Frugal date ideas have a bad reputation. Even money-conscious people tend to buy into the myth that if their partner doesn’t splurge on them for Valentine’s Day, then they don’t really love them. It’s ridiculous, of course. The amount you spend doesn’t say anything about the amount you love.
Nevertheless, those media messages have sunk in. People who otherwise make wise choices spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on one-night dates for Valentine’s Day. If that’s something you value, more power to you. However, most people end up regretting the expense, when they could have expressed their love in simpler – and often more meaningful – ways.
Keep that in mind as you make your Valentine’s Day plans. Here are some frugal date ideas to inspire you.
The Best Frugal Date Ideas Stir Up Memories
No matter how long the two of you have been dating, you have some sort of memories together. The longer the relationship, the richer it is to mine for those memories. Those memories are unique to the two of you. Pointing them out tells your partner that you treasure the things that are special to just your relationship.
Here are some great ideas to evoke memories:
- If the first date you ever went on was somewhere affordable, return to that place.
- Take a whole day to revisit some of your favorite free locations in your city.
- Recreate a favorite meal and enjoy it in your own home.
- What song immediately makes you think of your relationship? Snuggle while listening to it.
Here are some gift ideas that celebrate shared memories:
- Create a scrapbook of favorite moments in your relationship.
- Alternatively, frame a single photo of a particularly poignant moment in your lives.
- Write a letter to your lover sharing your favorite memory.
- Purchase a small, inexpensive token that represents a favorite place you share.
Celebrate Your Partner’s Passions
Hopefully, you know your partner better than anyone else. Therefore, you should be able to figure out what things they love most in the world. That’s a great place to start when figuring out what to do for Valentine’s Day. Of course, depending on your partner’s passions, you might have to get creative in figuring out how to keep the date frugal.
For example, let’s say that your partner loves classical music. You could get tickets to a world-renowned classical pianist performing at a state-of-the-art venue. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, you could also:
- Find an affordable performance from an emerging classical musician.
- Make a playlist of your partner’s favorite songs. Play it for them over a candlelit dinner at home.
- Learn how to play a simple classical song on your partner’s instrument. Surprise them with a performance.
- Ask the staff of a favorite local (affordable) restaurant if they’ll play one song of your choice during dinner.
- Go on a day date to the library to select books and CDs of classical composers. Stay in bed all day enjoying them together.
Once you start the creative juices flowing, you’ll find that you can come up with all types of frugal date ideas that your partner will love.
Other Frugal Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day
Here are some additional frugal date ideas that you might enjoy on Valentine’s Day (and other occasions as well):
- Visit botanical gardens or a plant conservatory. The memories will last longer than a bouquet of roses.
- Spend the day hiking, biking, picnicking, or whatever similar activity the two of you most enjoy.
- Have a device-free, kids-free night at home. Cuddle. Exchange massages. Enjoy each other.
- Have dinner at home but go out on the town to share a luxurious dessert.
- Spend the entire day reading books together in bed.
- Take the opportunity to volunteer together. Giving back is often better than getting a gift.
- Get out the arts and crafts supplies. Have a messy, fun, creative time together.
- Research all of the free activities in your area. Pick the one that sounds the most unique.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com.
Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com