How I Got Away With An Anniversary Under $200!

Hey everyone, thanks for joining me for this week’s Monday Money post! My name is Joshua Rodriguez. Generally I write about financial tips to help in everyday life. However, today I’m going to give you a tip for a once a year occurrence, anniversaries! The drive for writing this article stemmed from my personal anniversary last Thursday. So, because this is the anniversary edition of Monday Money, let me start by telling you about my fiance.

Her name is Anamaria. I met her about 4 years ago. The day we met, I knew I wanted to be around her as a friend, lover or any other way I could. She’s a strong woman and didn’t make things too easy for me at first. I can’t tell you how many times she shrugged off my advances like they didn’t even happen. After a year of chasing her down, we finally became boyfriend and girlfriend…SCORE!

That was 3 years ago. Since that day, I’ve been one of the happiest if not the happiest man on the planet! She has done everything a man could ask for on a continual basis. Of course, she’s a good cook, she can clean, ect, but there’s far more to her than that. She’s incredibly funny, intuitive, and she has a heart for people. She’s got many of the same goals in life that I do, she’s got drive, she’s just amazing.

So, knowing all of this, I had to come up with a great idea for our anniversary to show her how much I appreciate her. The only problem was, I was pretty broke. Although some guys may have thousands that they can spend on their lovers for their anniversary, I’m not one of those guys. My budget was actually $200, and even that was a bit of a stretch for me.

I started my hunt for great things to do by asking friends, colleagues, and family in the area about things that they would do. Although I really appreciated their input, no one seemed to be able to name something that Ana and I haven’t already done together. So, I hit the search engines.

After hours of searching online, I had written down several anniversary gift ideas for further review later. I reviewed all of them, and decided upon Forktown Food Tours. They are a small local company here in the Portland, Oregon area ranked as the number 1 thing to do in Portland on Their products are tours of different streets and downtown areas in Portland while you get a taste of the city by stopping in at restaurants and food carts along the way. Another important thing I should mention is that unlike wine tasting which had a price tag of over $100 per person, this was only $75! So, for the two of us, I was well below my $200 goal!

I’ve got to admit, as we drove to the tour, I was a bit skeptical of my decision. After all, how romantic is walking with a group and eating? Well, my skepticism quickly vanished at the first stop. It was a Thai restaurant where we ate what I believe to be the best noodle dish I’ve ever had. I was hooked, and by the look on Ana’s face, she was too! We stopped at various restaurants and food carts. All the food was absolutely amazing. That was pretty surprising to me given that some of the food came from mobile food carts!

The food wasn’t all though. I believe that most of the enjoyment actually came from our tour guide. Our guide’s name was Heidi. Although she didn’t say she was a Portland native, I’m going to say she has to be. She had a passion for the city that I’ve never seen in anyone else. She explained the dark history of the street we toured as well as many things that were done to make it the amazing place it is today. She knew the stories of almost every store and restaurant, even those not included in the tour. And, to top it all off, she had a sense of humor and a genuine interest in her guests.

On the way home, Ana and I couldn’t stop talking about how much of a blast we had! It was an absolutely amazing time, and for $150 total, I just couldn’t believe it. Now, I know that although there are probably tons of people in the Portland area reading this, I also know that most people who are reading this are elsewhere. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to tour with Forktown or Heidi, but that doesn’t mean that food tours aren’t a great idea for your anniversary. As a matter of fact, I’ve done my research. There are food tours within a half hour of just about any city in America. Not to mention, Canada seems to be bursting with them too.

All of that being said, if you’re like me, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what to do for your special day…that’s OK, I’ve figured it out for you! Take a food tour, save tons of money, and have a great time!

Reader Question

I’ve shared what was by far my favorite anniversary activity I’ve ever done, now I want to hear about yours! What was your favorite anniversary adventure or gift? What made it special? Finally, was it cost effective (under $200)? Please provide your answer in the comments below.

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