On a tight budget this February? No problem! Valentine’s Day is about love, not money. With a little time and creativity, you can create a Valentine’s Day experience that shows your love without breaking the bank.
In fact, a tight budget can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. It can make you more romantic, as you create more thoughtful gifts and experiences. Instead of buying something mass-produced, you put time and effort into something personal. After all, something free or cheap can still be special.
To make a low-budget Valentine’s Day fun, memorable, and romantic, simply plan activities and create gifts that are thoughtful, not expensive. Spend time, not money. You don’t even need to get a babysitter. Need specific ideas? Here are a few great ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the cheap
Make a card or handwrite a letter
Texts, emails, and virtual cards can be meaningful, but they don’t have the same personal touch of a handwritten message or homemade card. DIY Valentine’s Day cards and letters take time and thoughtfulness to create, which shows you really care. It doesn’t matter that they’re cheap because your special someone won’t guess you’re on a tight budget. They’re worth giving, regardless of your income.
If you don’t know what to write, start by brainstorming things you love about the person you’re writing to. What are their best qualities? What made you fall in love with them? What do you miss about them when you’re apart?
You can also think of favorite memories, either from the previous year or through your entire relationship. You can describe a few of these memories in your card or letter, perhaps even including pictures you’ve drawn or printed out.
Still struggling? Why not look up Valentines-themed or love quotes and poems that express how you feel? Then, all you need to do is handwrite those poems or quotes. If you decide to choose more than one love or Valentine’s quotes, writing each on an individual slip of paper.
Put the notes where your loved one will definitely find them. For example, one could be taped to their toothbrush or steering wheel. These notes cost nothing, but they’ll say more about your love than something store-bought.
Plan a romantic evening in or out
You don’t need money to have romance. There are countless activities that are romantic and free or inexpensive (making them ideal for a tight budget situation). For instance, you can put together an indoor picnic by spreading blankets on the floor. Add pillows, candlelight, soft music, and simple foods you both love, and you have a setting that’s made for romance.
If you have kids who go to bed early, the same idea could work in the evening with drinks and dessert. This evening “picnic” also works well with other romantic activities, like watching a film together. You don’t even need to buy or rent a film. Just check out the movies at your local library ahead of time. Then, you’ll have a nice selection to choose from for free!
If watching a romantic comedy film isn’t special enough, try playing a board game or old-fashioned video game together. Depending on your budget, you can either play something at home or go to an arcade or coffee shop with games. Both places are cheap yet fun, and they work great with kids, too.
Another idea is to make art together. It doesn’t matter if you’re terrible at drawing or painting. The main goal is to enjoy yourself. If you or your partner struggles with art, try drawing pictures with your eyes closed. You can also set a timer and take turns calling out subjects, drawing each one within a couple minutes. Making quick “blind drawings” can help you both relax and enjoy the experience together.
Prepare Valentines-themed food
You don’t have to cook an impressive (and expensive) five-course meal. Even a ten-minute pasta dinner can be turned into a Valentine’s Day feast. Just make it special by adding a few extras. For example, you can cut veggies into heart shapes or sprinkle grated cheese on top in the shape of a heart.
Other Valentine’s Day foods, like heart-shaped pancakes or cookies, work great with kids, too. You don’t even need to buy special ingredients. Anything red can be turned into Valentine’s Day treats, from roasted apples to strawberry jam on toast.
Focus on the one(s) you love
No matter what you end up doing, it’s important to keep your attention on the one(s) you love and focus less on a tight budget. Try to create a fun and relaxing Valentine’s Day for them, not just for you. For instance, if they hate cooking or other chores, volunteer to do those chores for them. Compliment your special someone, give them a message, and postpone disagreements for another day.
Sometimes, these small gestures are enough to make a Valentine’s Day special. Similarly, being distracted or self-centered can ruin even the best Valentine’s Day activities.
For a truly wonderful day, remember to stay tuned to your loved one(s) wishes and feelings. One of the best gifts you can give is your undivided attention, and that’s free.