How to make valentine’s day special on a budget

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day is but once a year and even if you’re married with children, it’s a great excuse to get some romance happening.

And celebrating Valentine’s day on a budget can also be a good choice.

I’ve read a funny frugal ode on Valentine’s day and it says ” Roses are red, violets are blue, retailers want a lot of money from you.” LOL.

True! It’s this time where people go lavish in fancy, candlelight dinners with wine and splurge a larger-than-life bouquet of flowers to show their affection for a loved one. But for someone else’s empty pocket sake, a grandiose Valentine’s date can be put off till next year.

You don’t need to play the Grinch on Valentine’s Day this year! Here are some romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day on a budget.

1. Go for a movie night.

Rent your favourite movie, make or buy some movie snacks and snuggle together under a blanket in front of the tv. Watch something romantic like The Notebook or Crazy Stupid Love…..awwww! What happens next is up to you…

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

via dating.lovetoknow.com

2. Pack a picnic.

Pack some delicious nibbles (click here for picnic food ideas), grab a blanket (yeah, it’s a Valentine’s must-have!) and head to your favourite spot. Choose a nice park with a view or the beach, or even just your backyard. Some tealight candles in a jar are a lovely idea to get the romance going!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

via feminityandglamorous.com

3. Make it a family affair.

Valentine’s Day is about the ones you love so get the kids to help make a meal. Eat by candlelight as a family, then after the kids have gone to bed, have a fancy dessert for just the two of you!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

via trendviral.info

4. Hide secret notes.

Write out a selection of love notes and sneak them into your partner’s pockets, lunch box, briefcase etc so he will find them during the course of the day. Go over the top soppy – Valentine’s Day is but once a year!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day On A Budget via tinkerlab.com

5. Make some dessert.

Leave the kids with Grandma for an hour or so after dinner, and go out to a fancy restaurant just for dessert! It’s much cheaper than a three-course meal – but will be just as special.

6. Repeat your first date.

Did you eat fish and chips and watch the sunset on your first date? Why not recreate it – even take the kids – it will still be very special and they would love the hear story of how you met!

7. Run your partner a bubble bath.

Run a nice hot bath with a fluffy towel and bubbles, and let your partner soak to make him feel special. Don’t forget to leave his favourite book by the tub. Or if it’s a big bath, jump in together!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day On A Budget via elitereaders.com

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a romantic evening. It only needs to be special for both you and your significant other!

What are your frugal ideas in spending Valentines Day?

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day On A Budget

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How to make valentine's day special on a budget

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu . Read More blished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015’s Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody’s voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

In prior years, you might have gone all out on the roses, Teddy Bears, chocolate, jewelry, a fancy dinner, those little candy hearts… but that was before you decided to make financial independence the theme of 2022.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate on love, or even on Valentine’s Day. We hear all the time that Valentine’s Day is a holiday Hallmark made up to sell cards and chocolate— and, sure, there might be a little truth to that— but if your partner takes Valentine’s Day seriously, you’re taking Valentine’s Day seriously. That’s just how the heart-shaped cookie crumbles.

So here are my six biggest tips on doing Valentine’s Day the right way— and that’s the right way for your partner, and also for your bank account.

1. Start a tradition. Instead of going with the typical romantic dinner, why don’t you start a tradition that you and your partner can do every year on Valentine’s Day? The point here is to find something meaningful and cost-effective— once those two criteria are met, the world is your oyster. You could have a picnic in the spot where you first met; you could make Valentine’s Day a no social-media day where instead of scrolling, you spend undistracted time together; you could volunteer for an organization you and your partner believe in— you get the idea. Make it something you two can do together and look forward to every year— that is priceless.

2. Give the gift of time. Chocolate is nice, but so is your boyfriend taking something off of your to do list. Has your partner been putting off returning some online shopping orders? Put your shoes on and head to UPS. Is your partner the cook in your house? Step in and channel your Gordon Ramsey. The best part? You can do something super meaningful without spending a dime.

3. Contribute to your joint retirement fund. You need to be making consistent contributions to your retirement fund, and cash for Valentine’s Day spending should not be taking away from what you would be allocating toward your endgame. Instead of getting each other candy that you’ll devour in a day (or, let’s be real, ten minutes), take whatever money you were planning on spending for Valentine’s Day and put it in your retirement accounts. That might sound like a major snooze-fest, but remember the symbolism here: you are investing in your future together. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

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4. Skip it. I’ll say it again— I don’t hate love, but what’s better for your spending plan than to spend zero dollars and skip Valentine’s Day altogether? But here’s the important part: you and your Valentine have to agree on this game plan beforehand. Otherwise, I don’t care who you are, you’ll be in the dog house. So first, ask your partner: is Valentine’s Day important to you? If not, then why the heck are you celebrating it? Especially if you lovebirds also celebrate an anniversary annually. Showing your partner you appreciate them is important, but do you need to celebrate your anniversary and Valentine’s Day every year? See if it makes sense to choose to celebrate either your anniversary or Valentine’s Day; I mean when you’re in love, every day is Valentine’s Day, right?

5. Be the mail(wo)man. If skipping Valentine’s Day isn’t on the table, and you feel like you do need to get a little gift, don’t get it delivered. The typical Valentine’s Day goodies— flowers and chocolate— all have jacked-up delivery fees on and before Valentine’s Day. So instead of getting flowers delivered to your house, go out and buy some yourself! And don’t overlook grocery store flowers; Trader Joe’s has some Grade-A flower arrangements at a fraction of the price of a traditional florist.

6. Rain check on St. Valentine. Even if you don’t want to skip the big day, see if your partner is cool with making Valentine’s Day February 15th, the day after the official holiday— AKA when all the Valentine’s Day goodies are on sale. It may not sound romantic. but saving money? Well, that sounds like happily ever after to me.

For most, Valentine’s Day is a romantic festival, but for some, it could also be a day of significant expenses. Having the means to pay for expensive gifts and meals do not necessarily guarantee a happy and unforgettable memory. In fact, by putting some thought and effort, you can also create a heart-warming and memorable day for your loved one. Especially when flowers, gifts and candlelit dinners have become the “standard formula” for Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate your very own Valentine’s Day with something special?

What to give?

Many people get stressed thinking about Valentine’s Day gifting. Some even believe the more extravagant the better. In fact, the value of a gift does not depend on its price tag, but the thought that goes into it. Handmade gifts reflect your sincerity and effort, for example, a DIY scrapbook with photos that chronicle your special moments makes a great gift. Create a scrapbook with a caption and some heartfelt words. Adorn each page with decorative elements and designs – ideas for scrapbook materials and samples of designs can both be easily found online. The recipient will no doubt be reminded of the wonderful time you shared and treasure your thoughtful gesture.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Where to go?

If you want your beloved to remember the romantic moments of Valentine’s Day years from now, then you must really get your brain working. Consider revisiting somewhere that holds a special meaning to both of you. For example, the place where you met for the first time, where you had your first date, where you ate as a couple for the first time can all remind you of how you felt when you first started going out. You can also recall the times that made an impression and discuss your future plans.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Throw in some surprises like a home cooked meal, compiling and playing your favourite songs, or simply just ensuring you have quality time to be together, especially if both parties keep busy schedules.

