George is at it again – bringing you some fantastic ways to have a great Valentine’s Day and getting a great deal too!
Diamonds are probably up there as a gift even if they may not be actually a girl’s BFF. They do tend to bring the contents of a wallet into sharp focus though and with the annual schmaltzfest that is Valentine’s day soon to be upon us again, just how do we show the one we love that they are special whilst at the same time being sensible with the cash.
Certain traditions have built up over the years. Commercial traditions that warm the tills of garages that still have overpriced bouquets outside the petrol pumps at 11.45pm on the 13th February. Commercial traditions that mean anything that can be given a 400% mark up if you make it in the shape of a heart and preferably red. Commercial traditions that… I think you get the idea, but before you dismiss me completely as an unromantic curmudgeon with long pockets and short arms, I am here to admit that nothing can be further from the truth. I am in fact a total romantic. A total romantic who likes to get value for money when it comes to gifts.
Getting the best deal on anything requires knowledge and a bit of effort. Supermarkets especially make it ridiculously easy to impulse buy things that can probably be better bought elsewhere. So planning something special is essential.
Firstly, knowledge. No one knows your other half better than you do, and because of that you already have a good idea what things they like, no matter the subject, anything is just a google search away. You can choose what and how much you spend from the comfort of your armchair and with many companies offering free next day delivery or click and collect the amount of effort required isn’t even that great.
But what kind of thing could you look for? A good idea is to make it as personal as possible. Got a favourite photograph? Why not turn it into a framed print instead of leaving it on a hard drive or on the phone. Loads of photographic print companies have offers on all types of products from photo books that can chart your relationship over time to high quality framed prints. If you find something you like, take the name of the company and google it again – this time with the phrase “voucher code” after it. You’ll be surprised how often you will find a way of getting an extra 10% off!
How about music? It is so easy now to put together a playlist and give it on a memory stick (choose a stick that looks the part – not a freebie from a bank or insurance company!) If you really want to push the boat out then vinylify.com will even put your favourite track on vinyl for you, complete with your own artwork. Prefer live music? Not all gigs are expensive and sold out. Check out local listings, most areas have a vibrant local music scene, use facebook and local directories to see what’s on near you.
How about going away for a weekend? It is almost impossible to know where to start with this one there are so many opportunities to take great breaks at a fair price. Groupon, Lastminute, MyVoucherCodes and Trivago are just a few of the sites you can look at for inspiration, with deals to suit every budget. My own daughter and her boyfriend got a great deal through Airbnb only a few weeks ago; one night away, a good meal for two and tickets to the theatre cost less than £150 including travel costs.
Prefer to stay at home? A romantic night in is a long standing staple of Valentines and how you choose to use it is entirely up to you. From cooking a special meal yourself and having your favourite bottle of wine to ordering your favourite takeaway (This year Valentines is on a Tuesday and Domino’s do a two for Tuesday deal. A coincidence – I think not!). All the major supermarkets do a “Dine in for two” deal nowadays, they’ll probably up the price for Valentine’s, but there’s no reason why you can’t draw inspiration from what they are offering even if you don’t buy the exact same thing.
There are so many options out there to make valentines special without overspending, it just needs a little thought and planning, After all, there is nothing at all romantic about a large credit card bill.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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