Elon, North Carolina|Thursday, January 26, 2017
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Valentine’s Day on a college budget 

Valentine’s Day is this Friday, and it’s important to know how to be sweet to both your loved ones and your wallet.

First, if you are looking to go out to dinner consider cooking from home. For example, enjoying a candle lit spaghetti and meatball dinner at places like Olive Garden can cost $13 per plate, while making it from home can cost only about $8.50 per plate.

Also, if you are set on dining out, consider sharing an entrée, only going out for dessert or having a lunch date. Places like Prego’s and Da Vinci’s Table have lunch menus that can offer cheaper options. Before arriving to a restaurant, consider placing a reservation to save time waiting for a table.

Now on to the the Valentine’s movies. Many new romantic films are coming out this weekend, including Winter’s Tale and Endless Love. Consider going to the matinee showing to save a couple of dollars or using a college ID to get a dollar off any night showing.

If you want to skip the movie theater, a RedBox rental can be a great solution in offering hundreds of DVDs for $1.20 per day.

But if a typical dinner and movie isn’t what cupid has in store for you, consider the Great Outdoors as a romantic option. The area is filled with free trails to explore, including Guilford Park and Marina that offers trails and paddle boat rentals.

Instead of spending money on a typical gift, consider a home-made gift or something that can personalize your relationship. Love letters are also a sincere gift for that special someone.

Whether you spend Valentine’s with one person or a group of people, celebrating relationships does not have to leave you broke. Get creative. It can mean a lot more than a box of chocolates and a $5 Hallmark card.

About the author: Meredith Stutz

Meredith is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio who has a passion for serving her community through honest and fair reporting. She is an Elon Communications Fellows and is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She has been a member of Elon Local News since 2012 and is currently serving as senior reporter. Meredith interned at 60 Minutes in New York, WLWT and WCPO in Cincinnati. Follow her on Twitter @MeredithStutz

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