Romance is not measured by how much you are willing to spend, but how much time and effort you are willing to invest in your relationship. Spend what you can afford, as after all it is the thought that actually counts and the hard work and effort that goes into ensuring a solid relationship.

Love makes people do foolish things. Nothing is more foolish than going into debt for Valentine’s Day.

We’re not anti-love. We just want you to celebrate Valentine’s Day without losing your mind or life’s savings.

Consumers are expected to spend $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. That’s almost 33% more than 2019.

“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF President Matthew Shay said. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year.”

The economy is good, but 40% of U.S. adults still don’t have $1,000 saved to pay for an unexpected car repair bill or emergency room visit. A lot of them will probably blow $100 or more on Valentine’s Day, and they’ll put it on a high-interest credit card.

Call them fools for love.

Allow us to explain how to escape the foolishness without breaking anyone’s heart.

The Valentine’s Day Financial Massacre

First, you and your significant other must appreciate just how much America’s Valentine’s Day invoice is.

If you had a stack of 27.4 billion worth of $1 bills, it would be 187,947 miles high. That would reach about 80% of the way to the moon.

It’s more than annual GDPs of almost half the countries on Earth. The total value of goods and services produced in Iceland this year will be less than what Americans spend on candy and roses on February 14th.

The average consumer who celebrates Valentine’s Day will spend $196.31. Men will spend $291.15 and women will spend $106.22. According to a WalletHub survey, here’s what they’ll spend it on:

  • Jewelry – $5.8 billion
  • An evening out – $4.3 billion
  • Candy – $2.4 billion
  • Flowers – $2.3 billion
  • Gift cards – $2 billion
  • Greeting cards – $1.3 billion
  • Psychiatric care – $538 million.

We made up that last one, though it’s becoming apparent a lot of people need some sense talked into them. The evidence – consumers will spend $1.7 billion on gifts for their pets.

As much as you may love your Chihuahua, chances are it won’t even notice if you don’t send it a card or buy it a ruby-studded collar. A nice belly rub would be a lot cheaper and probably more appreciated.

How did society get conditioned to spend so much money on a contrived holiday?

The Valentine’s Day Mystery

Nobody knows for sure how it began, which shows how bogus Valentine’s Day is.

One theory is it was concocted by the great 14th Century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who apparently had an uncle in the candy business.

Another theory is it sprang from the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. That was quite the affair, with naked men whipping women with blood-stained hides of sacrificed animals.

In the Bronze Age, people sacrificed animals to the Gods. In the Digital Age, we buy them $1.7 billion worth of dog treats.

Which Age is really crazy?

Anyway, Pope Gelasius I, who did not have a significant other to beat with an animal skin, eventually started a cleaned-up version of Lupercalia in honor of St. Valentine.

Or it might have just been started by Hallmark Cards Inc. Whatever the origin, it’s not like there’s an obvious historical or Biblical reason it exists or must be observed.

There are ample reasons for it not to exist.

Why Valentine’s Day Is Overrated

As the sonnet says, “How do we not love Valentine’s Day, let us count the ways.”

  • It encourages credit card abuse: Americans racked up an average of $1,325 in holiday debt in 2019, according to MagnifyMoney. Just as those bills are showing up, along comes another financial whammy a lot of people can’t afford. For millions of hopeless romantics, the best gift might be enrolling them in a debt management program. If they follow through, they’ll eventually want to kiss you all over in gratitude.
  • The stress level: Americans will waste untold hours wondering what to buy their significant others. Or worse, they’ll forget about Valentine’s Day and have to spend double to avoid a costly divorce. And after all that anxiety, 43 million people said they didn’t get a gift they wanted in 2019, according to a WalletHub survey.
  • Conflicting signals: In that survey, 53% of women said they’d break up with their significant other if they didn’t give them a Valentine’s Day gift. But 40% of women said irresponsible spending is a bigger turnoff than bad breath. The lesson: Instead of blowing $79 on roses, men should buy a year’s supply of breath mints for themselves and say they are giving their woman the gift of breathing fresh breath.
  • Every day should be Valentine’s Day: If you truly care about your significant other, you don’t need a randomly-designated day to treat your significant other like a Queen or King.
  • It turns millions of people into suckers: Cupid’s arrows have many targets. About 37% of Millennials will buy a Valentine’s Day gift for more than one romantic partner, according to Finder.com. In other words, as Mr. X is spending $173 on dinner at Morton’s, his date might well be fantasizing about going on a cheap picnic with another guy.

The Right Way to Spend Valentine’s Day

Despite its sketchy origins and silly price tag, we realize you can’t just say, “Honey, our love is so real we don’t need to make a show of it.”

It’s okay to do something for Valentine’s Day. The point is you don’t have to over-do it. Here are a few suggestions that should satisfy your wallet and your significant other.

Valentine’s Day on a budget and in a recession: how romantic. But although for some 14 February may be just another Saturday, for others it is the chance to spoil their partner – and with many of us counting the pennies these days no one will hold it against you if you resort to some cost-effective creativity in the name of love and frugality. Here are our top 10 tips to a cheap but cheerful Valentine’s (it’s the thought that counts anyway).

1. Eat out for less

There’s a bit of a debate as to whether or not it is “acceptable” to use money-off vouchers when you’re having a romantic dinner for two, but chances are you will both be glad to save a few quid in the current climate so who can complain? Lots of restaurants up and down the country such as Strada, Prezzo, Chez Gerard and Bella Italia are currently offering voucher deals, but unfortunately for recessioned romantics many of these will not be valid on Saturday.

Malaysian restaurant Jom Makan in central London is offering a Valentine’s day menu where every dish costs £1 – register online now to book a table. Also scour Lastminute.com’s “eat out for a tenner” and “eat out under £15” sections to book a three course meal-deal for Saturday night at restaurants across the country. Or, instead of dinner go for lunch or brunch – many places will offer cheaper deals earlier on in the day. The normally expensive Thai restaurant Blue Elephant in Fulham is doing a credit crunch lunch for £9.95, as is Indian restaurant La Porte des Indes in Marble Arch.

Low-key lovers should keep an eye on Pizza Express offers – the current voucher expires on Friday but deals are constantly updated so there may be something new in time for the weekend.

If, however, you want more luxury and foie grass, head to the Georgian Restaurant in Harrods where you can get a three course Valentine’s meal for £35 a person – a bargain considering some of the main meals are otherwise more than £40 alone. Check out the restaurant offers page at Viewlondon.co.uk for more deals – you can also view deals in other cities across the country so there should be something for everyone.

