LONDON, February 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IVA.co.uk, an online debt forum, has 6,000 members, all of whom need a little help celebrating events like Valentine's on a budget. Andy Davie, spokesperson for IVA.co.uk, lends a helping hand with his top 10 tips for a money saving Valentine's.
1. Play chef for the evening
Wining and dining on Valentine's Day can be pretty pricey. So the best way to save the pennies this 14th February is to don the apron and cook up a delicious, candle lit meal for your loved one. You don't need to be the next Jamie or Nigella to impress your other half, simply search online to find helpful step-by-step recipes which won't break the bank.
2. Devise a meal from your cupboard
If you'd rather not spend money on extra ingredients for your Valentine's meal a cheaper option might be to use what you've already got stacked away in the cupboard. Don't fret if you find you're lacking culinary imagination, simply type the ingredients you've found into the 'Quick recipe finder' at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food. The website will put together a number of easy to follow recipes for you. Just remember, as long as you've got the company, it really doesn't matter how the meal turns out.
3. Or if cooking really isn't your thing...
Many supermarkets offer deals on special Valentine's Day ready meals for two. Most include three courses, a side plate, wine and even a box of chocolates for just GBP20. Quick and convenient, the ready meal will take care of itself in the oven, while you put on your favourite outfit, light the candles and turn up that Barry White CD.
4. Sign up for discount vouchers
If eating out is your only option, search the Internet for voucher websites offering printable discounts, including '2 for 1' and '20% off', on thousands of high street restaurants. Simply fill out your details online, print the voucher and present it to your waiter/waitress on arrival.
Try out http://www.vouchercodes.com and http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk.
5. Pick another date
Avoid eating out over the Valentine's period as set menus are likely to be more expensive during this time. Make a compromise and celebrate Valentine's Day with a meal the week after. Not only are you more likely to get a table at your favourite restaurant, your bill will be considerably cheaper.
6. Make a card for your loved one
These days we can find ourselves forking out close to GBP5 for the average Valentine's card. So, while more and more of us are starting to feel the pinch this February, now's the time to get creative. A piece of red card, a pair of scissors and a touch of glitter is all you need to create a thoughtful yet inexpensive token of your love.
7. Take them for a winter picnic
If you feel that you can brave some February alfresco dining then why not take your other half for a winter picnic? Pack some sandwiches, a flask of hot chocolate and wander down to a scenic spot in your local park. Not only is it an inexpensive yet incredibly romantic way to spend Valentine's this year, a winter picnic also provides an excellent excuse to snuggle up and keep warm.
8. Rent a 'Rom Com'
In order to compete with the recent increase in people downloading films online, DVD rental companies have considerably reduced their rental prices, many offering bargain deals such as '2 for 1'. There's nothing quite like watching a romantic film to get you in the mood, so why not support your local DVD rental shop and spend an evening in with a film this 14th February.
9. Buy a single red rose
The red rose is considered the ultimate symbol of love and men have showered women with a dozen red roses every Valentine's Day for centuries. Be wary, however, as a bunch of red roses today could set you back around GBP40. If you want to keep up the flower giving tradition this Valentine's Day, without emptying your wallet, then why not present your loved one with a single red rose; a beautiful symbol of your love that goes easy on the pocket.
10. Do something you wouldn't normally
Candle lit meals and flowers aside, the true meaning of Saint Valentine's Day is about expressing your love for a special person. Showing that you care really doesn't have to cost anything. Simply leave a token of your love for your other half by doing something which you wouldn't normally. Whether it's making them a cup of tea in the morning, or a goodbye kiss before they leave for work, a simple gesture like this is enough to remind them of your affections.