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29 Jun 2018 | Written by Daniel Dewitt

8 Budget-Friendly and Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Ideas

Businesses have been pushing hard for Valentine’s Day to become yet another over-hyped and commercialized holiday. It’s gotten so bad, the pressure to spend feels like the Christmas season all over again. At Valentine’s Day, we feel obligated to buy our partner a bouquet of flowers, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, greeting cards, dinner at a nice restaurant and the list goes on. If you’re like most, the heart is willing, but the budget may not be able.

This scenario can turn something as a sweet as Valentine’s Day into a living nightmare, but there’s good news. As it turns out, there are several budget-friendly ways to show your loved one you care. If you’re sick of living up to the unrealistic expectations of Valentine’s Day and don’t want to resort to an installment loan to cover the expense, check out these simple ideas. Your partner may just fall in love with you all over again.

Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a movie has always been a dating standard, but you don’t have to get dressed up and leave the house to do it. You can save money and enjoy time together by dining in. Make a delicious meal at home and then curl up on the couch with a movie. You can enjoy your meal at the coffee table in front of the TV or have a traditional candlelit dinner at the dining room table before starting your movie. By enjoying a meal and a movie at home, you can relax, let loose and be comfortable together.

Spice Up Your Place

If you want to save money, then save that “night on the town” for another time. Why not try having a romantic evening at your place instead? Before your Valentine arrives, clean up your home and set the mood with some candlelight, rose petals, flowers and a little background music for the final touch. It may sound cliché, but it actually can transform your home into a romantic getaway. She’ll be happy you took the time, made the effort and set the mood to turn your home into the perfect spot for a romantic evening in.

Make Dinner Together

Making dinner for Valentine’s Day can be a fun activity, especially when you do it together. Put on some music, pop open a bottle of wine and get things cooking. You’ll find a ton of simple and delicious recipes on sites like or Find a meal you both want to try and get started. Even if you don’t have all the ingredients at home, a quick run to the store together can be part of the fun, and the cost will be much less than what you’d spend at any restaurant.

Go on a Wine Tour

Wine tours can be found all across the country these days, and they’re a great way to spend Valentine’s Day with your partner. A wine tour is the perfect Valentine’s Day plan, because it’s fun, affordable and romantic. Some local wine tours charge as little as $5 to join a tour, but if you don’t have a taste for wine, check out some of the local breweries in your area.

Take in a Matinee

If there’s a movie playing that you two really want to go see, you can save money by opting for a matinee instead of an evening showing. You can also find discounts on concessions during daytime hours as well. Going to the movies during the day will also free up the rest of your evening to do something else fun this Valentine’s Day.

Head Outside

There’s no setting more romantic than the backdrop of nature. Take your Valentine out to the park, the beach or even a botanical garden. The two of you can enjoy an intimate journey through the wondrous beauty that only Mother Nature can provide. Spending some time together in the great outdoors is a beautiful and romantic gesture that won’t cost you a thing.

Get Crafty

Crafts are fun and inexpensive, and by finding an activity the two of you could work on together it’s easy to make an evening out of it. Play some music, have a drink or two and get creative. You can find several fun and creative crafting ideas online, so why not make something together that you two can keep as a memento from this year’s Valentine’s Day?

Play a Game

What could be more fun than playing a game? Games are a fun and exciting way to connect while engaging in a little friendly competition. Whether you’re into board games, video games or card games, you two will be sure to have fun with a little gaming interspersed within your Valentine’s Day plans.

Being romantic on a budget is far from difficult because there’s an abundance of fun things you can do that won’t leave you searching for an installment loan when it’s over. All you need is a can-do attitude and the ability to be thoughtful. Though you’re trying to save money, you still want to show your loved one a good time without coming across as cheap. Just remember that not everything has to come with a big price tag to be worthwhile. Use these ideas to spice things up and make it a night that you’ll still be talking about next Valentine’s Day.