2. Stay in (for even less)

If the thought of eating out on Valentine’s day with a restaurant full of couples makes your cringe, then stay in. And if you’re a hopeless cook fear not – the supermarkets appear to be pulling out all the stops for Valentine’s. Waitrose is doing a three-course Valentine’s dinner for two for £10, as well as a £5 brunch, and money off selected champagnes and sparkling wines. Tesco is offering a Tesco Finest meal for two (including main dish, side dish, dessert and a bottle of wine) for £9, or you can get a bottle of Codorníu Cava and Thorntons chocolates from Sainsbury’s for £10 – almost half their full retail price.

3. Cut the cost of chocolates

Go to MyVoucherCodes.co.uk to get 20% off all online Valentine’s orders from Thorntons. For luxury chocolates for less, the Chocolate Trading Company is doing a gift-wrapped box of five-choco hearts for less than £3, while Hotel Chocolat has engraved hearts for £5. Order by Friday if you want them delivered on time. Forsake the obligatory heart shaped box, and the chocolates will probably be cheaper too – Prestat, the Queen’s chocolatier, is doing a pretty jewel box assortment for just £3.94 and big slabs of milk chocolate for £3.59 in exquisite bright paper wrapping that look better than a heart box anyway.

4. Don’t overpay to say it with flowers

Flowers are expensive – at least £25 for a basic mixed bouquet from Marks & Spencer and double that for red roses. But you can get 20% off a dozen red roses at Fleurop.com, 20% off at Teleflorist.co.uk and 5% off at InterRose.co.uk when you print off the relevant code at www.everydaysale.co.uk (click on the “Valentine’s gift ideas” link).

Over at MyVoucherCodes.co.uk you can get 10% off roses from Bunches.co.uk, plus a free box of chocolates if you order online. Who said it has to be roses though? The Pocket Garden does “grow your own” gift plants, or you could get yourself down to your local garden centre to pick a pretty potted plant that will probably cost less and last longer than a big bouquet. And it’s a bit more original too.

5. Find something free to do

If it’s raining on Saturday that (free) romantic walk might be called off, but there are plenty of places you can go where you don’t have to pay to get in. Be one of the first to see never-before-displayed Da Vinci illustrations at the Manchester Art Gallery – the free exhibition opens on Saturday. Or for an afternoon waxing lyrical on love, head to the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh for an afternoon of love poem readings. All London museums and galleries, including the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert museum and the Natural History Museum have free entry to their permanent collections.

6. Get creative with cards and gifts

Why spend a fiver on a mass-produced card covered in tacky hearts and silly puppies with lovesick eyes when you can make a more meaningful masterpiece yourself for less? Paperchase has glitter card pieces for £1 and multicoloured paper prints for £2 to get you started. Or if you want to keep it even more simple, follow our guide to making cards out of newspapers or magazines for a love note that is totally free. If making cards gets you going, why not make a gift too: bake a cake or make a scrapbook or see our guide for more inspiration.

7. Look for cheap treats

If you haven’t got that much cash you don’t have to buy a heap of Poundland tack, even if it is all just for £1. Shop around and you could get something a bit different from the usual Valentine’s cliches for around a fiver in the sale. We found a kissing stamp letter sealer for £4.25 and cupid cookie cutters for £6.75 at Cox and Cox, a Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin with Lid for £7.50 at Amazon.co.uk, and bags of old-school candy like cherry lip chewies for £2 at Retrosweets.com.

8. Bag a budget break

It is probably too late to get a bargain flight to New York for Saturday, but if you stay in the UK you could still find a budget weekend break if you act quickly. For grandeur for less, book a room at a luxury bed and breakfast Wolsey Lodge property in a countryside location. The Garden House in Hampshire, set in the grounds of the Queen Anne rectory, is offering a three-night stay for the price of two nights over Valentine’s weekend from £45 for a double room and breakfast. Or stay in the Horseshoe Cottage Farm in Leicestershire’s Charnwood Forest from £47.50.

Go to lastminute.com where there are special Valentine’s deals available – save £40 off a riding weekend in the Brecon Beacons (£160 each person for two nights including accommodation, meals and riding centre costs) or check into a Sussex retreat from £79 a night.

9. Get free tickets for the flicks

You could always stay in with a cheesy DVD or brave the cold, take a blanket down to the National Theatre and snuggle up for a free open-air screening of Shakespeare in Love on Saturday night. If you register for a free trial with Lovefilm.com you could get two free cinema tickets.

10. Buy them something they want

If Valentine’s Day does matter to you, then it doesn’t have to be all hearts and roses – instead of splurging money on chocolates and cards surprise your other half by buying them something you know they already want and will appreciate more if you get it as a gift (plus it proves you’ve been listening to them if you surprise them with something they mentioned off-hand). That way, at least the money won’t be a waste.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentines Day is almost here! It’s that time of the year, when the love birds do special things for their partners to express their love, and show how much they mean to them. Some prefer taking their loved one on a special date, some give fancy presents while some go on fun vacations and so on. It’s a good day to make memories with your loved one’s. However, you don’t need to go all expensive to celebrate this day and make memorable experiences. If you’re tight on the budget and want to do something special, here are some fantastic ideas for you to celebrate this day in the most fun way. Show your sweethearts that you care by doing these things on Valentine’s day.

Cook His Favourite Dish

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Celebrate Valentine’s day the delightful way. Cook his favourite food and surprise him with them. Food is the best way to pamper your partner. Arrange the table with all of his favourite foods. Your efforts will make him feel special. To make him feel more special, decorate the table with flowers and candles.

Enjoy A Movie Marathon

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Watching movies together is one of the great ways to celebrate Valentine’s day. You can make the Valentine’s Day Movie marathon special for him by watching his favourite movies. For example, if he loves Marvel movies, do a marvel movies marathon.

Decorate the space around the television with pretty fairy lights, bring your food and booze, dim the lights, wrap up inside a blanket, and enjoy the movies together. This will create a perfect setup for your date and make him feel extremely happy.

Stargaze

A wonderful way to start or end your valentine’s day is by setting up camp in the garden beside a fire pit and looking at the star all night. While stargazing, sip your favourite drinks. This romantic setup under the stars is the perfect way to celebrate the romantic day of Valentine’s, in a romantic way.

Everyone appreciates the mystical experience of staring at the beautiful sky and brilliant stars. And if your sweetheart is a stargazer or has a fascination with the night sky, stargazing is the ideal way to spend time together.

Go On A Picnic

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Pack some food, load it into your car, and head to a lovely garden for a picnic. For the lovely Valentine’s Day, a romantic picnic for two is a wonderful idea. Choose recipes that you don’t make very often or that use higher-end ingredients for the most romantic picnic. However, choose meals that are simple to prepare.

Consider what you and your partner will like when planning a picnic. For example, if you and your partner are both athletic, you will enjoy picnic games. If you’re the type of couple who likes to talk about everything and everything, plan accordingly with a quiet place.

Write A Love Letter

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

The classic way of writing a love letter is still believed to be one of the most romantic things to give. So create a beautiful letter and write your heart out. Right down what you think about them, how they make you feel, get vulnerable, reflect on your feelings, tell them at exactly what moment you fell in love and so on. Close this beautiful letter warmly. This valentine’s day, go old-school for your beloved and give them a hand-written love letter and show them how much you care.

