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12 Budget-Friendly Cheap Ideas for Valentine’s Day

12 Budget-Friendly Cheap Ideas for Valentine’s Day


There’s no reason to spend a lot of money when celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. These are cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day that put the focus where it should be – on the people you love! Get the tips on how to observe this holiday without taxing your budget.

Photo credit: Conger Design on Pixabay

Mom Rewritten uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in these posts. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the Privacy Policy and Disclosures tab. This article originally published February 13th, 2015 and has been updated and republished with a new date.

Need a Few Cheap Ideas for Valentine’s Day?

Pass on the pricey red roses. Please don’t spend a fortune on teddy bears, chocolate and diamonds, either. Not to say we don’t love all those things or wouldn’t appreciate them. But in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day the prices on them skyrocket!

Lovely Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day at Disneyland
Photo Credit: Disney Parks

I want to have a sweet Valentine’s Day but I don’t want to spend a bunch of money either. If you’re trying to budget and need cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day, keep reading.

There’s no need to spend a lot of cash just to do something special. Try these cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day – Or save them for any day when you just want to show some love! Some of these are family appropriate and others are more romantic and appropriate for adults.

Important Things to Know About Budgeting

The bottom line about celebrating these cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day? BOTH partners have to mutually agree! One of you is onboard with a tight budget and the other is expecting roses and dinner out? That’s a disconnect that needs to be communicated ahead of February 14th.

There’s going to be some serious discord if the couple isn’t in agreement on expectations for the day. If you’re considering using any of these low-cost Valentine’s Day ideas, definitely review the plans ahead of time with your partner.

Photo credit: Jolier on Pixabay

Make it Meaningful

What’s something meaningful to your family? Think of something that doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it’s cause for celebration!

For us, it’s adding bacon for breakfast. Just the scent of that bacon baking in the oven gets us all giddy! It’s a rare treat. Think about your family’s “bacon for breakfast”. What’s the one special thing to add to your Valentine’s Day that will get you and your partner excited?

Lovable Decorations

Another cheap way of making Valentine’s Day special is with charming decorations. I’m not talking about anything you need to buy or spend a lot of money on. Just simple and sweet decor you can create using things you already have on hand.

As an example, my kids and I made this chain of paper hearts using construction paper hearts glued onto sheer ribbon. I hand painted the wooden picture frames myself with acrylic paint for just a few dollars.

Need a Few Cheap Ideas for Valentine's Day? Here are 5 special ways to tell someone you love them on Valentine's Day without spending a bunch of money!

Listen to Their Love Language

Have you heard about the 5 Love Languages? This popular bestselling book by Gary Chapman offers up both practical and insightful ideas to connect more deeply with your partner. Each person falls somewhere in one of these categories, or perhaps into several:

  • Words of Affirmation – Say supportive things, like “I love when you…” or “Thank you so much for helping me with that”.
  • Acts of Service – Do helpful things (especially without being asked), including emptying the dishwasher, filling the car’s gas tank or running an errand.
  • Receiving Gifts – Give a gift, whether it be store-bought or handmade. The love language of a thoughtful gift should be tailored specifically to the person on the receiving end.
  • Quality Time – Spend meaningful time, including having a conversation, going on vacation together, or a special date night.
  • Physical Touch – Affection through contact, including holding hands, kissing or _______ (wink!).

Curious to know which love language you or your partner fall under? Try the Love Language Minute for Couples, a 100 day challenge with a Christian focus.

Craft Your Own Cards

We all might say, “I Love You”. But how often do we write down our thoughts and feelings? Store-bought cards can be so expensive and the sentiment of a handmade card is much more heartfelt. Here are a few ideas for making your own cards.

Valentine's Day cards made with the Cricut Joy
  • Fold scrapbook paper in half and draw a picture on the front. Write something sweet inside…it’s the sentiment that counts. Try simple black construction paper and a white Sharpie to give it a “chalkboard” effect.
  • Get some tips on inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas on this article with tips for handcrafted cards and gifts.

Plan a Day Trip

If an elaborate vacation isn’t feasible, consider a day trip for just the two of you. Day trips can be financially doable, because there’s no hotel involved. Just return home at the end of your day out!

