How to Save on Valentine’s Day in Toronto

Posted on: February 3, 2020

Posted in Budgeting, Financial Advice | Comments Off on How to Save on Valentine’s Day in Toronto

heart shaped valentine’s day pizza to save money on Valentine’s day

How can you save on Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year?  It may seem impossible, but really the trick is simple: spend less and get more.

You don’t have to fall prey to the hype and commercialization of Valentine’s Day and be pressured to empty out your wallet for a crazy expensive Valentine’s Day dinner date or a pricey gift to get for your new flame or significant other. Especially just after the holidays and the damage done on your precious savings, you need to bring the focus back on your finances to spend within your means, get back on track and stay in the black. 

But you don’t want to be stone-cold hearted, you’ve got to give the day some special attention and do at least something romantic with your partner. So even with very little money, you need to know how to spend it wisely so you can get the most bang for your buck. It’s really all about making the effort to spend quality time together and making sure that both of you have an amazing Valentine day experience that’s impossible to forget.

Here are some ideas to make February 14th a stand-out experience without breaking the bank! 

The Flowers

bouquet of roses at a grocery store that is less expensive

Of course, you’ve gotta give flowers on this special day most especially if this has been the norm since the start of your relationship. However, plunking down $200 for an over-the-top arrangement of long-stem roses is a bit too much when you’re on a tight budget. You can buy flowers for Valentine’s Day on the cheap, here’s how. 

  • Don’t buy from a florist. Buy from grocery stores, 24-hour gas stations, warehouse stores or at Local Farmers Markets, in particular stores that keep their flowers refrigerated. They can be just as long-lasting as those at a florist and are quite affordable, costing only a fraction of a bouquet from a florist.
  • Roses are in very high demand on Valentine’s Day as it’s the symbol for romantic love, especially long-stemmed roses. If you want to save on Valentine’s Day choose romantic floral alternatives, such as red and pink tulips, orchids, lilies or carnations. Carnations in particular are some of the cheapest flowers around and they also last around 11 days. 
  • If you must buy roses, buy them ahead of time. Prices on roses hike up in the days before February 14, when they can go up double the price or more. Roses usually last 

between five and seven days, thus you can buy them four or five days before when they may be a little cheaper compared to Valentine’s Day itself.

  • Choose flowers with tight buds.This way they still have a few days to blossom. If the buds are already open, they’ll only last another day or two.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Handmade and knitted cute as a valentine’s day gift at no cost

It’s Valentine tradition to buy gifts for one another, but if you’re strapped for cash and necessity trumps romance, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get creative. You got it right, make a gift instead of buying a gift.  Thoughtful, handmade gifts are just as romantic, and maybe even moreso, than those big-ticket items that come with a triple-digit price tag. 

Start with making your own Valentine card. Writing a personal and heartfelt message to say how you feel about your sweetheart in your own words – now that beats signing your name to a canned sentiment on a mass-produced card at any time. 

There’s lots of ways you can do this: 

  • If you’re an artist, you can create a lovely painting. Some good ideas would be, drawing a portrait of your significant other, or even a self-portrait is cool too, but romantic portraits of just the two of you will help you both see how much in love you are with each other. 
  • If you have craft-making skills, create a custom made card with fancy embellishments such as glitter, beads, stickers, origami or pop-up paper designs, or any other materials you like to work with.
  • If you’re a skilled writer or expert wordsmith, express your love with the use of words in a love poem or a romantic love letter.
  • If you’re a computer whiz, design a digital card with Photoshop or any image-editing software or create animated gifs with sounds and moving images. You can simply send this by email, and if you have a long distance relationship this will work big time.

Instead of buying extravagant gifts, you can try your hand on making adorable, easy-to-create projects that are made with love. Think something a bit out of the box that’s a little more special and will make them feel so warm and loved inside because of the time it took to create such a piece.

Here are some great Valentine gift ideas for your partner or family and friends :

  • Make these Candy Bags or Lemon Drop Mason Jars if you can’t afford to splurge on a box of gourmet chocolates. 
  • A scrapbook or a mini collage card using memorable photos, favorite quotes or poems and laying them out with cute stickers, laces, ribbons, glitter, metallic paint and decorative paper will keep alive the memory of your love for each other. 
  • A snow globe with heart motifs is also a sweet gift idea.
  • If you’re into sewing, you can stitch up a heart-shaped table runner or a pretty home decor for a perfect gift to a friend to use at a Valentine’s Day party.
  • Food gifts will definitely be appreciated by your sweetheart and everyone else that has a sweet tooth! Try baking this Heart-Shaped Cake or a batch of these Mini Rosebud Cupcakes.

Remember, there’s no better gift than something handmade. Make use of your personal skills, whatever those may be, to express your love without having to empty your wallet. 

For Affordable Date Ideas

Couples’ ice skate date on valentine’s day is cheaper

If you’re going out for Valentine’s Day dinner, remember restaurants are packed and no doubt you’ll have to pay more to have special menus for the evening. Why not swap eating out for some less traditional gestures that will make the special meal of the day just as romantic.

Try to cook a meal for your special someone, or if your date is up for it, cook dinner together and then have a romantic Valentine’s dinner in the dining room, or for added romance, maybe do dinner in bed. Wouldn’t it be more lovely to spend the night relaxing over good food and pleasant company, instead of with strangers? 

For a more eclectic but affordable date experience, there are more than enough free things to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day around downtown Toronto.

You can go ice skating under the romantic Toronto night sky at various skating trails across GTA for a perfect Valentine’s date. You and your date will have fun trying to decide between going to the classic Nathan Phillips Square or to the brand-new College Park skating trail. Or maybe skating and dancing the night away at DJ Skate Nights at the Harbourfront Centre is more your thing. 

It also costs nothing to visit Toronto’s historic Distillery District to enjoy the Toronto Light Festival. You can enjoy a romantic stroll throughout the streets and enjoy live music, sample alcoholic drinks and check out the vibrant exhibits of local and international light artists. 

If you’re looking for that not-your-average date idea, why not give away some love on Valentine’s day to celebrate love’s biggest holiday. What can be sweeter than spending the day with someone who doesn’t have a Valentine of their own. Whether you’re single or a couple, you can spread some love around to those who really need it on this special day. Why not visit a sick elderly relative or someone who has recently lost a loved one? You can simply give them a hug and kiss and talk to them for awhile and it will surely brighten up their day.  If you’re ready to give more love, take it up a notch and try volunteering for a good cause. Volunteering is great throughout the year, but especially on Valentine’s Day for people who might otherwise feel left out. Check out your local listings or Volunteer Toronto for ideas on where you can lend a helping hand.

With these tips on how to save money on Valentine’s day you won’t have to spend a good chunk of your savings account on lavish bouquets, fancy jewelry, or big boxes of gourmet chocolates. The idea is to at least do something personal and romantic on February 14th, you know, all that wonderful, sappy stuff that comes straight from your heart. It’s okay to change things up a bit. There are many ways to still be able to show your loved ones how much they mean to you, without having to cost too much.



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