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How much do you need for Valentine’s Day?

Category Budgeting

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water after Christmas, another big expense is coming up. Are you on track to wow your partner sufficiently for the next holiday?

With a bit of imagination, you can find something memorable and romantic that isn’t a complete cliché or credit-card cruncher.

Here are five ways to give your better half an extravagant impression without overspending.

Rose petal bed – under $30

Wake up your beloved in a rose petal strewn bed, making sure to keep some blooms intact to give to them. Most flower markets will be able to hook you up with a large bag for around $15, but you’d have to get there early. It’s an affordable and memorable way to treat your sweetheart like a fairy tale prince or princess, even if most of the memories may be cleaning up dried petals from under the bed for days afterwards.

Winter wonderland – under $50

Transport your beloved from the hot February sun to the icy plains of… your local ice rink. It’s a great way to cool down then warm up again afterwards with a hot chocolate. Alternative option: keep cool with a harbour cruise – catch the ferry and go up river or round the bay, stop off for a coffee, and return.

Romantic brunch – under $100

A leisurely brunch with a million-dollar view overlooking the ocean or harbour can be as affordable as you like. Choose a beachside cafe and a bacon-and-egg roll, or treat yourself to a champagne breakfast at a hotel. You can get a Chandon Breakfast for two for around $80.

Cookery class – under $200

If your budget won’t stretch to a personal chef, be your own master chef by taking a cooking class together. Give some sugar to your sweetheart by decorating fancy cupcakes or making macarons. Alternative option: try a dance or photography class if you have something else planned for dinner.

Balloon ride – under $300

The next best thing to a private jet: take to the skies and enjoy the open air and the 360-degree view in a hot air balloon. It’s a pretty unique location to propose – though the presence of the pilot may restrict intimacy. Prices start from around $250, depending on the location.

If budgets are severely strained, you can always create a ‘home pamper package’ for next to nothing. Make a homemade card and a delicious meal, purloin a rose from the neighbour’s garden, and give your beloved vouchers for a back rub or a foot massage. Or tie a ribbon around your waist and make yourself the gift!