Set Up A Scavenger Hunt

If you are looking for the most fun way to celebrate this day, then scavenger hunt is one of the fab ideas. Set up a thrilling treasure hunt with clues or rose petal tracks leading to their gift all throughout the house. To see them cracking every riddle and getting confused will make it a memorable activity. When finally they will reach the treasure, which will be a special present, you’ll see their face lighted up with a feeling of accomplishment.

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Here are some ideas for making your sweetheart feel special without breaking the bank. Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love, and it is clear that love has no bounds. So don’t allow a lack of funds to put a damper on your celebration day.

I hope you like these suggestions and will choose one of them to cherish the occasion. Do share your plans for this romantic day with us by commenting on our Facebook or Instagram page.

We’ve got cute, non-cheesy ideas that won’t break the bank. Promise.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

True love is priceless — and Valentine’s Day gifts are anything but. And really, it’s only because Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year where everyone — boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, parents, best friends, you name it — wants to express their love with grand gestures. With that said, all of the gifts, flower deliveries and day-of activities can quickly add up. That’s where we come in: We’ve rounded up tons of cheap Valentine’s Day gifts that are still packed with thought, care and plenty of romance.

As you work your way through this list of gift ideas, consider how you want to put your heart on display this year. Maybe you’re celebrating a major milestone and want a romantic gift that reflects just how much she means to you. Or perhaps, you and your partner aren’t exactly the lovey-dovey type, so you’d rather go for a funny Valentine’s Day gift. Whatever you’re looking for, these cuter-than-Cupid gift ideas will steal their heart all over again. Plus, since all of these Valentine’s Day gifts for him or her come in under $30 (many available on Amazon, too!), you’ll even have some extra money to put aside for your February 14 plans . like a delicious dinner for two!

Take your valentine back to the day when two became one with this symbolic print, complete with your first names and anniversary. All prints arrive ready to be framed, so be sure to sure to have one on hand.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Some things are better when shared — like this adults-only card game. Pick a card from one of three themed categories — Talk, Flirt or Dare — to spark up a range of fun (sometimes flirty) conversations.

Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated by sweethearts of all ages on February 14, is just around the corner.

One of the things about Valentine’s Day is that there are myriad ways to celebrate it, and different cultures have developed their own traditions around it. In some parts of the world, it’s also observed as an occasion for expressing love between family members and friends, rather than just for romantic couples.

Although it can be hard to find something that truly sums up your feelings for your special one, showering them with gifts is still a great way to say ‘I love you’. However, most people often go for flowers and chocolates, but they are not enough.

So, to save you from all the stress of choosing the perfect gift and let you enjoy this celebration of love, we’ve rounded up a list of V-Day presents that balance thoughtfulness and budget.

1. Love Journal

The best Valentine’s Day gifts aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. A little book of love notes isn’t going to break the bank, but it will certainly leave a mark on his/her heart. Buy a journal and fill in the pages to create a personalised gift book that your loved one will want to read again and again.

You can fill each page with lines that describe something you love about them. You can be as cheesy or as romantic as you like but it’s guaranteed to be one of the memorable presents your partner will ever receive.

2. Fitness Wearable

Whether or not your partner is into fitness, this Valentine’s Day, gift them your care in the form of a fitness wearable or a smartwatch. Brands including Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Xiaomi offer affordable options that monitor their sleep, steps, and heart rate.

So for this Valentine’s Day, surprise your partner by gifting them a fitness wearable that can help keep an eye out for the activities they do throughout the day.

3. Instant Camera

When you are with the one you adore, every moment is special and every moment counts. There’s no better way to capture those memories to remember than through a polaroid camera. The instant cameras bring that raw feel of photography and those prints are so compact and amazing.

Pose, click, flip and voila, there’s your printed moment. You can easily paste it up on the wall or add it to your photobook and cherish those memories for years to come.

4. Planters

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic absolutely reshaped our lives, and though it took us a lot of struggle, pain and time to adjust to the new normal, it also kind of made us more aware of our surroundings and nature.

Hence, this V-Day, gift your partner planters that will add an extra element of life to their house and transform the energy in the space.

5. Books

A good book is a better gift than candy and flowers combined, though books go great with chocolate and wine. Even if you are not able to determine the perfect book for your partner, think about the books that excite you the most. Or maybe even find one that the two of you can read together.

In totality, it’s the personal touch that makes giving a book so fantastically special and even the Cupid would surely agree.

While celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s important to understand that there are no rules. Ultimately, spending time with each other is what it’s all about and if giving a gift is in your plans, we’ve got you covered with these options.

All in all, whatever you might do, if you have a romantic partner, just make sure you’re on the same page to avoid any disappointments. Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Shopping centres will soon be filled with hearts, streamers, and balloons; Valentine cards will be exchanged; and flowers will be delivered to homes and offices all around the country.

The consumer industry places so much focus on expensive gifts and fancy dinners that for many, the day has become about spending a lot of money. To remind you what Valentine’s Day is all about, and to help you make your loved one feel special (even on a student budget), we’ve listed some brilliant ways of making Valentine’s Day special without spending a lot of money:

Instead of looking for an expensive venue: Go out into nature

The local park, nature reserve, or even your backyard can be much more romantic than an expensive restaurant. Grab a picnic blanket (an old duvet or curtain could work well too) and some pillows from the couch, and you have the beginnings of a romantic setting! If you decide to have your date during the day, try to pick a spot in the shade. If the weather doesn’t permit an outside setting, duplicate the picnic setting in your living room or any covered area. If you can travel, take a drive to the nearest botanical gardens or the closest beach.

Instead of buying a card: Make your own

A handmade card is much more special than a generic store-bought one.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Instead of buying a meaningless gift that costs a lot of money: Choose something personal (and affordable)

Expensive gifts, while pleasant to receive, are often generic and meaningless. Here are some other ideas:

If your partner is sentimental, print some photos and write your memories from the occasion on the back of the photo. Instead of buying a bunch of roses, buy only one, or pick a pretty flower. Don’t buy a box of chocolates simply because the box has hearts on it. Buy one bar of your partner’s favourite chocolate and wrap it in pretty paper. Write a short letter on that piece of paper before wrapping the chocolate, and your partner will receive an extra surprise when unwrapping it!

Instead of spending a fortune on food: Prepare your own

Restaurants and retailers want you to believe that expensive meals carry significant meaning. The truth is that a home-cooked meal or picnic basket can be much more romantic and meaningful. The fact that you prepared the food or snacks yourself will make it all the more delicious.

Your partner will also appreciate the personal effort, especially if you decide to prepare his or her favourite meal (or dessert).

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Set the right mood

You can treat your loved one to good food and a gift at any time. What makes Valentine’s Day special is the romantic mood. Decorate with some red balloons, or switch off the lights and place some candles around the picnic blanket or dinner table. Candles are not expensive, yet they can provide a wonderfully romantic atmosphere – just take care not to set anything alight!

