Personally, I have never been into nor celebrated Valentine’s Day. My parents didn’t and it just didn’t seem like an important day to me. I didn’t want my partner doing stuff on a particular day because society expected it. I wanted him to do things spontaneously because he wanted to, which is how our relationship works and he is stoked he’s off the hook for days like this. (We also don’t celebrate anniversaries but do celebrate birthdays.)
That said, when I was a single mum I unintentionally started a tradition with my kids. Each Valentine’s Day they got a rose chocolate from me with a letter telling them how much I love them and why. I didn’t realise how important this was to them until I heard them excitedly telling other people about it last year. As such, this tradition will continue.
How can you do Valentine’s Day on a budget?
1.) Find out their love language
If you are doing Valentine’s Day with a long term partner or someone you have a good idea about and want to be long term, find out their love language, then plan accordingly. If you haven’t heard of the 5 love languages, it is definitely something you should check out here. The 5 love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.
My love languages are physical touch and acts of service. Hugs from my partner, him cooking dinner/hanging out the washing/taking out the rubbish etc. Things like this mean more to me than gifts.
For my partner, he loves stuff and gifts is one of his main love languages. I spontaneously buy him things he loves, wrap it in special wrapping paper just for him and place it on his side of the bed as a surprise when he gets home.
For us, these sort of things would be ideal for Valentine’s Day if we celebrated it. Work out your partners love language and find a way to incorporate it into the celebrations.
2.) Pick frugal but fun date ideas
Dates that are thoughtful, meaningful or well planned out are great and do not need to be expensive.
~ Relive something from your childhood or teen years together such as games at a burger joint (8Bit has arcade games near us), chess at the Pancake Parlour, sports you loved, any activities you did in high school.
~ Free local tourism. Check out things to do in your local area that are free such as the museum, parks, exhibits, hikes, lookouts etc. Explore your city.
~ Local acts such as comedy clubs, speakeasy bars, talent nights and similar are usually much cheaper than big headline acts at festivals. Plus, the local comedy clubs is where big comedians test new material!
~Check Groupon for great deals, just make sure you check the fine print.
~ Karaoke bars can be a hoot!
Valentine’s Day dates don’t need to be candlelit dinners or romantic picnics. Do what you enjoy. Check out our list of 25 free and cheap date ideas .
3.) Get creative with food
You don’t need to drop $200 at a restaurant. Try these options instead:
~ Cook a meal you love at home
~ Try food trucks or a new, cheapish restaurant in your area
~ Opt to go out just for a drink instead of the whole meal or experiment making some cocktails at home
~ Order in. We love apps like Deliveroo and Uber Eats plus if you use our link for Deliveroo, you get $10 off your first order (affiliate link, we get $10 credit with Deliveroo, too).
4.) Gift giving on a budget
As mentioned, knowing their love language will help a lot. Listen to what they want and talk about in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. If you don’t want to get creative, here are a few ideas:
~ Buy their favourite chocolates
~ Buy virtually any other flower instead of roses. Better yet, buy a plant to grow and keep longer.
~ Edible gifts such as a chocolate bouquet are always popular.
~ Bake brownies, cakes, slices, biscuits or anything else they love.
~ Make chocolates. Get some moulds, melt some chocolate then add things like nuts, coconut, or your favourite fillings.
~ Vouchers, coupons or gift cards can be great. Make your own or cash in reward points to get them.
How do you do Valentine’s Day on a budget?