If February 14th makes you think of red roses and a row of dollar signs, then you may be dreading this expensive holiday. But showering your loved one doesn’t have to be expensive. There are actually a ton of cheap Valentine’s Day ideas that are fun and romantic.
Because running out on your dinner bill may sound like fun Bonnie and Clyde role play, but they don’t put you in fuzzy handcuffs when you get caught. Mood ruined.
So how do you craft a unique, exciting, and affordable Valentine’s Day date? Ali Maggioncalda, founder of the relationship app Lovewick has tons of suggestions to keep the spark alive, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not.
“Going out to dinner and mindlessly downloading your day to your partner won’t do the trick,” Maggioncalda says. “Instead, use dates as intentional time to learn or try something new.” And if facts and figures get your heart pumping, there’s even research that supports this. We’ll talk about the Pythagorean theorem in our next post if you want more dirty talk.
So this Valentine’s Day, skip the overpriced dinner date and do something different. Here are some ideas to have fun with your partner, celebrate your love for one another, and still have enough cash left over to buy your dog a cute outfit.
What? We didn’t say all our suggestions were financially responsible.
13 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas That Are Actually Fun
1. Have a sexy photo shoot.
It goes without saying that you should be smart about taking revealing photos, and mindful of where they end up. But here we are saying it, and here you are reading it.
With that disclaimer given, taking sexy photos with a partner is inexpensive and intimate. And, it lets you tap into your artistic side, whether you’re in front or behind the camera. Finally, you can put that photography class you took one semester to use!
Try out some fun poses together, or seduce the camera separately. Then keep the photos on file for a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Or the second Tuesday of every month at 5:38pm.
2. Have a fast food progressive meal.
Fancy dinners with tiny portions that leave you hungrier than when you started is so 2008. Or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves. Instead, do a DIY budget-friendly progressive meal with your favorite fast food restaurants.
First, pick a spot for an appetizer, like McDonald’s chicken nuggets. Then, pop on over to a second place for your main course, like a Whopper from Burger King. Cap off your night with dessert at a third location. And if a Wendy’s Frosty doesn’t immediately come to mind, then we are not inviting you to our birthday party this year.
3. Draw each other.
This idea works perfectly if you’re both terrible at art! But a little help never hurts. Maggioncalda suggests watching a quick YouTube tutorial on figure drawing before posing for each other, “like Jack and Rose in Titanic.”
Bonus points if the night ends with a romp in an old timey car. Negative points if it ends with one of you floating on a door.
4. Play hooky from work.
Call it a relationship health day. Or a physical health day, depending on how much bedroom activity you want to get in. Moving dressers is hard work, right?
For this cheap Valentine’s Day idea, coordinate with your partner to take the day off work and spend it doing anything you want. (There are plenty of free or inexpensive ideas in the Lovewick app if you need them!)
Just don’t post anything on social media that’ll tip off your boss. Because then it will definitely not be a cheap date idea in the long run.
5. Have a scavenger hunt.
You and your boo have played “Where Are the Car Keys” enough times. So now, make it intentional!
Come up with cute clues related to your relationship and lead your partner on a search to your final destination or a prize. You could end up at the spot of your first date, or you could reward the winner with a sexy prize. You know, like cleaning all the dishes! Or…whatever.
6. Role play.
Take a trip back to your theater days with this cheap Valentine’s Day date idea. But maybe leave the furry suit you wore in Cats out of it.
Pick a fantasy that you and your partner have always dreamt of, and then go all out. Keep an open mind, commit to the role, and when in doubt, use a British accent. Wait, that was supposed to be Australian?
7. Take a martial arts class together.
Many gyms will offer an introductory deal — whether it’s a free class or a 2-for-1 pass — so cash it in for V-Day and get your sweat on. You’ll get up close and personal with each other, laugh at how uncoordinated you both are, and most importantly, work up some endorphins.
Valentine’s Day is about love and candy hearts. And volunteering is a wonderful way to share your love with others…and still eat some candy hearts along the way.
Check in with your local animal shelter, nursing home, food bank, or anywhere else that could use a helping hand. Being kind and helpful is a great way to boost your mood, which is way more than an expensive dinner bill can do.
9. Watch each other’s favorite movies.
Speaking of being charitable, you can throw your partner a bone by agreeing to watch one of their favorite movies. Especially if you either really don’t like it or have refused to watch it in the past.
We get it – Rubber isn’t for everyone! Or…most people.
10. Have a “yes” day with each other.
For the sake of keeping your Valentine’s Day budget-friendly, restrict all your requests to things that are, well, budget-friendly.
Your partner wants you to wear the sexy heels they like? Yes. You want your partner to play the sport you like? Yes!
Save your request for a yacht for when you have a “yes day” with your friendly neighborhood billionaire. We’re sure Elon will answer our invite any day now.
11. Get your fortune read.
Whether it’s a fortune teller or a tarot card reader, have someone read your relationship and your future. And this is also a great cheap Galentine’s Day idea for you and your friends.
If they predict a bright and happy future, hooray! If they predict something less cheery…what do they know anyway? And if they predict the winning lotto numbers, give us a heads up, won’t you?
12. Have a game night.
Act like you’re kids again by having a game night. You can make it sexy if you want by adding nakedness to it or some booze. But you haven’t been playing Wordle this whole time to shy away on your word skills.
Dig up whatever board games or card games are hiding in your closet, put on some music, and have at it. And yes, xylyl is totally a valid Scrabble word.
13. Have your partner make the plans.
Chances are, because you’re reading this, you’re the planner between the two of you. That’s fine — there’s always one. But why not let your other half decide what the two of you should do for Valentine’s Day?
You can give them some ideas, but encouraging them to make the plans one time will (hopefully) show them that they can take initiative on other dates, too. There you go…planning again!
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