Don’t underestimate the small things

If you and your partner don’t find big dates appealing, you can still make each other feel appreciated. Place short notes of appreciation in your partner’s diary or lunchbox. Send a short SMS telling your partner how much you appreciate him or her. Rent a movie you both want to watch and spend the evening together.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

The most important thing about Valentine’s Day is to spend time together alone. Investing time in your relationship is much more important than spending money. Always remember that a hug, a smile, and some quality time together is worth much more than any gift.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Show your loved ones how much you care without going overboard on spending! Southland has compiled the following ideas to make your Valentine's Day special.

Skip the restaurant

With ongoing COVID restrictions, it’s the perfect year to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home. Head to the grocery store and pick up some special items likes steaks, sides, and dessert. Your home-cooked meal shows you care while saving some funds at the same time. As an added bonus, you can cook with your significant other, friends, or family as part of the celebration!

Make your card

These days, cards can cost upwards of $6 or $7 dollars. Instead, consider writing a love letter or making a homemade card. Your loved one will certainly appreciate receiving a one-of-a-kind creation that was written in your own words. Bust out the pens and markers and get creative!

Plan an unconventional date

Sometimes the best dates are those that don’t cost any money at all. Plan an activity for you and your loved ones. Ride bikes, go to the beach, create a scavenger hunt, picnic in the backyard, or have a movie night. These ideas can even help you celebrate Valentine's Day all weekend long.

Save money on flowers

Consider opting for a smaller flower arrangement for your significant other. For instance, if you’ve been together two or three years, you can get two or three stems to represent the time you’ve spent together. Or, consider purchasing a potted plant — not only will it be less costly, it will last longer! To save a few extra dollars, try shopping at locally-owned nurseries or grocery stores for flower arrangements.

Look for deals

If you still want to dine outdoors on Valentine’s Day, look for deals. Many restaurants offer price-fixed (or "prix fixe") menus. Another tip is to use a restaurant gift card you may already have and turn that into your special Valentine’s Day meal. You can even get discounts on gift cards at Costco or Sam’s Club. Or, check out restaurant deals on Groupon.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

When it comes to the topic of Valentine’s Day, public opinion seems to be split. Some people love everything about it. Hearts, roses, candy, flowers, Cupid—you name it, they’re here for it! On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find Valentine Scrooges who consider February 14th a day like any other. They’re convinced the celebration and fanfare are nothing more than Hallmark-sponsored money grabs. To be fair, these positions are extreme.

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy spending the romantic holiday with your special someone, but you prefer to celebrate without spending a ton of money. Good for you. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who plans a financially responsible Valentine’s date. OK, maybe a few things—but you get the point. If you’re looking to create an inexpensive, fun-loving Valentine’s experience you’ll remember for years to come, we have a few suggestions you might enjoy.

  • Dress up and dine in.
    At first, this suggestion may seem like complete nonsense. Why would you go through the trouble of getting dressed up if you’re not going out in public? Because there’s a strange, yet undeniable appeal to doing something that doesn’t make sense to anyone else, that’s why. So, go ahead—go big. Glam it up. Suit and tie. Gown and heels. The more overdressed, the better. Whether you cook for yourself or order your favorite takeout, the food choice isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you’re both ridiculously overdressed for the occasion. And that’s the point.
  • Dress down and hit the town.
    Like the previous idea, this one involves an unexpected combination of date attire and meal selection—but with a completely different twist. Before the big date, you and your date head to the nearest thrift store (you can shop together or separately) and buy a complete outfit for the other person, spending no more than $10 in the process. The clothing selections can be as tacky and outrageous as you please—the tackier, the better. The only catch is that you both have to wear the outfits to dinner at a nice restaurant, no questions asked. If you play this one right, not only will you save money and enjoy your date, everyone around you will probably get a kick out of it as well.
  • Dollar store gift challenge.
    You and your date can play this one a couple of different ways. The first approach involves heading to the closest dollar store and seeing who can find the single best/craziest/funniest/most ridiculous gift for the other person. The second option involves setting a spending limit and seeing who can rack up the most entertaining gift collection. (No need to go above $10. After all, it’s still a dollar store.) For a little additional fun, take some selfies with your newfound treasures, and share your pics on social media using the hashtag #DollarStoreScore. After your adventure, head out and grab some dessert. Since you did your Valentine shopping at the dollar store, you’ll have plenty left to cover a sweet treat or two.

Whether you use the tips above or come up with a clever idea of your own, being smart about your Valentine’s spending goes a long way towards ensuring your day is filled fun-loving memories instead of expensive mistakes. And when you’re wondering what to do with all your savings, don’t forget to stop by and see us – We’re happy to help you find ways to make that money work for you. And let’s be honest, long-term financial stability is sweeter than a $10 box of chocolates could ever be!

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Valentine’s Day celebrations come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you’re spending the holiday happily single and embracing your independence. Perhaps you and your best friends are honouring your camaraderie and having a “Galentine’s” day. Maybe you and your partner are planning something special to celebrate your love for each other. Regardless of your personal circumstances, Valentine’s Day can be a fun and love-filled day for anyone.

However, celebrating Valentine’s Day in Australia can be tricky on a student budget. When you’re expected to splurge on flowers and fancy dinners, the expenses can add up quickly! If you’re looking for a more affordable way to experience Valentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to celebrate Valentine’s Day while staying on top of your student budget.

Prepare a home-cooked meal

Nothing shows how much you care about someone like a delicious, home-cooked meal. Not to mention, preparing food at home instead of eating out at a restaurant can save you a lot of money. So, head to the supermarket (after checking out our tips for saving money on groceries, of course) load up on some ingredients and get cooking! You and your loved one can even cook together for some added bonding. If you want to add a romantic flair, light a few candles and put on some music to set the mood. Not only is this a budget-friendly celebration, but it’s cosy and intimate as well.

Host an at-home dance class

If you’re keen to have a good laugh and try something new this Valentine’s Day, why not host an at-home dance class? Whether it’s with the person you’re dating, or your best friend, a dance party is the perfect way to work up a sweat and have some fun. From salsa, to hip-hop, to ballet, you can find instructional videos across all styles for free on YouTube. Want something a little more interactive? You can also check out this list of online dance classes, all of which are super affordable on a student budget. Just remember to push your furniture aside and give yourself lots of space to move around – injuring yourself or your loved one is no way to say “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Have a movie marathon

If you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a group of your closest friends, it’s the perfect occasion for a movie marathon. Grab your mates, get your snacks and settle in for a night full of films you all enjoy. On streaming services like Netflix or Stan, you can find heaps of options across several genres, from romantic comedies to action thrillers (if sappy romance films aren’t your thing). Cheap and fun, an at-home movie marathon is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day without breaking your student budget.

Soak up the sun at the beach

Valentine’s Day in Australia falls in the summer, so why not partake in a classic Australian pastime and head to the beach? You can fly solo and soak up the sun, play some volleyball in the sand with your mates or splash around in the water with your partner. No matter your relationship status, a trip to the beach is an awesome way to spend Valentine’s Day. The best part? It’s totally free!

