I don’t know about you, but Valentine’s Day is always a stressful time for me. How can I make this year special, especially with all of the holidays, birthdays and events I’ve shared with my wife over the past year? Well, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable. If you’re tight on money this year, but have lots of love to give, try one of these budget Valentine’s Day ideas your significant other is sure to love.
Skip the Steakhouse
Fancy steakhouses can be a great date for Valentine’s Day; I’m sure most everyone can agree on that. This year, save some cash and eat like royalty by cooking at home. Go to your nearby market to grab some nice steaks and get cooking!
Two 12 ounce ribeye steaks, some side dishes and dessert will cost you just under $30, which is a bargain compared to the $75+ you’ll be paying if you decided to go out to eat. You could even throw in a bottle of wine and still pay less than going out for Valentine’s Day. Plus, just knowing that you worked hard creating a special meal for them is sure to make your other half happy.
Picnic in the Park
Instead of heading out to a restaurant and a movie, which is also a great way to spend time with your significant other, opt for a picnic in the park. Bring a blanket and a basket full of goodies, and you’ll have a romantic meal that you’ll both love. You don’t have to prepare anything expensive; if possible, include some of their favorite snacks or lunch items and find a nice place to enjoy lunch outside together.
If it’s cold or rainy outside, you can still plan the picnic. Lay out a blanket in the living room, light some candles and have a romantic picnic inside. You can either play some music or put on a movie you’ve both been meaning to watch for a while and have a nice, relaxing night together.
Make a Card or Write a Love Letter
Sure cards are only $5, but this one’s more about the sentiment than the cost. Why spend time looking for a card that says the right thing or conveys the right feeling when you can write what you feel from the heart? If you’re crafty, you can easily get some card stock and make your own Valentine’s Day card.
If you’re not the creative type, simply add in a love letter with your card. A one-page expression of your feelings can say more than any poem written in a card from the shelf, and that letter is worth more than any card you can buy. Both of these options can add an extra personal touch to make a large impact with an otherwise small part of Valentine’s Day.
Memory Boxes and Dessert
Take a trip down memory lane and sort through those boxes of pictures or tokens of your love you haven’t touched in a while. Do you have lots of movie tickets from dates you two have been on over the years or collect tourist pamphlets from cities you’ve visited? Whatever your “couple’s collection” might be, Valentine’s Day is a great time to turn them into something you’ll treasure forever.
Take the night to go through your memories together and put them into memory boxes (custom organized boxes about each thing you’ve done together). Grab some dessert and maybe a bottle of champagne, and you’ve got a romantic night filled with memories old and new.
Play a Game Together
We’re all so busy lately. Whether you’ve got work to do at home or kids that need almost all of your attention, it can be difficult to get some one-on-one time with your significant other. Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to put the work away, put the kids to bed early or simply turn off your phones and enjoy time doing something that isn’t a chore for the night.
Pull out one of your favorite board games or a puzzle you’ve always wanted to do, and spend time doing that together. It’s always the smaller moments that end up meaning much more than flowers and jewelry, and just hanging out spending quality time together is something you can’t put a price on.
Go Stargazing Together
Looking for a quiet, romantic Valentine’s date this year? Look no further than the great outdoors. Go outside and sit or cuddle on a bench or lay on your hammock or car and put your eyes to the sky for a cheap but memorable night with your date.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a planet on the night of Valentine’s Day. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more romantic evening than spending a night under the stars, looking at the splendor of the universe. Spark your curiosity and go planet and stargazing this Valentine’s Day for a night that’s out of this world.
Go on an Adventure
Is there a new restaurant in town that opened up, but you haven’t had the chance to go yet? Maybe neither of you have been to an art gallery or karaoke night before, but one or both of you really want to go. Whatever you haven’t done, an adventurous Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to make it happen!
While a trip out to join in on karaoke night or to an art gallery might not sound particularly exciting to some, the fact that you’ve done something new and out of the ordinary is sure to be a memory you won’t forget. As a bonus, this Valentine’s Day idea is really easy—just choose something that’s “not like you to do” and enjoy the experience with your significant other.
Every couple has “their” spot. Whether yours is a local coffee shop that you and your loved one visit to talk and enjoy quality time together or a local bar or restaurant where everybody knows your name, break out of the “same old, same old” this Valentine’s day and go someplace new to get cultured.
As you’ve seen in countless movies and TV shows, museums are a great romantic setting for any couple. There’s something special about getting immersed in the world of art, science or history with someone you love—it gives you each something to talk about and it can introduce you to new ways of thinking about the world around you. Museums can be an amazing intellectual and emotional experience to share with your significant other, and they’re usually very cheap at less than $10 per person!
Craft a Memory
If you’re both crafty, you can always create something together. There’s plenty of craft ideas you can do! Try your hand at creating a symbol of your relationship with your pictures or mementos you’ve collected as a couple.
Create a shadowbox frame that holds all of the movie tickets you have or piece together maps of the places you’ve visited to craft a memory you can hang on your wall. Crafts don’t cost much to make either, so you can really have fun together reminiscing on good times!
Surprise Them with a Thoughtful Gesture
Everyone has a “thing”, right? Well, if your loved one is in love with the idea of breakfast in bed, but never has a chance to have it, make it a surprise on Valentine’s Day! If they love pancakes with a passion, bring them a stack right to the bed. You can’t get that at any restaurant!
Beyond food, if your significant other is always doing the laundry or dishes, let them have a day off and do the chore for them. It might seem like a small gesture, but it has a bigger meaning than you’d think. Plus, it doesn’t cost any money to help out around the house.
These are just some budget-friendly ways to have a special, romantic Valentine’s Day with your loved one. What’s the best Valentine’s date you’ve had? Let us know in the comments below!