Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saving on Valentines Day - Are You Up For It?

Yep...it's coming.  Two weeks from Thursday as a matter of fact.  You're probably thinking great, another holiday to pay for.  Budget looking a little strained from the recent holidays?  Made a commitment to cut expenses this year?  How are you going to do that with a holiday coming up and the expectations from your family that you will do just as you have done before?  But of course....break the mold.

Now don't get me wrong.  I love to see all the adorable things they have in stores these days.  Whether it's the grocery store or the drug store or the department store, there is absolutely adorable little gifts and trinkets and clothing and goodies everywhere.  Candy, cards, perfume, cologne, tumblers, tablets, pencils, stuffed animals galore, jewelry, gift baskets, gifts for couples, gifts for kids, gifts for pets, cookies, cakes and of course we can't forget the all important flowers and roses.  You just "Have To Have It" right?  Not necessarily.

If you want to cut expenses and are serious about it, break the old tradition of buying this, that and everything and create a new tradition.  Buy Nothing!  I didn't say don't celebrate it.  I just said don't spend a penny on it.

Tomorrow, some time during the day when the entire family is together, set the challenge.  This year we are going to celebrate Valentines day without spending a dime.  Make it a family challenge.  Valentine's Day is about showing love, not buying it.  Well, put your thinking caps on and get busy with Cupid.

Instead of buying cards for your loved ones, make them yourself.  Put a special personal note inside each one.  Your children will cherish it forever and your spouse or significant other will cherish it more than any store bought card.  Write a poem, create a song, do something different.

Instead of buying cookies, cakes, pies and candy, make it yourself.  Not the best cook in the world?  Didn't attend the Martha Stewart Culinary Institute?  Who cares.  Get the kids involved and have some fun.  Don't have cookie cutters to cut hearts out of cookies?  Don't need them.  Use a butter knife or skewer or the blunt end of a craft paintbrush and draw them out in the dough yourself.   Need a cake recipe, search the web.  Need a cookie recipe?  Ditto.

Get out that box of craft items you let the kids play with for quiet time and let their imaginations run wild.  Get out your sewing materials and scraps and let the kids have at them.  There is nothing in the good book about Valentine's Day, therefore there is nothing that says it has to have hearts on it or cupids or arrows, etc.  Let the kids be creative.  Make the old salt and flour hard as a rock ornament dough recipe and make hearts or circles or square.  Make a coupon book for each of your kids.  One coupon could be good for a hug when it's really needed.  One coupon could be get out of jail or sorts for grounding.  One coupon could be good for one free back rub for your significant other.  I'm sure you can come up with 5 coupons for each person of your family.  Take a piece of paper and cut out squares, write "Good For One _________" on it, decorate them to suit your fancy, staple them together and there you go.

Your teenagers think they are too old to participate.  Not!  The challenge goes to them as well.  Make it interesting.  They can use any craft item in the house they can find.  Print pictures out you have stored on the computer, etc.  Let the kids decide what they want to make and offer to help if they need it.  Don't put limitations on what they come up with.  The goal is to get their creative juices going and make it fun.  The only rule of thumb is safety.  If your child wants to make something with the left over wood from the garage, then let them but help them with the equipment.  Safety, safety, safety.

Make Valentines Day a Family Day.  After school is over and you've picked the kids up from their outside activities, make it a family evening.  Plan a special meal where EVERYONE pitches in.  Everyone cooks and everyone cleans up the dishes.  Then bring out the dessert you fixed.  While you are eating dessert share your home made gifts (grab some hankies while you are at it because you will probably need them).  After the gifts are exchanged, watch a family movie together.

It will be an evening you won't forget and it will be worth more than anything you could have purchased in any store.

The fact of the matter is, if you really love someone, it shouldn't be measured in monetary value.  It should come from the heart.  Anyone can go to the store and purchase an item and grab a card and say, here....I love you.   Love is not bought or bagged and handed over.  Love comes from the heart and you can't buy it.  You can only show it and share it.

If you take this challenge, which I hope you will, you will have created one of the most memorable Valentine's Day you've had with your family.  Who knows.........you might just have created a new tradition.

From now until Valentine's Day, I will try to post some cute ideas for gifts you can make without spending a dime

So, are you going to take the challenge?  If you want to take the challenge but aren't sure how to tell them...print out this post, read it to them and blame it on me LOL.  Have them send me pictures of what they have created for you!!!  I'd love to see what you come up with.  You just might give someone else a great idea.

 

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