Make some DIY gifts

Have you decided to exchange gifts this Valentine’s Day? Worried about finding the money to get your loved one a great gift? Don’t stress. When it comes to gift-giving in Australia, the price isn’t what matters – it’s the thought that counts! So, consider making a gift for your loved one instead of buying them something at a shop. By opting for a do-it-yourself (DIY) gift, you’ll not only save money, but your partner will also see how much effort you put into the gift. That kind of consideration is sure to make them feel special.

While there are heaps of ideas and tutorials for DIY gifts, brainstorm some ideas that align with your existing skills. If you’re a great baker, whip them up some delicious treats. If you know how to sketch, draw them a cool print. Putting those skills to use will save you both time and money – it’s a win-win.

Not very crafty? No worries. If you do opt for a store-bought present, be sure to check out our guide to figure out how much you should be spending on gifts.

Picnic in the park

Embrace the final days of Australian summer and take your Valentine out for some fresh air. Pack a blanket and all the fixings for a charcuterie-style meal, including cheese, fruit, wine and cured meats. We also recommend packing a Bluetooth speaker so you can enjoy some music while you relax in the grass.

Wondering where to go? Lucky for you, Australia is home to some of the best picnic spots in the world, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. From the Bangaroo Reserve in Sydney to the Fitzroy Gardens of Melbourne, any of these stunning spaces will be the perfect backdrop for your celebrations. Whether your Valentine is your partner, your best friend, or yourself, this is a lovely and affordable way to spend your Valentine’s Day afternoon.

Adeina Anderson of Creative Lifestyles With Adeina joined Steph and Rosie to share some sweet and simple DIY ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’sDay Banner

· Wood Banner Squares

· Deco Art Paint – Red, Pink, Brown, Antique Medium

· Mix one part of brown paint with one part antiquing medium.

· Paint 19 wood banner squares with the paint mixture, like you are staining it.

· Using the stencils, paint the letters V A L E NT I N E S D A Y, on each card.

· Next, paint hearts on 7 wood banner squares.

· Let everything dry completely.

· Hang the signs using twine.

Valentine’sDay Charcuterie Board

· All Of The Valentine’s Day Candy and Cookies You Love.

· A round or square charcuterie board.

· Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Put the 2 frostings and the peanut butter in small bowls to place on the board.

2. Start laying the candy in the middle of the board, larger to smaller.

3. Add all the cookies and other candy around the board as it fits.

Valentine’sDay Moscow Mule

· 2 Oz Enchanted Rock Vodka

· 4 Oz Ginger Beer

· 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

· Valentine’s Day candy (Conversation Candy Hearts)

1. In a tall glass, mix vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and crushed ice.

2. Add grenadine to the top of the cocktail.

3. Dry the strawberries off and dip them in sugar.

4. Add the strawberries and a lime wheel to the top of the cocktail.

5. Place a few conversation hearts on top.

Valentine’sDay Candy Dish

· Small Clay Pot – 3”

· Deco Art Acrylic Paint – Pink, Red, White, Glitter Glam

· Small Paint Brush

· Wilton Clear Candy Bag

· Red Curly Ribbon

· Valentine’s Day Candy

1. Paint the outside of the clay pot, and the top of the inside of the clay pot.

2. Let it dry and add a second or third coat as needed.

3. Paint hearts, polka-dots, or anything Valentine’s Day-related on the outside of the clay pot.

4. Fill a goody by with Valentine’s Day candy, just enough so it fits in the clay pot.

5. Tie the bag off with curly ribbon and cut off the excess plastic.

6. Place the goody bag of candy into the clay pot.

Valentine’sDay Candy Gift

· Red and Pink Large Balloons

· Miniature Chocolate Candies.

1. Place a piece of candy into the balloon.

2. Blow up the balloon, you could even use helium for a fun experience.

3. Tie the balloon off with the curly ribbon.

Shop TODAY is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Items are sold by retailer, not TODAY. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year, which means, you might want to gift your sweetie something luxurious this February 14. However, luxury usually means a hefty price tag.

While some of us are comfortable splurging, others enjoy gifting luxury on a budget. Either way, we’ve rounded up gifts that are sure to please your significant other this Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’re looking to spend $50, $500 or anything in between, we have 32 gift options that will suit any personality and budget. Now all you have to do is casually leave this page open for your other half to find.

Scroll down to see all 32, or use the menu bar to navigate.

Valentine’s Day gifts under $75

DIY Raindrop Cake Molecular Gastronomy Kit

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

DIY Raindrop Cake Molecular Gastronomy Kit

This luxe Raindrop Cake is sure to wow. The confection originally became popular through social media because of its mesmerizing appearance. This kit has all the ingredients and instructions they need to try the trend for themselves and make it their own — or you can order it and make it and surprise them with the finished product.

UnHide Squish Pillow

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Squish Pillow

For some, there’s nothing more luxurious than being comfy and cozy. If your Valentine is someone who loves their sweats and blankets, this pillow is a perfect gift. UnHide’s squish pillow has sold out twice within 72 hours, and for good reason. Their pillows are not only plush and extremely comfortable, but are also sustainable, cruelty-free and made from faux fur, according to the brand.

Minute Cocktail Sugar Cube Trio

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Minute Cocktail Sugar Cube Trio

Give the gift of a fancy cocktail. These sugar cubes are hand-infused with concentrated cocktail ingredients so you can make a drink at anytime without the extra effort. The flavors in the box include a Moscow mule, a Manhattan, and an old fashioned.

Horti Month Subscription

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Month to month

Green is a very luxurious (and trendy) color. And what better way to channel that than with a gift that keeps on giving? This monthly subscription to the plant website Horti is perfect for any valentine with a green thumb. Each month, they’ll receive a curated plant kit with a plant and care instructions. You can select a 1-, 6- or 12-month subscription.

Jyotsana Rao is an engineering graduate from NIT, Nagpur, who discovered her love for writing during her undergraduate days. She is passionate about writing about everything related to beauty – makeup. more

As February approaches, people start planning some out-of-the-world Valentine’s day celebrations. However, chocolate, wine, cards, and luxurious dinners can burn a hole in your pocket at times. So if you are looking for some excellent ideas to celebrate Valentine’s day on a budget, then you have landed in just the right place. Today, we are going to provide you with really sweet and effective ideas that you can try to celebrate the day without spending much money. Remember, it is not the money that counts; it is the thought that does. So your efforts and sweet gestures are what your loved ones will look for. Give them that by taking some inspiration from the ideas we have listed below. Go on!

1. A Breakfast With Love

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

However clichéd this bed and breakfast idea might sound, there is nothing like waking up to a crisp cup of coffee and handmade love, no matter how simple it is. To add to the romance, fry those eggs in a heart shaped cookie cutter. Then, tucking in together and breaking bread in bed is sure to set the right mood for the rest of the day!

