Americans spend over $13 billion on Valentine’s Day buying candy, flowers and jewelry, or going out to dinner, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. For those couples looking for a meaningful and relatively inexpensive way of celebrating the holiday Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder, authors of the new love journal The You & Me Book suggest couples explore their own love story.
Here are five exciting ways to make your Valentine’s Day more meaningful and personal:
1. Plan a movie night. Cue up a few of your all-time favorite movies, pop popcorn and nibble on cinema-size candies while you cuddle on the couch. Cost: $10-15 dollars (depending on your tastes in candy).
2. Go on a fun food crawl. List all your favorite local places for sweets, drinks and other treats–and spend the night visiting each one. It’s cheaper, and infinitely more fun and unique than an over-priced dinner. Cost: Under $50
3. Vow to buy each other a fun, sweet and meaningful gift–for under $5 or less. Suggestions include buying a silly app for your partner, wrapping a dollar-store present like it’s magical and expensive, or making a pint of ice cream a delightful dinner for two. Cost: $10
4. Create something together. Buy a blank canvas, construction paper, crayons–whatever strikes your fancy. Take turns working on your creation through the night (perhaps while sipping on your signature cocktail made to celebrate your coupledom).
5. Plan dinner together. Spend time deciding on the menu and drinks, shopping together, and preparing the food. More fun and cheaper than dinner out, it also allows you to spend time together. Cost: Under $50 (depending on your menu).
The You & Me Book offers many quirky prompts and activities that allow couples to explore things they didn’t know about each other during this Valentine’s Day season.