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Valentine’s Day on a budget

    By Alyssa Amasol. February 14, 2013 - 9:51 am


Watch the sunset together with your valentine. Photo: Maren Bjoergum

Flowers, candy, jewelry, candlelit dinners, and more are all great gifts. But for college students on a budget this holiday can leave dents in wallets.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average person is planning to spend $130.97 this Valentine’s Day; that’s as much as some textbooks! Instead of spending a fortune this week, here are a few suggestions for a great Valentine’s Day without breaking your bank account.

Happy hour is the way to go! Take your date to some of Hawaii’s most romantic restaurants and leave with a bank account that doesn’t hate you.

Outdoor, indoor and balcony seating at Genius Lounge in Waikiki makes it the perfect place for lovebirds. Happy hour during dinnertime (6-8 p.m.) consists of half off pupus, cocktails, sangria, and beers ranging from $2.50- $5. This cool little hideaway is known for their selection of Japanese sake (also half off during happy hour) and for a smarter dining out experience.

Sit in awe of an amazing, rotating view of Honolulu at the Top of Waikiki with its late night happy hour starting at 9 p.m. All of their drinks are around $4 with appetizers around $7. Keep in mind it’s a fine dining restaurant so portions are known to be small. Instead of a late dinner, eat elsewhere then head to the Top of Waikiki for after dinner drinks and pupus.

Catch the sunset at RumFire in the Sheraton Waikiki. From 4-6 p.m. order a cocktail for about $6.50 or a beer for $4.50 and knock a dollar or two off the pupu menu. Wow your date with a breathtaking sky show (and a chance to take some awesome new Facebook photos).

For an even thriftier idea, have a special night in. Maybe an indoor picnic will woo your Valentine.

Senior Alyssa Fukumoto said, “We’re actually planning on cooking for each other.”

Plan a special meal of your date’s favorite foods instead of going out. Find homemade specialties or recipes online but remember to experiment with them first.

Valentine’s Day may take a toll on those in long distance relationships. But junior Klaire Trajano plans to actively celebrate.

“He’s flying here from the 14th to the 18th to run the Great Aloha Run,” Trajano said. “So we’ll spend Valentine’s Day together and then run. We’ll pretty much spend the weekend staying active.”

Even if love isn’t in the air, enjoy the day anyway! Senior Tyler Nakasone will.

“I pretty much just go out and have a good time hanging out and talking with all my single friends,” Nakasone said.

Spend this Feb. 14 with those you care about. As senior Samantha Isidro puts it, “I feel like it’s more of an obligation when you can do that everyday.”

Don’t let the hype of Valentine’s Day hurt your bank account. Enjoy whatever you do, just remember to keep it cheap!