Can you believe it’s almost Valentine’s day? That day of the year during which those of us who are not romantically involved with someone simply don’t exist, and those who are romantically involved are put under such serious pressure to declare their unending love in ways that require lots of money, chocolate, flowers, trinkets, teddies, grand gestures, expensive dinners….it’s all quite exhausting really.
I’ve never understood why our society puts pressure on people (men in particular) to all but bankrupt themselves on one day, and if they don’t spend half a year’s salary on gifts and dinners and flowers then clearly their love isn’t true….
Ok, I’ll get down off my soap box. I think my feelings on the subject are clear enough.
That said, I’m not anti-valentines’ day at all, just not so much in love (see what I did there?! Oh I do crack myself up sometimes! ) with all the trappings and marketing and pressures that come with it.
They’re not good for anyone’s purse strings, not good for anyone’s mental health, and are really not any good for anyone’s romantic relationships either as a result of it.
Definitely rant over now. I’ll just get down to it.
So here is part 1 of 2….
How to do Valentine’s day if you’re ‘attached’, without killing your bank balance, or the earth…
Let your love grow like the flowers….literally….
Rather than buying a generic card from the store, get yourself some seed paper and make your own card. If you’re not verbally creative, google is a great place to go to get your verses for inside, but really, your own words from the heart will mean so much more.
I love Plantable Seedpaper for, well, for plantable seed paper. And, if you’re planning your wedding, why not give it a thought for your invites and bulk buy, saving yourself some money as you save the bees and wildflowers.
If you want to go the extra mile and make your very own seed paper, there are plenty of instructions here on the interweb on how to do it. All you need is paper, water, a blender, and some seeds!
Some easy to follow instructions here.
Plus, this can double up as flowers and a card if you’re on a really tight budget!
Instead of doing dinner out, do dinner in. Cook dinner together and have a night of no mobile devices, just chatting and connecting with each other. If you’re in the UK, let’s be honest, M&S do fantastic Meal for Two offers, and I’m sure their Valentine’s Day offering won’t disappoint.
But who says it has to be out for dinner, why not have breakfast together, or lunch together. Take a half day (or even the full day) off and spend it together a little less rushed, and have yourself a Valentine’s meal together that isn’t going to cost you the earth.
Well, the card could be doubling up, but, if not, think about this…what are their favourite flowers? It’s only marketing that says ‘It HAS to be roses’, they’re not the cheapest at any time of the year, but the prices are wildly increased for Valentine’s Day. See my earlier rant for my thoughts on that.
Why not take a walk through the Botanic Gardens on that Breakfast Date?
Or get one of those lovely buckets (yup, that’s what I’m calling it) of planted flowers, that will come back year after year, or a wee house plant or other potted flowers that could even be kept on the desk at work! There are some really lovely ones at the likes of Lidl, Asda, Tescos and all those.
Seriously. The bouquets of flowers are lovely, it doesn’t have to be roses, but let’t think about the environment here, they all come wrapped in sooooooo much plastic, and then there are those wee sachets of plant food that come along with it…it’s killing your bank balance, and the environment!
Plus, a wee plant that will sit on the desk at work and be a reminder every time they look at it, is really kind of lovely, and succulents and plants in quirky containers are super trendy at the minute!
If you’re being really clever about the potted plant thing, you could even get one of the varieties of plants that actually cleanses the air of harmful chemicals. Here’s a link to a solid list that was put together by Nasa!
I’m a serious chocolate lover, so on this one, I’m going to say splurge. And by that, I mean go for the good stuff. The super amazing, almost change your life kind of fine chocolate. Watching the wallet of course, you don’t have to spend a fortune, it’s not about quantity, it’s all about the quality.
Try to avoid all the things that come with single wrapped pieces. Much as I love my Lindor, and really truly I do, but all the individually wrapped wee chocolates….it just kills my environmental conscience. All that plastic wrapping does not speak love at all. So go for unwrapped, or minimally wrapped options.
Also worth a thought is to go for the dark stuff, according to Psychology Today, darker chocolate “is good for your memory, blood pressure, and your mood. It helps alleviate depression and also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which means that it is good for your brain”
If you’re in Northern Ireland, head over to Co Couture in the city centre for a real treat. They’re in the top 80 chocolatiers IN THE WORLD!!!! And I bet you didn’t even know they were there!
I’ll be putting part 2, Valentine’s Day when you don’t have a romantic partner to hang out with, up in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
What are some of your tips and ideas for Valentine’s Day that don’t kill your bank balance and the earth? Let me know in the comments!