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Love during the coronavirus outbreak: Budget Valentine's Day at home

Love during the coronavirus outbreak: Budget Valentine's Day at home
PHOTO: Pixabay

In light of the recent Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, travel plans are being cancelled, offices are implementing work-from-home measures, and staying home after work to unwind with a nice cuppa is looking more appealing at the moment. 

But, hey, it's also time for Valentines' Day and you still want to celebrate with your special someone. Or, better still, celebrate yourself if you're single. 

Coronavirus has, reportedly, not only resulted in deaths globally, but is also hurting economies and businesses. Supply chains are being interrupted and industries such as travel and tourism are being adversely impacted. If you're worried whether travel insurance will cover COVID-19, we've tried to get you some answers here

On an individual level, our plans in the near future might change. We may not head out this weekend, or book an overseas holiday in the next month, or go for that fancy date at that swanky restaurant. Evidently, a lot of us are going to be home this Valentines' Day 2020. 

So, here's listing out ways to still make the day special for you and your partner (and save money at the same time). 

COOK A SPECIAL DINNER TOGETHER  

There's nothing that quite warms the heart like a home-cooked meal. If you're completely new to cooking, don't jump straight into the deep-end to try and cook up a feast using your newest sous vide machine.

You can always opt for simpler dishes such as aglio olio, grilled chicken or baked salmon with sides or even a simple fried rice.

There are special Valentines' Day promotions, deals and offers that you could totally make use of if you're planning to step out. But if you're cooking up a storm at home to impress your significant other (and psst… watch your expenses), a meal would come for under just $30 per person. 

Potential savings as a couple: $50 - $300 

CHEERS TO A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION

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A good bottle of wine or prosecco can be a great romantic touch to your meal. Adding a glass of wine to your Valentines' Day meal at a fancy restaurant could easily cost $50 or more. 

Instead, pick up a bottle of wine from the nearest Cold Storage, Wine Connection, RedMart or other wine stores or challenge yourself by experimenting with your own cocktail concoctions. Set up your very own 'bar for two' to make it extra special. 

Potential savings as a couple: $50 - $200 

CREATE YOUR OWN MOVIE THEATRE EXPERIENCE

If your idea of a romantic Valentines'  date is to watch a movie together in a dark movie theatre with surround sound, you can dim the lights and set up your own private theatre in the comforts of your home. From Netflix to Amazon Prime Video and Hulu to HBO Go, your movie streaming options are aplenty. 

What's more, you can enjoy the company and the movie, complete with total privacy, your favourite snacks and the ability to pause the movie at any time you want. If popcorn is an absolute necessity to set the mood, you can always purchase a microwavable bag of popcorn at the nearest supermarket for less than $5!  

Here are some suggestions for romantic movies for Valentines' Day on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Or, better still, rent the latest Oscar-winning film, Parasite, on Amazon Prime.

The cost of a normal movie ticket on a Friday night is about $13, so you stand to save some bucks while creating your own binge-watch night at home.

Potential savings as a couple: $26 - $120 

RELAX IN A BUBBLE BATH

For those that have a bathtub at home, it's time to finally put it to good use. Get yourself bath bombs, bubble baths, bath salts or bath oils of your favourite scents. To up the ante on the romance, you can soak some rose petals in the bath. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having a bathtub. But who stops you so you from giving each other a relaxing massage? Cozy up for a romantic night while saving yourself the cost of an expensive couple spa session. 

Potential savings as a couple: $100 - $400 

GET COMPETITIVE WITH GAMES 

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If you love going out together for games and activities such as bowling, pool, darts, arcade games, here's your chance to create your own fun game zone at home. Especially if you have gaming devices like a Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Playstation. If not, even your laptop and mobile phone will do. 

Board game cafes in Singapore may be your regular haunts, but they charge a fee per person, based on an hourly or daily rate. Make it a date night of a different kind and spend nothing at all on the games you already have at home. 

Potential savings as a couple: $10 - $60 

WORK OUT TOGETHER

Exercise junkies might look to avoid the crowds at gyms, swimming pools, spin classes and studios. It doesn't mean you have to skip your gym routine entirely - take this time to exercise together at home. Push each other to beat your own last fitness milestones and unwind with a hearty meal after. 

All you need is a HIIT video (or any other workout video that does not require gym equipment) to follow. 

Potential savings as a couple: $5 - $100 

To set the mood for your Valentines' Day celebrations, add some candles, fairy lights, and flowers. It may be cliched, but it almost never fails to get joyful squeals. You don't have to let Coronavirus play spoilsport.

In more ways than one, Valentines' Day at home can be unique in its own way. Not only do you get to create a special experience by doing these activities together, but you also save quite a significant amount of money while you're at it. 

This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.

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