Times may be tight, but that shouldn’t put a crimp on your Valentine’s Day plans. Since money can’t buy you love anyway, take a hands-on, DIY approach, and you’ll have your best 14th yet. Here are three ideas that won’t break the bank –
1. Fondle the aubergine – Eat like royalty (but pay like a pauper) by cooking for yourselves. Head to the farmers’ market, see what looks good, then ask the growers about their favorite recipes. Build up from there, incorporating a few seasonal aphrodisiacs – fennel, blood orange and (of course) chocolate are great places to start. Splurge on champagne with the money you’ve saved.
Tip – Plan something sexy for “dessert.”
2. Go local – The quick trip to St. Barts might be out of the question, but don’t rule out travel altogether. Explore an area of town you don’t know, then end up in a hotel bar before whisking your partner off to the elevator, and – what’s this? – producing a key. It’s a great surprise and easy to get right. Check in earlier in the day and stage the room or make other arrangements as you see fit. (If a room is outside the budget, you can just stay in the elevator and fulfill that OTHER fantasy you’ve always had.)
Tip – A different bed is a great place to try different things.
3. Party favors – There are several free online applications that will allow you to easily make flip books from video. Use your phone or camera to film a few sexy seconds you know your partner will love, print them into a flip book, then slip it in their pocket to find later in the day.
Tip – Let the real gift be reenacting your favorite scenes together.