Dine for Less this Valentine's Day

Dining for less this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is one of the restaurant industries’ busiest days of the year. Of course prices are going to jump even higher as we get closer to February 14th, but relax, you don't have to overpay for that crème brulée. 

Check out these five frugal tips that will help you savor the romance without breaking the bank. 

Appetizers Only

A full dinner out at a nice restaurant can run anywhere from $28 to $250 per person depending on where you call in your reservation. Instead of sitting down to a four course meal that will leave you feeling full and choking on the bill, why not mix things up this year? Head to your favorite restaurant for appetizers and then plan a fun activity immediately after. Try ice skating, stargazing, or taking a night stroll through a museum or indoor garden. You'll save about 75 percent compared to a sit down dinner and you'll be offering up an experience sure to be more memorable than the sautéed chicken and grilled asparagus you skipped.

RELATED How Much Do Men & Women Spend On Valentine's Day?

Order Take-out

Skip the crowded overpriced restaurants altogether this year and surprise your sweetheart with their favorite take-out or guilty pleasure food and then find somewhere romantic to eat it. Under the stars, next to the fire, or even the spot where you shared your first kiss or first met. Be sure to get your order in early and trade out the disposable containers for real plates. Add a few candles and voilà! Instant romance.

Make Reservations Early or Late

If you're going to dine out on Valentine's Day, be sure when you call in your reservation to ask if they have any specials earlier or later in the evening. Some restaurants offer special discount rates to customers coming in before 6pm or after 9pm. Also ask about a fixed menu; you can regulate how much you spend in advance by selecting less expensive menu items in advance. As a bonus, it usually expedites service as well.

RELATED Why February is THE Time to Shop on the Cheap

Skip the Champagne

While champagne is synonymous with romance, it's hard for most people to tell the difference between the cheap and the top notch. Sparkling white wine offers up a great taste at a more affordable price and usually comes by the glass instead of having to buy the whole bottle.

Look for Package Deals

Many hotels offer special packages that include dinner on Valentine's Day. Look for one that also offers a complimentary breakfast the following morning to make the most of a good deal. Beware of room service though. Room service rates can sometimes jump up on holidays like Valentine's Day when most people don't want to leave their room.

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Teri Storelli is the founder of DiscountDame.com and has devoted herself to sharing the art of frugal living with her ever expanding audience through her site and seminars as well as creating and distributing her own unique coupon binder and organizational system. A pioneer of the "Smart" Couponing movement, Teri is making extreme savings through coupons easy and accessible to all. Her frugal living and DIY expertise has been featured on GalTime, Yahoo Shine and CNN.com. Visit DiscountDame.com for more information or contact Teri at DiscountDame@gmail.com.

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