2. Set Your Hearts Racing With A Workout Together

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

A fun workout session together is a great idea! A little adrenalin rush is sure to get the two of you excited. You don’t need to go all out and indulge in a hardcore workout; even a brisk walk around the park should be alright. It is one of the healthiest ways to bond. You can catch up with your partner and have a good chat. If you want to get a little more adventurous, a local hike, a bike ride, ice skating, or even taking a dip in the public pool are some options.

3. Paint The Town Red

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

No matter which city you live in, it is sure to have a few tourist attractions that are just a short drive away. Some of these attractions have a minimal entry fee, and others don’t charge a penny. Scouting around and being a tourist in your own city is, in fact, a lot of fun. Museums are particularly fun because there is a lot of scope for romance. You might be totally wowed by what they have to offer, and even if you aren’t, you will definitely share a good laugh together. Don’t forget to take a whole lot of selfies around the town together!

4. Basking In Love’s Glory

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Amidst a mundane and stressful life, nothing can be more rejuvenating than a comfortable spa. So why not convert your home into a spa? Light some candles and spruce your bedroom with petals. Bring out some aroma oils, and give your partner a good massage while soothing music plays in the background. Your partner can then return the favor by giving you a massage too. Nothing like a relaxed, cozy day together!

5. A Perfect Recipe For Romance

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Why not have some fun together in the kitchen instead of dining at an expensive place with so many eyes gazing at you? You could spend some quality time with your sweetheart while whipping up a meal together. Whether it is a simple, healthy salad or an extravagant meal, there is nothing like doing it yourselves. From planning the meal and doing the groceries to executing it, you will only end up creating great memories. And then, I’m sure you must have heard, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

6. Get Cozy On The Couch

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

List out some of the all-time favorite romances, if that’s the genre either of you enjoys, or anything that makes you happy. Dim those lights, make some popcorn, and then get cozy as you watch a flick in your living room. To jazz it up a little, you could sip a glass of wine. Make sure you turn off your phones, though. It’s your day of love, so don’t let anyone ruin it.

7. A Box Of Timeless Memories

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

This might be a gift idea, but it’s something you and your partner can engage in once you have given it to him. Put together a box full of pictures or mementos representing all those special moments you have shared together. You could put in notes on restaurant bills, movie tickets, boarding passes, souvenirs of places you have traveled together, just about anything the two of you have cherished. Top it up with a note that says, “I love you”. Let him open the box and then, take a walk down the memory lane together. Sighhhh.

8. Love Letters Are Still In Fashion

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Those of you who have a Valentine across the planet, you might want to make it count by sending a handwritten love letter to him. There is nothing more romantic than an old-fashioned love letter. Get creative, write a poem, pen down some words straight from the heart. If you still lack inspiration, use the Internet to get some ideas.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Nobody wants to be branded a cheapskate by their other half on Valentine’s Day.

But with the cost of living sky-rocketing to heartbreaking levels, many lovers will be forced to cut costs on the big day next Monday.

For those now looking to do Valentine’s Day on a budget, thankfully money saving website, Quotegoat.com, has put a guide together on how to do romance on the cheap.

Personal finance expert Michael Foote said: “There are plenty of ways to spoil your partner without having to spend lots of money — you just need to get creative.

“Anyone can throw money at the situation, but it’s more meaningful if you’ve spent lots of time thinking about what to do and personalising the day for your loved one.

“If you usually spend lots on one another on Valentine’s day, give your partner a heads up that you’d like to do things differently this year. It’s always best to be honest about your financial situation — just because you can’t afford to spend lots of money doesn’t mean you love them any less”.

Here are 20 tips on how to do Valentine’s Day on a budget

1) Create a video – Edit your favourite memories you’ve captured on your phone into a video and have a song that means a lot to you both as the backing track.

2) Bake together — Whether it’s bread or a cake, baking together can be lots of fun, and you’ll have something delicious to share afterwards.

3) Leave a trail of notes – Write all the reasons you love your partner on little scraps of paper, fold them up and leave a little trail in the house for them to find.

4) Visit a museum — Many museums don’t charge a big admission fee. Walk around hand in hand and pack snacks and a flask of tea for afterwards.

5) Wear your wedding dress/suit – Find your wedding attire and wear it at home. Cook a meal and get the wedding photos out for a trip down memory lane.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

6) Finish off the DIY — Surprise your loved one by doing all the little jobs around the house that have needed doing forever, like mending that wobbly toilet roll holder.

7) Plan a romantic scavenger hunt – This will require some time to plan but give clues like the coordinates for the place you met, your first dance song or your first date meal.

8) Make your Valentine a card — A homemade Valentine’s card is more special and meaningful than a shop-bought one. Break out the glitter and get the kids involved.

9) Go on a bike ride together – Pack a picnic with your partner’s favourite food in a backpack and go for a bike ride. Plan the route to visit places that mean something to you both.

10) Make a love scrapbook — In a notebook, write down where you met, what made you fall in love, funny and favourite memories with photos and tickets to gigs you’ve been to.

11) Take on their share of the housework – If your other half usually walks the dog, takes the bins out or cooks dinner, surprise them by taking on their chores for a day.

12) Get photos of you together framed — With so many memories saved in our phones, we rarely think to have photographs printed. Select your faves and get them framed.

13) Play board games by candlelight – Break out the scrabble and have some snacks laid out; however, board games might not be the best idea if you are very competitive.

14) Share a bubble bath with candles – Slide into a hot bubble bath, turn out the lights and relax together in candlelight.

15) Create a romantic den —Decorate one room with balloons, candles, and love notes. Lead your partner in with their eyes closed before the big reveal.

16) Go to the beach — Pack a bucket and spade and write a romantic message in the sand. Wrap up warm and walk hand in hand along the shoreline.

17) Spa day at home – You don’t have to be a qualified masseuse to give a half-decent back or head massage. Put some relaxing music on and light a scented candle.

18) Visit meaningful places —Suggest visiting places packed full of happy memories like the place you got engaged, where you got married or where you first met.

19) Breakfast in bed – It’s an oldie but a goodie, but this is an indulgent treat and the perfect time to produce your homemade card.

20) Text a love letter — If you’re not able to be together on the day, let your partner know you’re thinking about them by texting a long love letter, or better still, send them one in the post.

Love is in the air and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many are tempted to splurge on gifts for their significant others. But having a special Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget. There are still plenty of ways to show your love without resorting to debt or going off track with your budget goals.

Here are six ways to save money this Valentine’s Day.

1. Prepare a home-cooked meal rather than dine out

One of the ways many people overspend on Valentine’s Day is dining out. Restaurants sometimes have special offers for Valentine’s Day, but many will charge a premium for the experience — especially busier restaurants where it’s tough to get a table.

The simple alternative is to cook a special meal at home. If you’re good in the kitchen, you could prepare a fancy three-course meal for your significant other or make a simple, fun meal together.

2. Make handmade gifts instead of buying them

Rather than overspending on traditional gifts like flowers or chocolates, consider getting creative with your Valentine’s Day gifts. A personalized gift can be far more meaningful and special than a store-bought one.

