10 Fun and Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas on a Budget

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If you’re looking for cheap Valentine’s Day ideas for your tight budget, it’s not as difficult as you might be thinking.

Valentine’s Day can be one of the most memorable days of the year and also one of the most expensive. Many of us are expecting this day to go perfect, which ends up putting a lot of stress and pressure on planning.

This year, skip the expensive dates and the stress and indulge in one of the following 10 awesome Valentine’s Day dates. The best part is all of these dates cost less than $100, most cost less than $50, and some are less than $25 or even free!

Here are 10 fun and cheap Valentine’s Day ideas on a tight budget.

1. Drive-in Movie

Avoid waiting in long lines at overcrowded theaters to see the newest rom-com. Instead, see one at the drive-in theater for half the price. You even get to enjoy the double feature assuming you can stay awake.

Drive-in movies, while nowadays they are considered a thing of the past, they are actually a fun and romantic way to enjoy a date and change up the atmosphere. This even works great as a surprise, especially if it’s something you’ve never done as a couple.

Drive-in Theater Tips:

  • Bring food such as a pizza or burgers
  • Bring snacks such as pre-popped popcorn and candy
  • Stack up on blankets and pillows (especially in February)
  • Use a portable boom box to avoid running your car the entire time
  • Get there early to find prime parking

*P.S. This is a tradition my husband and I started early on in our relationship and we absolutely love it!

2. Pedicures and Pizza…

… or pasta, or burgers, or sushi. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is the pedicures. And yes, pedicures for both people (that means men also!).

Pedicures for two is romantic and changes up the norm of the man waiting for his lady to get her toes done (or vice verse). If you’ve never had a pedicure before, no fear! Simply turn on the massage chair, enjoy the foot pampering, and skip the polish if that’s not your thing.

If your planning a pedicure date as a surprise, schedule an appointment ahead of time since you’ll want to make sure you can get two spa seats that are next to each other. Also, ladies typically have their tried and true nail salons, so stick to the ones they like.

Recommended: 25 Easy Ways to Save Money

3. Stargazing

For couples with a truck, put it to use for this cheap Valentine’s Day idea. Get away from the city lights for a few hours and find a nice spot where the stars are visible. Map out where you’re going ahead of time to avoid aimlessly driving (although aimlessly driving can turn out to be quite fun at times) and pick a secluded place where you have a clear view of the stars.

If you have a truck, pack some pillows and blankets and hop in the back. Make sure you leave your phones in the car to ensure that you enjoy each others company uninterrupted.

If you don’t want to go eat before or after, pack some dinner and eat under the stars. It would be fun to cook dinner together ahead of time and then eat it under the stars just make sure you bundle up because chances are it will be pretty cold.

4. Olympics

Olympics is a fun twist on Valentine’s Day norm. Make a list of games you can play in a day, or evening. They can include basketball, football, video games, board games, pool, twister even handball. There are no limits to the type of games you can choose to play.

The great part about this is that it can all be done at home (for free), which works great for married couples who don’t necessarily want to go out. At the end of Olympics, the loser has to cook dinner and the winner has bragging rights for the rest of the evening. Who knew a little friendly competition could be so romantic?

5. One Night Airbnb

This one is technically not a super cheap Valentine’s Day idea because it’s the most expensive one on the list, but it’s great to change things up. Find the most affordable Airbnb you can that is at least 1 hour away from home. The entire point of this is to change your atmosphere and get away for a mini-vacation.

If Airbnb’s aren’t your thing, hotels work just as fine. Again, this one works great for married couples who are looking to change things up and enjoy a nice night away.

6. Puzzles and junk food

Avoid the crowds and the cold by staying in and putting together a beautiful puzzle. This can be romantic because it allows for conversation and teamwork.

Or, if you are feeling competitive, get two puzzles and race to see who can complete it first. If you choose to do a puzzle together, 500 pieces or less should do the trick. If you are in the mood for some healthy competition and want to race, 24-100 pieces will be fine. Loser cleans the dishes!

7. Appetizers, Dinner, and Desert….

… all at a different location! Yep, three different eating places in one night. This makes for a great adventure and hopefully 3 different styles of food. And hey, who said you had to eat at an expensive, fancy restaurant?

What makes this a cheap Valentine’s Day idea is that your dinner could be from a mom and pop restaurant and dessert could be ice cream from McDonald’s (assuming the machine is working). All your meals could be fast food, which can make for a memorable Valentine’s Day. Whatever you decide on, make sure it’s a place that isn’t going to be reservation only.

8. Camp Outside

If you’re married or live with your partner in a house and you own a tent, this is perfect for you! Spend a night in the great outdoors (aka, your backyard) and enjoy a night of camping. Simply put up your tent, stuff it with pillows and warm blankets, and grab plenty of snacks. A firepit for roasting marshmallows is an extra bonus.

To get the full effects of this romantic night, ditch the electronics by leaving them inside. Use this time to focus on each other without the distractions of cell-phones or tv. If talking gets too boring, bring some old school board games or play cards. And, in the morning, pancakes!!!

9. Learn to Dance

No need to go out and take expensive dance lessons. YouTube has plenty of great quality dance instruction videos. All you have to do is move your coffee table and make space to dance the night away. I suggest learning how to salsa, waltz, and ballroom dance.

Not only is dancing a fun and affordable way to spend the evening, it’s also quite intimate. If you and your partner end up enjoying dancing, this may become a free new hobby.

10. Back to Basics

If you’re not in the mood for any of the first 9 dates, go back to basics. But, do it wisely! If it’s a movie you want to watch, see a film that came out a month ago so that the theater isn’t crowded. Since everyone is likely going to see the newest rom-com, you might get the theater to yourself by seeing a movie that is way less popular. If you do go the theater route, make sure you sneak in plenty of snacks!

If you want to have a nice, romantic dinner, cook it yourself or together and eat at home before the movie. This can actually be way more romantic since you won’t have the interruptions of waiters, crowds, and the feeling of being rushed so the next couple can have your booth.

I hope you enjoyed these 10 fun and cheap Valentine’s Day ideas for your tight budget. Have fun and be safe!

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