I like Ikea furniture because I think it’s fun to build. My wife likes Ikea furniture because it doesn’t cost a lot. A friend of ours once told her that “the as-is section reminds me of you, because it’s cheap.” Our friend was on to something. My wife is often hesitant to spend any money on herself and doesn’t like it when I get carried away.
This means I often have to look for cheap alternatives when planning dates. I find this especially difficult at Valentine’s Day, when you need to pay the Valentine’s Day premium for flowers or a night out together. Sometimes, you have to find a way to romance your wife without breaking the bank. Here are 14 creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget.
1. Fort Building
Using blankets, rope, and other supplies you find around the house, build a fort. Set the mood with some Christmas lights and invite her into the fort for a romantic homemade dinner.Sometimes, you have to find a way to romance your wife without breaking the bank.
2. A Quiet Night
Plan for friends or relatives to take your kids for the night so you can have the house to yourself. Make sure to return the favor another time.
3. Chocolate Fondue
Rent a chocolate fountain or pick up a fondue kit. Shop, prepare, and spend the evening savoring the fruits of your efforts together.
4. Heart-Shaped Pizza
Find a good recipe for homemade pizza. Go to the grocery store to pick the toppings and then come home and make it together in the shape of a heart.
5. Outdoor Date
Spend the evening together outside for a hike, a bike ride, sledding, or a skating date (depending on your local climate).
6. Dinner and a Date Night
Find another couple you know who’s good at dancing and trade a homemade dinner for a private lesson.
7. Planning Ahead
If you’re spending the evening in, sit down together and brainstorm fun dates you’d like to to go on throughout the year. Plan monthly date nights that will take you through to next Valentine’s Day.
8. DIY Gift Basket
Think of five or six things you know she loves like candles, snacks, drinks, and fuzzy socks. Make her a DIY gift basket you can give her on Valentine’s Day.
9. Serving Others
Check your area for an organization that serves meals for those less fortunate and make someone else’s Valentine’s Day.
10. YouTube Cooking Class
Choose the menu and set up your own personalized cooking class using YouTube videos to make a fancy dinner for two together.
11. Camp Out (Or In)
Set up camp at home. Pitch a tent in your living room or basement and cook up some of your favorite camp foods, drink some hot chocolate, and imagine you’re in the great outdoors (all while having access to your own bathroom).
If you need to do Valentine’s Day on a budget, visit the travel section in your local library. Make a list together of places you’d like to go and things you’d like to see someday.
13. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Search for “photo scavenger hunt ideas,” pick a list, and head out together with your phone camera to make an evening of memories together.
14. Thrift Store Adventure
Go on a treasure hunt at your local thrift store and pick up a movie neither of you has ever seen or a game neither of you has played before.
Sound off: What are some other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What has been our best date?”