How to Impress Your Valentine Without Spending a Fortune

Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate and love, so why do we feel pressured to spend lots of money? Here are our tips for alternative Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the budget.

Valentine buttons with the words "I Love You" and "Be Mine" written on them.

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Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrating love, but it’s easy to feel pressured to make reservations at a fancy restaurant, buy expensive chocolates, and order out-of-season, overpriced bouquets. We’ve compiled a list of cheaper Valentine’s Day alternatives that will keep up with the holiday theme without breaking the budget.

Skip the Reservations and Make a Special Heart-Themed Meal at Home

A pizza shaped like a Valentine's heart. A single, heart-shaped pepperoni is its topping.
(Shutterstock)

The most obvious answer to save money on Valentine’s Day is to ditch the fancy restaurant reservation. It’s easy to create V-Day themed goodies with just various sized heart-shaped cookie cutters. Start the day with breakfast in bed, complete with heart-shaped pancakes and fruit. Send them off to work with a lunch heart-shaped sandwich, and, if they haven’t gotten tired of the heart theme yet, create a heart-shaped pizza right at home (if pizza making is not your forte, both Papa John’s and Pizza Hut make them on V-Day) and finish off with chocolate covered strawberries and some homemade heart sugar cookies.

If you want to skip the cutesy heart theme, then chicken piccata, beef bourguinon, and homemade spaghetti and meatballs are romantic dinners with a lot of bang for your buck. No cookie cutters needed.

Try Temporary Tattoos

Feel like a kid again with these custom temporary tattoos. Scare your mom (or kids) into thinking you got a tattoo with your SO’s name or put them in an obvious place when going out and see what kind of reactions you receive. Don’t worry, they wash off after 24 hours.

Ditch the Roses

Daisies, tulips, and carnations are cheaper than roses, but still beautiful. Trader Joe’s is known for their cheap floral department with beautiful bouquets and 1-800 Flowers offers great savings.

Did you know if you subscribe to The Saturday Evening Post you get 15% off your 1-800 Flowers purchase?

A bottle of red wine, a filled wine glass, and an open box of chocolates are on a wooden table.
(Shutterstock)

Make Homemade Candy

Instead of buying your favorite candy bars, make them instead. Homemade Twix, Reese’s Cups, and Snickers are simple, and you can make them together.

Write a Book of Love Poems

Didn’t major in Creative Writing? That’s okay. A book filled with romantic prose will still get your point across. Write a special note on the first page to add a personalized touch.

Get Creative with a $20 Budget

Or $10, or $50. Sticking to a low budget relieves the pressure of getting the perfect gift. Turn the spending budget into a game and see who can come up with the most creative present.

Remember, Valentine’s Day really is about showing your loved one you care. Snuggle up with a movie, pop some popcorn, and enjoy each other’s company.

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