Who says you have to spend a lot of money in order to have a special night? As far as I’m concerned, Valentine’s Day can be fun even if you’re celebrating on a budget. These 10 ideas can let you have an exciting night in the middle of winter without breaking the bank.
#1 – Indoor Picnic
In February, it’s much too cold to venture outside (at least for me). So bring your picnic indoors. Spread a blanket out on one of your floors, pack your favorite foods — sandwiches, cheese and crackers, salads, whatever you love — into a picnic basket, and enjoy.
#2 – Cook Together
Cooking together can be fun and romantic. There’s something kind of sweet about working together to create a meal. So plan the meal together, swing by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients, then divide up the responsibilities and get cooking. If you want to get creative, turn cooking together into a competition and see who can bake the best chocolate chip cookie.
#3 – Movie Night
Heading to the movies can get pricey quick. Instead, opt for a $1 Redbox movie and stop by your local dollar or discount store to pick out your favorite “movie” snacks. (Think Sno Caps, Raisinettes, M&Ms, Twizzlers.) Then snuggle together on the couch or in bed!
#4 – Homemade Gifts
If you want to give one another a gift while still saving money, try exchanging something homemade. It will be significantly less expensive, but mean a whole lot more. Try here or here for some suggestions.
#5 – Spend the Evening at a Coffee Shop
It’s hard to find a drink that’s more affordable than coffee, and coffee shops can provide the perfect ambiance for an evening out. They’re noisy enough that you can carry on a private conversation despite being in public, they smell amazing (seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of some fresh-brewed coffee?), and some even provide free entertainment.
#6 – Indulge in Fondue Night
You don’t actually need a fondue pot to enjoy fondue. Use a crock pot, or even a pot on your stove, to create a cheese or chocolate fondue. Head to the market together and pick out all of the goodies you’ll want to dip in your fondue! Try here for some fun recipes/suggestions.
#7 – Go for a Drive
I never thought I’d say it, but these days, gas is relatively cheap. So why not go for a drive? You can make a playlist beforehand or turn up the radio, or use the time alone in the car to talk. Have a destination in mind, or don’t; travel far, or drive by a few meaningful local spots and reminisce about good times. It’s up to you!
#8 – Visit a Local Museum
There are plenty of museums that offer free admission, especially during in the mornings. Scope out a local museum and spend some time there enjoying the exhibits.
#9 – Create an At-Home Spa
Forget going to the spa; bring the spa home to you. Spend the evening pampering each other by putting on some relaxing music and giving each other massages.
#10 – DIY Wine or Beer Tasting
Mix and match a handful of beers from your local liquor store, or stock up on boxed wine. Either way, heading to a liquor store and buying alcohol there is much more affordable than heading to a vineyard or a bar. Add some cheese and crackers, or some popcorn and nuts and you’ve got yourself an at-home wine or beer tasting.