Consider making a handmade card, a personalized framed photo of the two of you, writing a heartfelt poem, or baking their favorite cake.

3. Keep an eye out for discounts and vouchers

Taking advantage of discounts is one of the simplest money-saving tips that can apply to any time of year. So, if you decide to buy presents for Valentine’s Day, be sure to watch out for discounts.

Some businesses run special offers or couples discounts for Valentine’s Day. It’s also worth checking out discount code websites before making a purchase or a site like Groupon, which offers discounts on special dining options or experiences.

4. Plan some fun free activities

You can still have fun and save money by planning something special. After all, the most important part of Valentine’s Day is spending time together, and there are plenty of free activities you can try out together.

If you’re both gamers, plan a board game day or pick a new multiplayer video game to start. Movie lovers could plan out a whole day of your top movies or check off those you’ve wanted to see for ages.

For lovers of the outdoors, you could plan a long walk, a bicycle ride, or a hike in your favorite spot. Why not bring along a picnic and enjoy the fresh air while you’re at it?

5. Set a small budget for each other

It may not sound very romantic, but if your partner is on the same page about saving money, suggest a small set budget this year for spending on the holiday.

A budget that both of you stick to will ensure that neither of you ends up overspending. It’s also a good way to reduce those feelings of guilt that cause many people to overspend on Valentine’s Day.

6. Check last-minute travel deals

If travel plans are your go-to Valentine’s Day tradition, you can save some money by checking last-minute travel deals or planning a simple night away instead of a longer break.

Rather than going abroad, you could stay closer to home and visit a nearby city or opt for an Airbnb in the countryside.

Another alternative is making a day trip, which will save you from having to pay for a hotel. Visit a nearby city you can drive to or take public transportation and spend a few hours checking out the free or cheap attractions in the area.

Don’t spend Valentine’s Day worrying about money

Counting your pennies might not feel very romantic, but worrying about money, overspending, or even sinking into debt aren’t either.

The good news is that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a little planning and trying out some of the above ideas, you can still show your love without worrying about money at the same time.

If you want a bigger budget for next year, you could start earlier and put a few dollars a month away to save money specifically for Valentine’s Day.

Another tip: Avoid overspending this Valentine’s Day by putting away the tempting credit cards and consider using a prepaid card from Western Union instead. Learn more about the Western Union ® Netspend ® Prepaid Mastercard ® today.

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Impressing your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day turns into an expensive bill for most couples, but a nice date doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little planning and imagination, a romantic outing can be made affordable, even if only one party is paying.

Good news: We’ve got you covered on the planning portion of Valentine’s Day, but it’s up to you to tailor our $20 unconventional date ideas in accordance to that special someone. You never know: Ditching the traditional dinner and chocolate-covered strawberries shtick may be cheaper and more enjoyable than you’d expect.

Walk a downtown

Pick a downtown area with shops that interest both of you and take some time to window shop. Yup, that’s pretty much it. Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Barberton — take your pick. Be sure to grab a meal or some snacks along the way, the only thing worse than no valentine is a hangry valentine.

If downtown Akron is your destination, the Cilantro’s Thai tea is tasty, caffeinated and only $2.59, a pretty good deal for how filling it is. Couples can also try the Lock 3 ice rink for $3 per person if they bring their own skates and $5 per person if they need to rent skates. Akron’s WinterBlast festival will have firepits, ice bumper cars and ice bikes available to rent for specific days before and after Valentine’s Day. To find additional events or reserve a spot on any outdoor attraction, visit the Lock 3 event calendar.

If you are a books and cats kind of couple, perusing Barberton’s downtown, and specifically Snowball Bookshop, will start the date on a good note. This particular bookshop has two cats, Callie and Maya, and thousands of books — some of which are located in the super secret basement.

Doughnut forget to set your alarm!

This outing is perfect for those early risers who like to start adventures before sunrise. Make a doughnut trail and spend a morning taste testing doughnuts together. All you need to do is compile a list of shops, determine the order in which to visit them and bring something to wash down all those sweets. Some destinations to add to your list are North Hill Donuts, Jubilee Donuts, StowNut Donut & Diner, George’s Donuts and Hiss Bakery.

Competitive thrifting

If you and your partner have a competitive streak, this date may be an especially fun challenge. Hit up a local thrift store together, with $7.50 in both your pockets, to see who can find the coolest item for the least amount of money. Determine a winner between the two of you or consult an outside party if needed. The winner determines which ice cream shop to use the remaining $5 at for postgame dessert.

Some thrift stores to compete in are Village Discount Outlet, Happy Tails Thrift Shop and Abbey Ann’s. Where to get ice cream afterward is a whole other ball game, but some good places are Stricklands Frozen Custard or Durbin Magic Freeze (the latter is cash only).

Have a laugh

The best medicine also makes for a memorable evening out. Visit the Funny Stop Comedy Club in Cuyahoga Falls on a Wednesday or Thursday night (tickets are less than $9 on those days) for a show and a minimum of two drinks. Ticket prices may be higher for certain special events and performers, so check the Funny Stop’s schedule before arriving.

Indoor picnic and wine

Mid-February does not exactly provide pristine weather for outdoor activities, but that doesn’t mean a picnic with a nice bottle of wine is out of the question. The Winery at Wolf Creek in Barberton has a cozy tasting room where guests can bring their own food, order delivery from a nearby restaurant or buy the small variety of salty snacks, chocolates and local meats and cheeses that the winery has. Not sure what to fill your basket with? A good rule of thumb is to bring you and your partner’s favorite sweet and savory snacks that won’t need to be reheated.

Two glasses filled with any of Wolf Creek’s wine will cost less than $20. Some of their bottles, such as White Lies and Redemption, also fall within this price range. There you have it, an outing featuring new wines to discover together for less than the cost of an oil change.

Watch and snack

Most movie theaters have a designated weekday where movie tickets are $5, and at some locations snacks are discounted. Use these deals to your advantage by taking your date out for a movie with popcorn on one of these discount days. Tickets are $5 on Tuesdays for Cinemark and Regal locations, but you must sign up for a free royalty card on the Regal app to get their ticket discount and half priced popcorn. The Highland Square Theatre sells its tickets for $5 no matter the day or movie. Visit the theatre’s Facebook page to see its upcoming movies and start times.

A sweet roundup of gifts for anyone on your list no matter what your budget looks like.

Latifah Muhammad

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How to make valentine's day special on a budget

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Let the countdown to Valentine’s Day begin!

For those who haven’t formulated a list yet, we rounded up a collection of gifts that are outside the typical heart-shaped box of candies or flower bouquet. From apparel to electronics and more, the items on our list are perfect for that special someone in your life – even if that someone happens to be you.

See below for a roundup of the best Valentine’s Day gifts for every budget.

How to make valentine's day special on a budget

Long Distance Love Bracelet Set

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it’s also great to stay connected. This waterproof bracelet lets you connect with loved ones without the need for social media or video calls. Simply download the app to connect the Long Distance Love Bracelet and set and tap your bracelet to send a Bond Touch to someone you love.