Valentine’s Day on a Budget

You can argue that it’s a hallmark holiday all you want, but I don’t see the problem in a day that celebrates love. February 14th is a reminder that we don’t always celebrate our relationships with loved ones, and it’s a chance to put all else aside. It’s not just a date night and it’s not about cheesy cards, it’s about remembering.

So why does Valentines Day automatically mean fancy expensive dinners, giant teddy bears, and a dozen roses? Why can’t it be home baked cookies, little trinkets, and $5 supermarket bouquets? All I’m saying is, I won’t be mad if my date spends $20 instead of $100 on me this February. If you’re date is annoyed by this, you’re probably dating the wrong girl. Unless you’re a billionaire spending $20 on Valentines Day. Then you’re doing it wrong.

The Gift 

Etsy is always a great place to look. The site is always loaded with holiday trinkets, and they’re typically in the lower price range as far as Valentine’s gifts go. Pick up a customized bracelet or a quirky little house item for your Valentine. If you and your date aren’t the sappy type, try something with humor. Pick up one of those t-shirts that says “Happy wife, happy life” or a kitchen item that he’s talked about wanting.

Another great option is to wrap up something that you can both use, like a fun little board game or some new movies. Alternatively, surprise your date with concert tickets (note that they don’t have to be expensive concert tickets) or sporting event tickets.

The Date 

If you and your date spend most weekends out, try staying in on Valentine’s Day! Order in or cook a great meal and sit on the couch with some wine and chocolate. If that’s your typical Friday night, then make reservations at a place you haven’t tried before. To save money, eat dinner in and go out for dessert.

Don’t forget to look for free events in your area. There’s always a chance for a free concert or special Valentine’s event.


If you’re on your own this Valentine’s Day or if you’re swearing off dating, have a cheap little party with your single friends! You can find all you need at a dollar store – cliche paper hearts and decorations, party plates, plastic champagne flutes and white wine glasses, chip bowls and baking items! Dollar Tree sells cake, cookie, and brownie mixes. You can probably find cookie cutters, and you can definitely find decorative plates and ribbon to “fancy it up.” Buy some festive frosting and sprinkles, and either have them ready for your friends or make decorating part of the fun! It may seem like a middle school party now, but hey, cookie decorating can get weird really fast and I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

When you’re done with your cookies, see what cheesy rom-coms you can snag cheap. Browse Target’s $5 movies, go to your local used movie store, grab ’em for $1 at Red Box, or snag ’em for free at your local library!

If you already have a Netflix subscription, here’s what I’d recommend in the Romance category:

  • The Best of Me – How could you go wrong with a Nicholas Sparks story?
  • 50 First Dates – One of the few Adam Sandler movies that’s actually adorable.
  • 13 Going on 30 – Always a classic for the ladies.
  • Remember Me – Keep the tissues near.
  • Along Came Polly – Because Jennifer Anniston.
  • The Switch – Because Jennifer Anniston!

Just know that you don’t have to eat at the most expensive steakhouse in town to have a romantic and exciting Valentine’s Day! There are plenty of options out there for us not-billionaires.

I hope you find the perfect mix this year to make your holiday great. Don’t forget to call your loved ones.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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