If you’re on a budget, trying to plan a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day date can feel a bit challenging. It’s easy to blow your budget on Valentine’s Day, even if all you do is go out to dinner and a movie.
And a LendingTree survey found that most people do overspend on Valentine’s Day. The average person plans to spend $69 on Valentine’s Day, though this figure is higher if you’re dating or engaged.
However, the survey also found that most people expect their partner to spend very little for Valentine’s Day. So if you’re trying to figure out how to make the holiday special, you don’t have to overspend to do it.
Let’s look at 10 Valentine’s Day date ideas that won’t break the bank.
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1. Cook a Meal Together
If you don’t want to splurge on eating out or ordering takeout, why not cook a meal at home together? You can come up with the menu, go to the grocery store to pick out the ingredients, and then cook everything together.
Not only will cooking together be fun, but you may find that you enjoy the food more than you would’ve enjoyed a meal at a restaurant. And if you choose to get really creative, you can even come up with your own homemade cocktails and appetizers.
2. Volunteer Together
Volunteering as a couple is a great way to spend time together and give back to your community at the same time. Plus, volunteering doesn’t cost any money whatsoever.
Odds are, there are tons of noteworthy charities in your area that could use the help on Valentine’s Day. Here are a few ideas you can look into:
- Volunteer at a local community garden to plant seeds
- Offer to walk dogs for a local animal shelter
- Perform administrative work for a local food pantry
- Volunteer to read to kids at your neighborhood library
3. Plan a Valentine’s Day Brunch
If you’re hoping to go out on Valentine’s Day but don’t want to pay for an expensive dinner, why not go to brunch instead? There are probably lots of nice restaurants in your area offering affordable brunch options. Not only will going to brunch be less expensive, but you’ll be able to miss out on the dinner crowds.
4. Get Outdoors
If you’re looking for nontraditional Valentine’s Day activities, why not plan an outdoor adventure? Nature provides endless entertainment, and it’s completely free. You could take a hike together, go on a bike ride, or just take a long walk.
5. Have a Movie Night
Is there anything better than a good movie night? And instead of paying $100 to go to the theatre, you can create your own inexpensive movie night at home.
Create a cozy area full of blankets and pillows and buy some popcorn and other snacks. From there, you can pick out a few of your favorite Valentine’s Day movies, like When Harry Met Sally or The Proposal.
Be sure to check out this list of the best Valentine’s Day movies that are streaming on Netflix for free.
6. Go to a Museum
If you’re looking for a bit of culture, you could always plan a trip to a local museum. Many museums offer free or low-cost admission, so this could be an affordable day date option.
Plus, attending a local exhibit is a great way to gain a new perspective and will give you plenty to talk about afterward. After visiting the museum, you can go grab a coffee and talk about your favorite exhibits.
7. Attend a Wine Tasting
Wine tastings are always fun, and it’s an even better outing for Valentine’s Day. Check your local wineries and see if they have any specials you can take advantage of. You might also check Groupon to see what you can find.
If going to a wine tasting is too pricey, you can also create your own DIY wine tasting at home. Pick out a couple of different wines to try and discuss which option is your favorite.
8. Plan a Picnic
Another option is to plan an outdoor picnic together. You’ll start by choosing the location and gathering your supplies, like blankets, pillows, and a picnic basket.
If you want to give it a little Valentine’s Day touch, you can throw in some rose petals as well. From there, you can plan your menu and get everything set up.
Of course, it is February, so there’s a good chance you live in a location that’s not going to be favorable for an outdoor picnic. No problem — if the weather doesn’t cooperate, just have an indoor picnic instead.
9. Take a Tour of Your City
If you’re working with a low budget, traveling may not be an option right now. So instead, why not play tourist in your own town? Most cities offer local tours, and you may even be able to find a themed tour, like a food tour or street art. You can check out Viator to find options in your city.
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10. Have a Game Night
And finally, you can always plan a game night at home. Choose the games you’ll be playing ahead of time, clear out an area in your home so you’ll have plenty of room, and make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand.
You could also invite one or two other couples for a small Valentine’s Day get-together. Everyone could bring a bottle of wine or food item to share along with their favorite games.
The Bottom Line
The only thing that really matters is that you’re able to spend time with your partner on Valentine’s Day, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do that. With a little creativity and thinking outside of the box, you can create a romantic Valentine’s Day date you’ll both enjoy.