Valentine’s Day is a special holiday that gives you the chance to show someone special how much he or she means to you. In many cases, this display of affection includes expensive gestures, such as the gift of jewelry, dinner at a fine restaurant and more. Some people plan an elaborate affair that includes gifts, dinner, a stay at a nice hotel or even an extended getaway. While you could do Valentine’s Day in this fashion, you can also create a memorable day for you and your loved one with some of these budget-minded ideas.
Buy Flowers the Day Before
Buying flowers is an almost an “expected” part of Valentine’s Day. However, florists know that beautiful bouquets are in high demand, so they increase prices dramatically on Valentine’s Day. A smart idea is to buy your flowers the day before. The flowers will still be fresh and beautiful, but they will cost a fraction of the price. As an alternative, consider buying a single red rose. You can easily combine your flowers with a small box of chocolates or even make your own fudge at home.
Go Ice Skating
While restaurants may be crowded on Valentine’s Day, you may discover that the ice skating rink is not. Remember that crowds can detract from the romantic ambiance of the day. Ice skating is a fun activity for couples to enjoy together and you can always cap off your date with a visit to a charming coffee shop for hot cocoa and a dessert. An alternative to ice skating would be to go roller skating or roller blading.
Take a Wine Tour
Visiting wineries may sound expensive, but it’s actually rather affordable. Many wineries have affordable flights for two people to share. If you are not a wine drinker, taking a craft beer tour is another alternative. Remember that you can stop for lunch in the middle of your experience or you can grab dessert afterward.
Make Fondue at Home
If you plan a meal at home, you want it to be special. A fondue dinner is an excellent idea because it is delicious and unique from other dining experiences that you normally share together at home. Remember to light candles and play romantic music to set the mood.
Buy Discount Movie Tickets
Going to the movies can cost a small fortune after you factor in drinks and snacks. An alternative to this expensive type of date involves buying discount tickets. When Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week, you may find midweek discounts at some theaters if you look around. If not, you can head to a matinee movie and you can follow that up with a romantic dinner at home or another affordable dining idea.
Head to a Museum
If you live in a midsized or larger city, there may be several excellent museums that you can tour as a date. Look for special exhibits or displays at the museums to make this date even more spectacular.
While you could cook a meal for your loved one, you could also cook together. You and your loved one could try to make a special dish at home that neither of you has tried to make before. You could also sign up for a free cooking class online or even take a live cooking class..
Find Free Performances
Another thoughtful idea is to look for free performances in your area. For example, you may be able to find a free musical performance at a local coffee shop or bar. You may also find open mic night for musicians or even comedians. While the performance may be free, be prepared to spend some money on drinks and snacks.
Create a Romantic Picnic at Home
It may be too cold to have a picnic outside in February, but that does not mean that you have to limit yourself to tabletop dining. Spread a blanket on the floor with a few pillows. Play relaxing music, and turn the lights down low. Treat yourselves to a wine and cheese spread, and throw in some sweet treats as a bonus. You can even bring out a few board games or turn on your loved one’s favorite movie after you spend time talking and laughing together.
Go Out for Dessert
Many restaurants mark up their prices on Valentine’s Day, making it expensive to pay for a full meal for two. However, you could skip the meal and treat yourselves to dessert to save money. Your dessert can be combined with coffee or wine.
Valentine’s Day is not a day that you want to skimp on, but you also do not have to spend a fortune showing someone how much they mean to you. You simply have to spend time planning a special experience. Remember that it is more meaningful to create a special experience for your loved one that shows your thoughtfulness than to simply spend money. Think about how much you and your loved one would enjoy these ideas as you prepare to plan a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration.