With its heart-shaped balloons and overpriced prix fixe menus, Valentine’s Day can feel more like a consumerist marathon than a celebration of love. But for Latinx, romance is anything but transactional. It is a celebration of the good, memorable things one has going on in life, those moments that give you more than a present, but a smile and a forever-to-be-hold memory. So, although many Latin countries recognize Saint Valentine’s as “Día de los Enamorados,” they also toast to family and friendship. Because love does not need to be romantic all the way to be golden and celebrated, right?

So, at COCINA we want to invite you to celebrate Valentine’s like a Latinx. And at the same time, to do things on this day that can be meaningful, budget-friendly, and adaptable for every couple, family, and group of friends. 

In Perú, for example, people exchange orchids, their native flower, which represents love, thoughtfulness, and beauty. In Guatemala, people celebrate love with an “Old Love Parade”, where you can see the elderly folks of the neighborhood riding festive floats around the streets dressed in colorful costumes to celebrate love.

You do not need to romper el chanchito (a.k.a. the piggy bank) to embrace good and magical things in your life; you just need to be in the moment, present. To make that possible, here are three budget-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas for an authentic and sustainable Valentine’s Day celebration. 

Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day idea #1: Stay In! Noche Romántica At Home

“You can keep the Christmas lights until January –February–, this is our place, we make the rules,” says a #1 song that celebrates love. So, yes! Keep those Christmas lights on and turn your place into a love haven. 

You can choose the decorations, but leave the food to the experts (meaning us). 

There are many recipes you can try, but here are three dishes suitable for a romantic night with your special someone or your friends! Because romantic nights are what we want them to be!

Amaze your favorite people with a Fig Goat Cheese Pizza. This recipe is really simple to make, with easy-to-find ingredients, and it will only take you one hour! (Even better, if there are any leftovers, you can enjoy them the next day _you don’t need to share since Valentine’s will be over). 

Every pizza needs its perfect match, so while you are at it, put your friends or partner to work on an Orange Moon Cocktail. This drink takes five minutes to make so… no one has any excuses. It is a perfect, colorful, and delicious match for the pizza and the humans. 

Wrap up the night with Chocolate Discs. Whatever you choose to do on your noche romántica, sweets can’t be left out. So, pick the perfect moment to prep these chocolate discs with your favorite ones. This will be a team effort, cause nothing says I love you more than a shared kitchen and a messy recipe.

Mano A Mano! Dare To Discover New Places Together

Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day idea #2: Ditch the crowded, overrated restaurants, and take a romantic stroll through a new neighborhood. To make it even more adventurous and challenging, make a bucket list of places you’d like to visit, and things you must try, and add some spice by looking for Latin finger food or coffee shops. 

There’s nothing like sharing quality time while having fun and trying new things. You can even be inspired by the movie “Begin Again” and build a shared playlist. 

Challenge Your Creative Side! Put Your Manos To Work

For our budget-friendly Valentine’s Day idea #3, turn a common shared space into a creative hustle. Look for things that will get you off the phone and challenge your creativity. It can be needling, embroidery, painting, making friendship bracelets, or even a puzzle. 

Activities such as this not only bring joy and build a stronger bond but also provide a safe space to talk and open up more. You can even put a song playlist playing in the background and, afterward, take a “spa moment” with salts, oils, and rose petals to relax your body and mind. It can be shared or a great time alone after crafting with your friends.

Remember, the magic of Valentine’s Day lies not in how much you spend, but in the depth of your affection towards people that make your life shine. So, this year, put these these Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day ideas into practice and celebrate your amor con sabor, infuse your relationship with the vibrancy of your heritage, and create memories that will warm your hearts long after the chocolates are gone.

¡Feliz Día de San Valentín!

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Costa Rican Banana Bread Chocolate Pudding

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