Chicago Valentine’s Day on the Cheap

Five ways to save cash – but save on romance – on V Day

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Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about love and passion, but those good vibes can quickly turn to disappointment when the bills arrive.

Flowers, chocolates, dinner and jewelry can add up pretty quickly, and while it may get you mad points in the romance department,  it ain't helping your bottom line.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Eileen Messier, president and founder of ELAN Relationships (a boutique matchmaking service for Chicagoans), offers five inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

  1. Even though baseball season isn’t in full gear, you can still get your dose of Wrigley Field and the outdoors. Head over to the Rink at Wrigley (next door to the stadium) for a day of ice skating. Weekend hours are Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For the affordable price of $10 for adults plus skate rental fee.
  2. The bedroom is the perfect place to start off the day with your loved one, where you can create a “picnic” in bed. Let him or her catch some extra Z's and surprise them with heart shaped pancakes, their favorite breakfast foods, and add to the ambience with candles and romantic music to fit the mood. A single long stem rose on the breakfast tray, along with a kiss is the perfect way to wake up your sleeping beauty.
  3. Take a load off and relax with an intimate couples massage. Massage therapy training facilities such as Cortiva Institute (18 N. Wabash St.) offers top notch spa services at prices that won’t break the bank. Cortiva is offering a special 60-minute couples massage gift certificate for $70, if purchased before February 15th.
  4. Dancing is always a great way to get close with your cutie. Dancing, along with dance lessons at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park will be available Valentine’s Day weekend. Hours are Saturday: 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday: 1 to 8 p.m.) for free!
  5. Short on cash but still itching to hit the town? Why not enjoy dinner at home and then head to an intimate spot like Salute Wine Bar & Café (46 E. Superior St.) for its special Dessert Package for Two, which includes a choice of Frangelica S’mores, Campari, Banana Bread Pudding and a dessert wine per person for $25 from 10 p.m. till close. Salute is also featuring a romantic black and white Italian film for the evening to create the perfect backdrop for Valentine’s Day.

And if your goal is to have a Valentine's Day date when 2011 rolls around, take advantage of Elan Relationships February special -- 20 percent off its membership discount for the month of February.

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