Roses, chocolates, jewelry, teddy bears, cards…jeez, when did Valentine’s Day get so expensive? And talk about cheesy! If you’re trying to do Valentine’s Day on a budget, or if you’re tired of the same old traditional gifts, all you have to do is get a little creative. Here, we collected nine ideas that don’t cost much (some are even free!) so that you and your special someone can have a romantic holiday that’s both cool and cost-effective.
Learn to Play Their Favorite Song
If your valentine is a music lover, all you need is an instrument and a little practice time to knock their socks off. Serenading your sweetie with a poetic tune is one of the most romantic ways to communicate your feelings. If you aren’t already a virtuoso with the instrument of your choice, check out YouTube for helpful instructional videos like this one. (Bonus tip: singing is always free!)
Pack a Special Lunch
Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, which means that lots of us will be headed to work on the holiday. To ensure that your love is thinking of you all day long, why not pack a romantic lunch for them to open mid-day? A little heart-shaped food (lots of inspiration here →) and a love note can go a long way!
Explore Something New Together
Good news for couples who like to try new things! Research has shown that doing something that spikes adrenaline can help boost excitement and arousal in a relationship. The bravest among us can give skydiving or rock climbing a try, but even things like going for a run together or checking out a new museum can create that exciting feeling.
Write a Love Letter
The written word is a timeless way to make an impression. Love letters and Valentine’s cards are something that we cherish long after the gifts they accompanied are forgotten. Take a moment to write down all your true feelings in a decorative card or sophisticated stationary and present it to your honey. For an extra-special Valentine’s Day touch, you can have your letter postmarked by the Post Office in Loveland, Colorado (AKA The Sweetheart City). You can find out more info here →
Take Photos Together
In this age of ubiquitous smartphones and digital cameras, it may seem like taking a picture with your sweetheart is just an everyday occurrence. But think about it — when was the last time that you and your partner really sat down to take a few nice snaps together? Whether you do it selfie-style or enlist a friend for some more professional-looking shots, photos are the type of thing you’ll treasure years down the line. Take it up a notch by printing out your pics to hang in your house.
Gift Finance-Friendly Fragrance
Perfume and fragrance is a classic Valentine’s Day gift, but for fancier scents the price can really rack up! If you want to treat your partner to a lovely new scent on a budget, perfume oils are a great option. Smallflower favorites L’Aromatheque and Nemat International boast a wide array of alluring scents, all under $20.
Enjoy a Local Performance
If you and your significant other love attending live performances but don’t want to shell out on expensive tickets, check out what your local scene has to offer. Maybe there’s a bar down the street that offers live music once a week, or perhaps the community theater is putting on their annual musical. Make a night of it — get dressed up and go out for dinner beforehand for a truly fantastic evening.
Spend Time Together in Nature
The beauty of nature has inspired poets, artists, and musicians for centuries. Profit from the romance of the great outdoors by exploring with your loved one. Whether you spend a day summiting a peak in a National Park, spread out a blanket under the stars to watch for meteors, or just take an afternoon stroll through the city park, you’re sure to make memories for years to come.