young couple enjoying drinks together at a coffee shop

Budget-friendly valentine’s day date ideas

Every February 14, people across the world exchange candy, flowers, gifts, and kisses. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so it is time to think about what you are going to do to celebrate. It does not have to be expensive to have meaning. Actually, the best way to show you care is by thinking outside of the heart-shaped box of chocolates. Show your loved one you care by planning a budget-friendly date! Here are some ideas:

  • Plan a day date. Daytime activities are often less expensive than evening activities. Find out what movies are playing during the day, if the museum has any special exhibits, or walk through the zoo to see your favorite animals.
  • Go hiking or walking. If you live near the city, wander through the streets. If you live in the suburbs or country, drive to a national park and hike through the forest, climb a mountain, or bike along the parkway. Appreciating nature while strolling hand-in-hand allows you quality time together in a new setting. Take a moment to lay on your backs and stare at the sky too. During the day, look at the shapes of the clouds, or at night, appreciate the galaxy.
  • There are many ways to enjoy a meal together without breaking the bank.
    • Cook yourself. You can enjoy a three-course meal with much risk by planning something simple, like salad, grilling meat and vegetables, and ice cream with toppings for dessert.
    • Save money by going out earlier. Try a lunch time special, or breakfast. Usually menu prices are less expensive and it will be less busy.
    • Skip the entrée and go out for dessert. Even at a fancy restaurant, most desserts are not much more than $10, so you can still appreciate an upscale atmosphere while spending time together.
  • A traditional gift often includes jewelry, but make it more unique by taking your loved one to a craft store. Pick out favorite gemstones together and design a one-of-a-kind piece.
  • Is your sweetheart a traditional person wanting flowers? Take him or her to a botanical garden or flower field. Enjoy being surrounded by hundreds of plants and admire their beauty together.
  • Do you fear your significant other will miss the chocolate and candy? Plan a sweet date in your own kitchen. Buy strawberries, cherries, truffles, and chocolate. Prepare your kitchen to dip your own fruit into chocolate to enjoy while watching a favorite movie or television show. Similarly, you could bake cookies and decorate them together.
  • Play a game. Look up a new card game to learn or stop by the store together and buy a board game that interests you. Not only can you practice on Valentine’s Day, but you can teach your friends and family later.
  • If you are set on going out on a date, think about reasonably priced venues, such as coffeehouses, budget movie theatres, or locally owned bars.

There are so many memorable Valentine’s Day activities that do not cost a lot of money. Save your hard-earned cash, and focus on quality time with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.

416040 CAN/US/UK (02/18)

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Michelle Budzien

Michelle Budzien is an Accredited Financial Counselor for askFinancial Wellness. She also assists with the Foresters Everyday Money financial helpline, providing unbiased financial coaching and education with the goal of improving the financial well-being of Foresters members. Michelle enjoys writing about all aspects of personal finance such as budgeting tips and tools, debt management, understanding credit, analyzing future needs, and industry trends.