How to do Valentine’s Day on a Budget: Dates and Gift Ideas

Valentine's Day on a Budget: Gift and Date Ideas

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For this episode of “Think About it Thursday”, I want to pose that it is possible to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day on a budget! My husband and I are about to round out our 4th year of marriage. I can say we do still love romantic gestures and experiences. However, as the years go on, we have realized our need to be frugal and pay down our debts and live below our means. Our Valentine’s plans this year include a staycation that’s nearly completely free. We’re using some hotel rewards we’ve received as well as some gift cards we’ve been saving up to give ourselves a relaxing 48 hours. Regardless of what kind of budget you’re on, I believe you can enjoy a Valentine’s Day for little to no money. Save those coins but still enjoy the following romantic ideas:

Black and White Movie Night

One of my favorite home dates with D included a night watching black and white movies. I had never seen The Roman Holiday and really, really enjoyed it. Plus, watching something out of my movie norm made it a really unique experience. If you subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, you’ll likely have no limit on black and white movie choices.

Local Art Gallery or Museum 

If there’s a free local art gallery or museum in the area, this is a great date idea. Spending the afternoon or evening walking around looking at the different exhibits hand in hand can be fun and romantic. Don’t worry…you don’t have to be a history buff or an art connoisseur. Sometimes it’s fun to look at things and imagine your own interpretations of the exhibitions.

Try a New Local Coffee Shop

One of our favorite things to do is try out different coffee shops. If you live in or near a town that has a few, it’s nice to stop in and try a drink. While coffee shops can be pricey, you’re likely only to pay out about $10 total for a couple drinks. Plus, you can bring a board or card game and enjoy sipping on a good cup of coffee and enjoying the atmosphere.



Dine Picnic Style

If you find yourself on Valentine’s Day having some mild weather, consider packing a picnic lunch and eating at a local park. Enjoy the lovely views and bring a blanket and a frisbee.

Go Geocaching

If you love adventure, try your hand at geocaching. It’s free and it’s a wonderful team-building exercise. Plus, you get to see parts of the area you may have never seen before. If you don’t know what it is, think local scavenger hunt while using a GPS!

What about Gifts?

Just like dates, I firmly believe you can do gifts on a budget as well. Here are some of my favorites:

Mixed CD

My husband loves getting a mixed CD of music from me. I often try to find songs that I know he’ll enjoy that also remind me of him. He’ll tell anyone to this day that my mixed CD’s are one of the first things that made him fall in love with me.

Candy Bouquet

Forget shelling out a bunch of money on those expensive bouquets made at the local florist or candy shop! Go to your local Dollar Tree and pick up your love’s favorite candy, a glass mug and a few wooden skewers. Tape the candy to the skewers and arrange them in the mug or vase to look like a bouquet.


You likely have 2 hands. So, gift your loved one with a nice, relaxing massage. Put on some soft music and create your own unique spa experience in the comfort of your own home. You can even get some wonderful, aromatherapy massage oil to make it more authentic!

Homemade Chocolate Strawberries

This is another lovely idea without having to shell out a ton of money. Go buy a bag of chocolate chips and some fresh strawberries. Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water and dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate. Place on wax paper and refrigerate till it’s time to enjoy!



There are really a lot of very inexpensive, but thoughtful date and gift ideas out there. These are just a few that we’ve tried and loved. You don’t need to break the bank to show your love and appreciation. You just need to use your heart.

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day gifts or dates?


  • I like your ideas for Valentine’s Day. We don’t really celebrate it but I know so many people who feel the pressure to do something special on the day – your ideas would take the pressure away and just make it fun and enjoyable. Lovely ideas!

  • Great ideas and suggestions! A good massage is something I used to gift my boyfriend along with a home made dinner! Great way to celebrate on a budget!

  • These are great ideas! I think we’re having a picnic on our living room floor, watching something from Netflix that we both enjoy & eat homemade pizza (picnic in the living room floor is the ”special” thing here haha, we don’t do gifts on Valentine’s Day) 🙂

  • great suggestions for those on a budget, me and my partner don’t really celebrate anymore but i think we may do something small this year with us just having had a baby 🙂

  • I love all of these ideas! My husband and I will probably enjoy a home-cooked meal and a few budget-friendly gifts,,,and we’ll plan an excursion for the weekend (like the beach or a hike). I agree, breaking the bank is not necessary! You don’t need to spend a ton of money to show you love someone. <3

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