Now you all know what a die-hard romantic I am (no sniggering at the back!). I'm planning a romantic evening in on Valentine's this year - our last as unmarrieds hopefully.
Not only can you get all lovey-dovey, but if you're smart, you can use it as the perfect excuse to save energy, be greener and save some money too - that's bound to get the old man's heart a-flutter.
So, here's my tips for an energy saving Valentine's:
1. Take a bath together.
Not a new idea I'll grant you, but perfect for a little romance. Did you know that 66% of the UK's water is used in the bathroom. The average bath uses 85 litres of water, so if you can hop in together, that's a lot of hot water saved. Better still, share a shower - showers use only 10 litres per minute, so as long as you're not in there all night, this could save even more off your water heating bill.
Pour a couple of glasses of wine, light some candles and have some big fluffy towels ready.
If it doesn't spoil the mood completely, chuck in your laundry after you get out for a soak to reduce washing time in the machine - ok, that might be hard to do discreetly without ruining the romance!
2. Ditch the switch and use candles.
Candle light is synonymous with romance, creating a soft glow and making everyone look more attractive...
Try eating your Valentine's meal without the lights, and leave the bedroom light off in favour of scented candles. Draw the curtain for added cosiness and to keep the warmth in
3. Moonlit stroll.
Leave off the telly, forget the DVD. Save on heating and lighting bills at home by wrapping up in hats & scarves and taking an evening stroll together. You don't need a dog to go for a walk. Enjoy the moonlight, spend time talking and get some fresh air.
4. Real flames.
The rise in fuel bills has brought about the resurgence of solid fuel fires. Undoubtedly real fires are more romantic, but for the most energy efficiency use a wood burning stove rather than an open fire. Because of the efficient way a stove burns wood, you get about 4 times as much heat from a log burnt on a log burner than from an open fire. The fuel is free or low cost, and it's carbon neutral because of the CO2 captured when the wood was a tree.
Not only do electric blankets use energy, they can potentially be dangerous - 5,000 home fires a year are cause by faulty electric blankets. Has that dampened your ardour?
If you feel the cold in bed, far better to use a hot water bottle or pop some extra covers on the bed.
Better still, snuggle up and make your own electricity.
This blog post is part of the Thrifty families blog carnival over at Family Budgeting pop on over!