Romance your Valentine on a budget

Valentines Day


Remember – love is free!

It seems that everywhere you look at the moment you’re bombarded by ads and messages insisting you splurge a small fortune on spoiling your Valentine to show them how much you care. But that can be pretty tough to do when you’re on a tight budget, a low income or receiving welfare payments.

So while you may not want to feel like a cheapskate on Valentine’s Day, the good news is that there’s lots of free and low cost ways to treat your special someone, and show them how much they mean to you.

The best things in life are free!

Nothing says “I love you” more than a DIY gift, especially if you aren’t crafty. And better still, most are free.

  • Present your Valentine with a homemade booklet of love coupons, for them to redeem for treats like breakfast in bed, a candlelit home-cooked dinner, a foot massage – whatever you like, you’re only limited by your imagination!
  • Surprise your Valentine with a tranquil and relaxing bubble bath, complete with bath salts or bubbles, rose petals, a fragranced candle and their favourite book or magazine to unwind with.
  • Give the gift of time. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But the thing many of us would love, more than anything, is some time to ourselves! So give your Valentine a day to do whatever they want – no interruptions allowed. They may want to go out adventuring, lay on the beach, or watch movies all day – whatever their heart desires! You take care of the kids, cooking and housework. Announce your gift on a hand written note, and for something extra special, roll it up, tie with a red bow and pop it into a glass bottle.
  • Pack a romantic picnic and head to a nearby lookout, park or special spot, and have a cheap and hassle free outing enjoying each other’s company.
  • Surprise, surprise! Hide little love notes about the place for your Valentine to discover throughout the day. Under their pillow, inside the bathroom cabinet, in the car, and in their lunch. All day long you’ll be reminding them of how much they mean to you.
  • Don’t buy flowers on Valentine’s Day – high demand on this day makes them crazy expensive. Instead, make your own bouquet of wildflowers or some from your own garden.
  • Or why not make a balloon bouquet instead? For no more than the price of a packet of balloons and some ribbon from your supermarket, you can blow up a few red and pink balloons and tie together into a bouquet for your Valentine, or use them to decorate your home or the special place you’re enjoying a Valentines outing.
  • Sweets for your sweetheart – make your Valentine a big jar of their favourite sweets and treats, wrapped with a big red bow and topped with a note telling them how much they mean to you. They’ll think of you every time they crack the lid open to steal another sweet!

Want to head out and treat your Valentine for the evening? Here’s some great budget-friendly Valentine’s Day date options

  1. Dine in, and then go out!
  • Whip up a beautiful and romantic dinner for two at home, and save your cash for a special outing afterwards – perhaps the movies, concert or a post-dinner cocktail!
  • Eating dinner at home will save you a heap of cash and enable you and your Valentine to have a relaxed, friendly meal away from crowds and the bustle of a busy restaurant.
  • Check out our cheap and healthy meal ideas and our guide to planning a menu on a tight budget.
  • Dining at home also means you’ll avoid spending a small fortune on a restaurant’s fancy wine list. Instead, pick up a lovely bottle of your favourite when it’s on special at your local bottle shop, and enjoy it without having to pay for corkage!
  1. If dining out – do your research first
  • Check your local paper, social media pages, online deals and discount coupon offers for Valentine’s Day specials and hunt for the best deal amongst your favourites.
  • Avoid fixed price menus – while it’s understandable that a restaurant would want to reduce workload and serve you faster on a busy night, it’s often less value than ordering à la carte, particularly if you and your Valentine aren’t big eaters.

3. BYO – When you’re dining out, alcohol can easily double your restaurant bill.

  • Check out online dining guides, your local paper and ask friends for their recommendations for restaurants in your area that allow you to bring your own wine.
  • When making your restaurant reservation, be sure to check their corkage fees – some can be so expensive it defeats the purpose of choosing a BYO restaurant in the first place!
  • Head to your local bottle shop and grab a special bottle to enjoy with your meal, at a fraction of restaurant wine list prices.

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your special someone, remember – love don’t cost a thing!