Figure out how far you want to drive and plot out your day trip destination. These are a few day trip ideas to plan as a cheap idea for Valentine’s Day:

  • Choose an area park for a homemade picnic and nap on the grass.
  • Linger over coffee from the corner café and chat, uninterrupted.
  • Window shopping can be fun, even if you don’t plan to buy anything. Visit the bookstore or library and peruse the stacks together. Wander at the thrift store. Visit an open house.
  • Do you have an unused gift card in the house? Redeem it together on this special day.
  • Many local museums offer free admission to residents on certain days of the month. Schedule your day trip on one of these days to avoid entry fees.
  • Exercise by going hiking or biking together.
Woman standing with electric bicycle

A Special Meal…at Home

We eat dinner at home nearly every night so eating at home on Valentine’s Day certainly wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. Aim to choose a special menu for February 14th and choose something you don’t normally eat.

Order Dinnerly, a meal subscription service as a splurge for the week. Cheaper than a fancy dinner out and you can customize your meal plan. Bonus: no grocery shopping because all the ingredients come to your front door!

Shrimp bowl from Dinnerly

Buying steaks or seafood at the grocery and preparing them at home is going to cost at least 50% less than if you went out, especially if you want to have a glass of wine with dinner. Add a little romance with a pretty table setting and candles. Leave the dishes for tomorrow!

Host your own special meal for a Valentine’s Day at home with kids. If you’d rather have a romantic dinner after the kids go to bed, aim for a sweet breakfast or lunch with kid-friendly foods.

Valentine's charcuterie board with cheese, crackers and veggies
Kids will love a Valentine themed charcuterie!

Start a Love Journal

If you and your partner feel like “two ships passing in the night”, a love journal can be an easy way to stay connected. A simple notebook and a pen is all that’s needed.

Here’s how it works: One person writes an affectionate note in the journal then leaves it for the other person to read. They continue to write back and forth in this way, leaving these personal messages of love, appreciation and friendship. Very easy to do even with just a few minutes a day.

Movie Night on the Sofa

Save yourself a bunch of money by renting the latest Redbox or streaming on Netflix for a fraction of the cost of watching in a theater. Buy a big bag of popcorn, bake some cupcakes for dessert and have a movie marathon after the kids are in bed.

Best part? Watch in your pajamas and cuddle up! Pick a “new-to-you” movie or a classic you’ve already seen 23 times. Binge watch a favorite series.

I’m in love with Jane Austin movies, so I could watch Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightly over and over. But I’m not sure my husband would be able to stay awake past the opening scene! Best to choose something you’ll both enjoy.

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Grab a big blanket and curl up together on the sofa. Pull out a photo album or scrapbook to reminisce over. It’s one of our favorite past times. Recall your thoughts about when you first met or your wedding day. Kids love hearing those stories too!

How can you get deeper connection in the relationships with your spouse and children if you're always mentally and physically exhausted? I offer 10 tips with real ideas for busy people.
My husband & I love to reminisce about our trip to Europe many years ago.

Homemade Sweets

If you’re on a budget this Valentine’s Day, you can still spoil your sweethearts with homemade goodies. Baking your own Valentine snacks can save money while also allowing you to control ingredients. My husband’s love language is Acts of Service, so he’s thrilled when I bake his favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

These Double Decker Brownies are a favorite treat in our house and often requested as a holiday dessert.

Try out this round-up of over 50 Valentine’s Day treats for kids (or adults) that they’ll love to indulge in. Check out the recipe categories including cookies and cupcakes.

Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts

If your honey’s love language is receiving gifts, then you’ll want to honor that with a budget-appropriate present. These are a few cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts that are both practical and precious!

IPSY offers customized make-up bags with skincare (for $13!)
  • Buying for the lady in your life? Try one of these best gifts for women.
  • Listen closely to what your partner might need and purchase that item. Whether they need a new phone charger, a screwdriver, slippers, a coffee shop gift card reload, whatever…gift those practical items!
  • If you and your sweetheart love Disney, gift one of these budget-friendly Disney Valentine’s Day Gifts.
  • If chocolate is a must, purchase an petite bag of high-end chocolates (around $10) and share them together.
  • Consider getting something that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come. A combination classic game board set offers up lots of at-home fun, for under $15.

Looking for more fun ways to celebrate your kids on Valentine’s Day? See this post 7 Inexpensive and Lovable Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids.

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