancing and a lot of money will be spent, but for what? Instead of spending money on forgettable gifts, why not take the day and simply make memories that will last a lifetime?

Starting the day off with a romantic gesture such as sending a loved one a romantic text or a phone call can set the tone for an unforgettable day.

For couples who live together, a sticky note with a personal message on the bathroom mirror can be a thoughtful reminder of the day.  Notes can also be left on a night stand or scattered around the home in a romantic scavenger hunt throughout the day.

Dinner and a movie may be a cliché but it's still a fun date idea. However, when the cost of dinner at a nice restaurant, movie tickets and popcorn add up, a night out on the town can break the bank. 

A more affordable and perhaps more memorable idea is for couples to spend the night in and make a homemade meal. Romantic dinner recipes for two can be found on or

Putting on some soft music and dimming the lights will set the mood and help create memories that will last for years to come. Small personal touches such as a favorite dish, candles on the table or even a few simple decorations can add ambiance. Even dessert can be made memorable by baking and decorating sweets together.

After dinner, instead of spending money to see a new film at a movie theater, choosing to rent, borrow or watch an old favorite that both partners enjoy can be an affordable and romantic way to spend time together.  The American Film Institute's list of 100 Passions can provide romantic ideas to those looking for something classic.  Watching movies in a more intimate setting than a crowded theatre can also be a great way for couples to spend quality time together.

If couples insist on exchanging gifts or going out for a special night, that's perfectly fine as well. After all, Valentine's Day is about expressing love in a personal and meaningful way.

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