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Ahh, it’s that time of year again. The time of year where couples spend fantastic amounts of money on chocolates, flowers, jewelry, watches, and fancy dinners to show they love their Valentine.
With over half of the U.S. population planning to celebrate Valentine’s, and an estimated 23.9 billion dollars anticipated to be spent this holiday, it is a far from frugal day. Heck, according to the national Retail Federation, the only year spending has been this high was 2020, right before Covid-19 became the pandemic we now know it as.
Needless to say, some frugal ideas for this holiday are a MUST.
Activities for you and your Valentine
According to NFR, approximately 31% of Americans are planning on an evening out on the town, be it dinner, a movie, or an event of some other kind. As boyfriends and husbands across the world can attest to, Valentine’s quickly gets expensive. Here are some great ideas you can do with you’re partner for $10 or less:
Whether you’re an artist or can’t even draw a straight line, painting together can be a blast! Paint nights (even the ones at home) make for a great evening, and the best part is that everyone will have something unique at the end. Check out Step by Step Painting for some great at home paint night, and couple paint night ideas.
If you don’t already have supplies for this one yet, the website goes over what colors, you’ll need. Just grab those, a set of paint brushes, and a couple canvases from the dollar store and you’re set.
Get outdoors with your Valentine
Even if it’s still a little chilly, getting outdoors can be a great way to spend time with your significant other – even if it’s something as simple as walking around a local park, or going for a winter hike.
Spending that time one-on-one, without the distractions of phones, other people, and just nature…well, it can make for a truly spectacular night.
Dinner and a movie in
This is the time to break out the candles and the fancy dishes. Make it special, set the mood with some music, and just make it an experience unlike every other dinner. You get bonus points if you cook together.
Finish the night off with a warm cup of tea (or nice glass of wine), snuggle up on the couch, and then watch a movie or T.V. show.
Getting a gift
Honestly, gifts are nice, but in my mind, they really aren’t the be-all-end-all. My recommendation is to have a serious talk with your Valentine and decide if you want to do gifts or just spend time together. (Whatever you choose, make sure you agree ahead of time to avoid any issues on what is supposed to be a nice day!!!)
If you do decide to do gifts, my first recommendation is to set a budget, and stick to it. My second recommendation is, if possible, make something.
Honestly, I am such a huge fan of cute little homemade coupon books. I recommend them as a homemade gift for pretty much any occasion!
Here are some things you can put in your coupon book;
- A night off dinner and dishes
- A chore your partner doesn’t like doing
- A massage
- Their turn to pick the movie night (if you can’t agree on a movie, this is the perfect time to redeem this one)
- Clean your partner’s car
- Cook your favorite meal
Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but get creative with it!
Make something from scratch
There are so many things you can make. Not only are you still giving a gift, but in my mind, something homemade is so much more valuable. You know the person who made it spent time, and put effort and love into making something just for you.
- If you’re good at carving, take a piece of scrap wood and carve something your partner would like
- Bake their favorite dessert
- Crochet or knit something
- Make a piece of art
- Have another hobby? See if you can find a way to make a gift out of it!
Make a frugal gift basket for your Valentine
This one has the potential to be ridiculous, hilarious, or just plain fun. First off, set a budget. I recommend $10 to $15, but you can make it anything you want. Next, go to the dollar store. To make this more fun, you can also make it part of your date. Give yourself 30 minutes at the dollar store and make a mini-gift basket of things you think they would appreciate. Bonus points if you can think of a cute line to go with every item.
Here are a few ideas;
- Candy (because you’re so sweet)
- Conversation hearts (because I love how much we talk)
- Bubble bath/bath bombs/Epsom salts (because you need more time to relax)
- Tape/glue (because we stick together)
- Flashlight/candle (because you’re my light in the dark)
Honestly, you can make it cheesy, sweet, funny, anything you want. Just have fun with it!
At the end of the day…
At the end of the day, celebrating Valentine’s Day is not about how much you spend. It’s about who you’re with. Don’t give into the consumer mentality of having to spend $100 on dinner, $200 on jewelry, and another $50 on a bouquet of red roses. Do something together, and celebrate the connection and love you have for each other. That’s what really matters.
Do you have some good ideas for thrifty Valentine activities? Share them in the comments.
About Chloe Morgan
Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea.
1 thought on “How to Have a Frugal Valentine’s Day”
I have always done Valentine’s for all my immediate family. Of course a budget limit for each person is a must & always involves preplanning. We never have gone out to dinner & usually have nice dinner at home which usually consists of steaks ($5/pound) or spareribs ($3/pound) with sides & dessert (cookies/cupcakes/pie).
The only time I use dollar tree is if don’t have cards (2/$1 now 2/$1.25) but have been buying hallmark ($5 now $6) pop up (flowers) cards for a few years & always have coupons & usually no gift for that person. If I am feeling creative & have time have made cards in past.
Gifts are preplanned & sometimes a wanted item or sometimes a needed (in future) item. So far I have been fortunate enough to not see gifts thrown into closet & not ever used.
My youngest (& only one at home) is really getting into cooking & he is comfortable with many of my kitchen utensils that I have started picking up & giving to him for when he leaves home that way he will still have familiar feeling & hopefully happy memories of his cooking.