Simple and Inexpensive Ways for New Parents to Celebrate Valentine's Day

You're already in love with your partner, but now both of you have a new love in your lives. Having a baby changes your perspective. You may be exhausted, broke, or can't find or afford a babysitter. Despite the fact that he or she is an enormous drain on your time and finances, you love your baby more than you could have imagined. Here are some fun, inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with the ones you love.

1. Hand-Written Letter

There's a reason they call them love letters. In your own words and your own handwriting, tell your sweetheart what you love and appreciate about him or her. Use pretty stationary if you have it, or create personalized notepaper on your computer. Check out the Loveland Remailing Program. The folks in Loveland, Colorado will stamp it with a special message and mail it to your beloved. Check their website for deadlines.

2. Love Notes

All this requires is a little advance thought. Find a small box and fill it with a series of notes that list all the reasons you love someone. The notes can be serious, funny, or romantic. You can include special moments from your courtship, best memories, or just acknowledging your partner's sweetness and thoughtfulness. Tie the box with a pretty ribbon and remind your partner to read a note when times are tough.

3. What Says "I Love You" To Your Partner?

If you don't already know what makes your sweetheart feel loved, now is the time to find out. It may be taking over a hated chore, watching his or her favorite romantic movie together, giving a small but thoughtful gift to enjoy now or tickets for a future event.

4. Edible Flowers

Is there a food or drink that your partner loves and craves? Find it or make it. For an edible bouquet, make strawberry roses or fruit flowers. Dip them in chocolate or make some delicious fruit dip for a decadent dessert.

5. Special Dinners

Special dinners don't have to be expensive. If Valentine's Day means dinner out, there are ways to be frugal. You probably already know how to save money when dining out. Look for online deals or daily specials. Go out to a restaurant that is less expensive, but one of your favorites - you'll feel like a kid again. If it is a restaurant you have never tried, look at the menu online, so you are prepared. The best part of Valentine's Day dinner is usually the dessert, so try skipping dinner and just go out for coffee and a nice dessert (it also saves on babysitting costs.)

6. Make the Evening Festive

Skip the crowded restaurant. Instead, order food from your favorite restaurant and serve it on the good china. Put candles on the table. Wear clothes which are not baby stained. After dinner, put on your romantic song playlist, move the baby equipment out of the way and slow dance.

7. Let's Do Lunch

Instead of dinner, head out for an upscale lunch. Lunch prices are usually much more affordable, and there are often specials available. Can't find a babysitter? No problem. Babies are easy to take along, especially in a less formal atmosphere.

8. Change the Day

Many people celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving on a different day, why not Valentine's Day? Valentine's day is on a Thursday this year, so look for fun, specially priced activities in your area and expand the love to any day, including the weekend. Celebrating your love is romantic anytime.

9. Start a New Tradition

Ask a camera-friendly friend or family member to take a picture of you and your little one. Over the years, your family valentine photos will be a treasure. For a beautiful gift for your partner, you can also make an inexpensive photo book online. Include special moments to celebrate your love and your growing family.

10. Manage Your Expectations

No matter how carefully you plan, things will not always go according to plan. This is especially true now that you have a little one. Keep your expectations realistic and don't try for perfection. The key to a great Valentine's Day is reconnecting with your partner, now that you are parents. Make Valentine's Day special in your own way and keep your budget healthy at the same time. You'll be glad you did.

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