Not fussed going out this Valentine's Day? Well our Lifestyle Editor Dáirne Black looks at the benefits of staying in and keeping things simple.
Valentine’s Day, the day when every chocolate in Ireland is bought and flowers are hastily picked. For those fortunate enough to be spending it with the one they love, here’s my take on the commercial, chocolate infused day.
Valentines Day for me, is best spent behind closed doors and allow me to explain why. I’m in an unusual position in that my boyfriend’s birthday falls two days after Valentine's Day, so it’s a double “celebration” if you will. I don’t know if Valentines Day really is something to celebrate , but it’s certainly a nice excuse to treat the person you love and get creative.
Staying in can really be as much fun as going out. Done right it’s a hell of a lot cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about that whole “keeping up with the Jones’s vibe”.
My personal recommendations are cooking a meal and relaxing with a movie. Supervalu are doing a great Valentine’s Day deal at the moment with a main course, two side dishes, a dessert and a bottle of wine for just €15. It’s an absolute bargain and perfect for a night in. M&S also do a meal for two deal as well which works out at about €14. There’s even one for €8.50 too, minus the wine. 
If neither of these tickle your taste-buds and you’re feeling creative, why not crack open the cookbook? Cooking dinner is one of the nicest things you can do, and shows that creative flair. Split the cost of the ingredients between the two of you and you won't be paying anywhere near what you would pay in a restaurant. 
With dinner sorted we then head onto the evening's entertainment. Most people will head for Netflix for a movie, but the television channels may provide an alternative option too. TV3 is showing Hitch with Will Smith and Eva Mendes, while RTE 2 have Star Trek. Make sure to choose something that you’ll both enjoy.
As for presents, if any, just keep it simple. Failing that, just ask them what they want. That may seem unromantic, but it saves money and time trawling through the shops. For anyone buying things like clothes, or even lingerie, make sure you know your partner’s size. There is nothing worse than getting a gift that’s too tight or too baggy.
Little things can be great gifts, or even get creative and make a little hamper, basket or box of goodies. Clichés like flowers and chocolates are still firm favourites, but again, it’s the thought that’s gone into it, not the gift itself. Homemade cards are also an option worth exploring.
Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, be safe and enjoy it. 

Photo: samantha celera/ Flickr