A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

How to do Valentine’s Day on a budget

Edgar Soria Garcia

Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean your heart has to be.

Valentine’s Day is here, along with the opportunity to have a great day with your sweetheart. There’s just one issue: Your brain says Cheesecake Factory, but your bank account says Taco Bell.

There’s no need to worry. Here are five ways to break your single streak without breaking the bank.

1. Make your own dinner

A home cooked meal is a surefire way to let your special someone know you care, plus your amateur cooking skills will surely impress. To start, look up old fashioned recipes online—the fewer ingredients, the better the savings.

Another tip: when walking into the supermarket grab one of the coupon booklets they have on the newspaper racks, or see if your local market has any online coupons. Some manufacturers have coupons online that work for almost any store.

For drinks other than soda, places like BevMo’ sell great budget wines and even Italian soda can work. Glass cups, plates and a vase can all be purchased at your local dollar store for surprisingly-good quality.

But the most important part is to be genuine and not try to be flashy—sometimes less is more.

2. Go natural

Not everyone is Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. If cooking isn’t an option, there are a variety of outdoor activities to do here in Sonoma County. Take your sweetheart on a quiet walk through Ragle Ranch Park, or a hike through Taylor Mountain Regional Park.

Going for a hike can be fun, and a beautiful view at the top of a mountain is just as romantic as a candlelit dinner.

3. Budget Theaters

So, it’s cold, rainy and your significant other hates the outdoors. There are many theaters with matinees, or online apps with coupons for discounted films. A movie date is a timeless and classic night-out, even if it’s the matinee showing.

Santa Rosa’s 3rd Street Cinema offers affordable tickets for movies past the premiere dates and cheaper concessions.

Watch a movie both of you want to see, and if they want to see a movie you already saw, bite your tongue.

4. Local events

This is short and sweet. Sonoma County always has some sort of cheap or free public events for holidays, and it’s always fun to attend a local event with a special someone. There are free events such as the bridgewatch at the Golden Gate Bridge, or you can listen to live bands at Redwood Cafe in Cotati for $10.

Do your research, look up events online and see what the event is. It doesn’t have to be the most exciting, simple things can be fun too. Depending on your date, do your homework and do something you both will be interested in.

5. Be you

If all else fails, the very best thing you should do is be yourself. Don’t be flashy, don’t try to impress, be you; it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. And if your date doesn’t like all the effort you put in—you need a new date.


Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Edgar Soria Garcia
Edgar Soria Garcia, Magazine Editor
Edgar Soria Garcia is in his final semester at The Oak Leaf; he is the magazine editor for Spring 2020. He hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton in the fall to get his bachelor’s in journalism. Edgar would describe himself as Shangela acting as Jennifer Lewis on Snatch Game (Rupaul’s Drag Race). Edgar is known for quoting Suga Free: “If you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready.”

Comments (0)

All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *