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Friday 14th June 2024

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank

Nature escapes, surprises at home, personalised gifts, DIY joy, and affordable outings – Richa Ved’s Valentine’s Day guide for celebrating love without breaking the bank.


The holiday season is over, and then before you know it – it’s Valentine’s Day. Surely you and your partner want to make this one extra special, but remember it doesn’t have to be at the cost of emptying your pockets.

There are plenty of affordable, cheap (or free!) Valentine’s Day options out there – besides the usual rings, roses and fancy dinners – to meet your partner’s love languages. Here are some ideas to help protect your wallet and take a step towards reaching your financial goals together.

Be one with nature

Get yourselves away from worldly distractions and take in the surroundings with a nearby hike or trekking together to a scenic viewpoint or favourite spot. Alternatively, you can follow a natural biking trail through the mountain woods.

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If you’re looking for a quiet, serene evening, drive to a stargazing site nearby to enjoy a romantic stargazing date. If the weather permits, take your picnic basket to the park or beach with some homemade meals, wine, and games. You may also choose to have an indoor picnic or a BBQ in your back garden and end the night cosying up by a bonfire.

Spend Valentine’s Day at home

You can always make Valentine’s Day extra special at home when budgets are tight. Surprise them with an elaborate breakfast in bed or bake them their favourite cakes and cookies.

You can plan a romantic candlelit dinner where you cook for them or instead have a heart-shaped pizza-making or sushi-making night together. A cheese or chocolate fondue board could be the cherry on top!

Unwind with a movie marathon or karaoke session, or take a trip down memory lane unboxing your old love letters, photos, and wedding videos to look back at your beautiful journey shared together.

Personalise it

If gift-giving is your thing, personalise it. While it’s a more affordable option, the thought and effort truly add an extra special touch to your present.

You can curate a scrapbook documenting your best photos, ticket stubs from theme parks or movie dates, snippets of your love letters and texts, and promises you’re making for your future. Alternatively, make a Post-it notes jar and choose a popular theme such as ‘Open When’, or ‘365 Days’, or come up with your own!

Another personalised gift is a painted photo frame with your favourite photo together. You might do a smaller one for a bedside table or if you have advanced art skills, a larger themed one for an empty wall.

If your partner is a card game lover, you can create a deck flipbook to tell them 52 reasons you love them. Or, if they are a melophile, curate a playlist of their favourite artists’ music or your favourite songs together.

DIY activities

Are you a competitive, fun-loving couple? You can plan a scavenger hunt across all your spots in the city – from where you had your first kiss or first date to your favourite dessert joint.

If you don’t have a car or would like to stay indoors, you can plan one around your own house and have your S/O solve clues and puzzles to get to their gift. Similarly, a competitive games tournament, with board games, trivia, or indoor games will add an adrenaline rush.

If you’re feeling artsy, organise a canvas or wine glasses painting night, or make a date ideas bucket list jar together for the next time you want a fun idea.

But if you’d like to kick back and relax, arrange a DIY spa night with a hot bath, face masks, body oils and scented candles. Don’t forget, you’ll need all the equipment beforehand for these ones.

Step out of your house

A cheap Valentine’s Day need not be at home. Look out for the local activities you can go to in your town, or for any places with Valentine’s Day offers.

Choose to learn a new skill together by attending a pottery-making or tango dance class, or head to a museum or art gallery that’s been on your list for a while. Fitness freaks can do fun, partner workouts in the gym or park, or you can opt for local volunteering opportunities if you’re looking to give back to the community.

Another fun idea is a thrift store challenge. Decide a budget (say £10 or £15 each), enter a thrift store, and pick out the best (or funniest!) outfits and items for each other. Plus, there’s always the option of hitting your local bar for their trivia or karaoke night or attempting to beat the high score of your favourite game at the arcade.

Remember, you can spend a fun and love-filled Valentine’s Day without emptying your pockets. Instead, save the money and work together towards a healthy financial future.

Photo credits: Pexels

Richa Ved

Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.

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