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cheap Valentine's day ideas

Save Money on Valentine’s Day: Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas

Discover cheap Valentine’s Day ideas so you can enjoy this special day without spending a fortune!

Like most holidays—maybe every holiday?—Valentine’s Day can be expensive! But if you’re like most of us, money is pretty tight. But you can still have a wonderful time on Valentine’s Day without spending a bunch of (or any!) money if you choose not to. Here are 3 awesome ways that you can save money on Valentine’s Day!


1. Save money on dinner for Valentine’s Day.

If you want to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day, you can save a lot of money if you are willing to enjoy the festivities a few days later—or even a day or two earlier. If you eat dinner on a different night, you might save as much as 50 percent off of the price of a fancy (but undoubtedly overpriced!) Valentine’s dinner. And extra bonus, you can avoid the crazy crowds! 

Another way to avoid restaurant crowds altogether is to stay at home for dinner. If you live with just the two of you, one of you make a special candlelight dinner for the other—or make one of your favorite dishes together! Play some romantic music, dress up if you like, and voila! And then follow dinner with one of your favorite rom com’s snuggled up on the couch together at home.

If you have kiddos, see if you have a family member who would watch them for free or in exchange for you watching their kids or serving them in some way. Or even take the kids to your favorite neighborhood babysitter if you have to. Paying for a couple of hours of babysitting will generally be much cheaper than the $50 to $100 or more you could spend on dinner out. And if your evening out would generally include a movie or other activity as part of your date, you’ll save even more by staying in.

Another fun and less expensive Valentine’s Day idea is to cook dinner at home but to then go to your favorite restaurant for dessert. Again, that could be on Valentine’s Day, or it could be on any other day that you choose.

2. Save money on Valentine’s Day gifts and treats.

You can also save money on gifts, flowers, sweets and chocolate, and more. Here are some cheap Valentine’s Day ideas for gifts, flowers, chocolates, and more.


Valentine’s Day Gifts

If you know there is something in particular that your sweetheart or kids or other loved ones wants or would love, shop around to find it at the best price. Depending on the item, check Amazon (it seems like they have almost everything), Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and so on. And remember that you don’t have to buy the most expensive brand or style for the gift to still be truly meaningful. The sooner you start looking, the more likely you will find a great deal, so start now!

You could also consider giving your time to your loved one instead of a physical gift. For example, an excellent gift is to give an act of service. Take some time to consider what your loved one would truly appreciate, and then dazzle him or her with the act on Valentine’s Day.

There is no rule that says gifts are a necessary part of Valentine’s Day. Even though gifts are nice, they aren’t necessary to have a wonderful day. Again, if you have the money and can really afford it and you enjoy giving each other nice gifts, great. But if you have nonmortgage debt and especially if you have high-interest debt, that money can be put to excellent use by paying down your debt.

Gifts can say “I love you,” but so can knocking another chunk off of your credit card or student loan or car debt. And the fanciest diamond ring or most elaborate bouquet of flowers does not ensure a lasting, loving, beautiful relationship. In fact, there could very well be an inverse relationship between those things.


Related articles:

15 Fun, Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Ideas

29 Fun, Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Date Ideas


Valentine’s Day Jewelry

Before you decide to buy your loved one a piece of jewelry, consider if the cost is really worth it. You know who decided that a diamond is a girl’s best friend? The jeweler. So unless your darling specifically asks for jewelry and you can afford to buy it, just leave it at the jewelry store. Or if your sweetheart loves jewelry but you cannot afford it, then go to the jewelry store to look, but don’t buy.

Or buy inexpensive, fun jewelry and make it extra special with a handwritten note expressing your love and appreciation for your sweetie.


Valentine’s Day Flowers

For another cheap Valentine’s Day idea, buy a single rose or a couple of roses (perhaps it’s your second anniversary, for example) instead of a dozen roses. Or buy a beautiful but less expensive flower or plant in place of a rose.

And buy your flowers from places that are likely less expensive than your local florist shop. Try a local nursery. And skip the delivery. If you do get flowers, pick them up and deliver them yourself so that you’re not paying a premium for someone else to do it.


Valentine’s Day Cards

As another cheap Valentine’s Day idea, you could give a Valentine’s card with a handwritten love note inside instead of a gift or instead of a gift and going out to eat. You could even find one at the dollar store or in the discount area of the greeting card aisle. Or save even more money, and perhaps score more brownie points, by making the card yourself!


3. Save money on Valentine’s Day activities.


Fun and Cheap Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Another of my personal favorite cheap Valentine’s day ideas is to go on an unconventional date to celebrate the holiday. You don’t have to do dinner and a movie just because that’s the norm.

Consider other activities like going to a park or on a hike (if it’s warm enough), going on a bike ride (maybe rent a tandem bike?), going to a museum, reading together, and so on. You could have a great time doing something different every Valentine’s that is inexpensive and fun.


Fun and Cheap Valentine’s Day Family Activities

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family, you could make pink heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast (one of my own family’s favorite Valentine’s Day activities!) or a heart-shaped homemade pizza for dinner (another family favorite).

You could write each other Valentine’s notes or draw pictures (for younger kids) expressing your appreciation for each other.

If you have older children and want to do a Valentine’s Day craft, you can find a ton of ideas for inexpensive crafts on Pinterest or by Googling.

And if you want to make a fun Valentine’s Day family treat, you can find ideas here. Or another of my own family’s favorite fun and inexpensive Valentine’s Day activities is to make simple heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them with pink or red frosting and fun sprinkles. 




There are so many cheap Valentine’s Day ideas that you can do to save money on Valentine’s Day and still have a great time! You don’t have to spend a ton of money on the food, on the flowers, on the jewelry, on the chocolate and other sweets, on the after-dinner activities, on the babysitter, or on anything else!

Depending on your circumstances, you might even consider celebrating Valentine’s Day by simply saying a heartfelt “Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you!” and leaving it at that. And then your “celebrating” of Valentine’s Day can be enjoying the time you have together as a couple or a family every single day.

Take some time to really consider how you could best spend your time together to strengthen your relationship on this special day, and you might find that spending money has nothing to do with it.


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