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13th February 2018
They say that love is blind - but it’s certainly not cheap. Valentine’s Day is one of the most commercially profitable days of the year, and that leaves the loved-up amongst us out of pocket.
You may want to treat the special someone in your life to a romantic day, but when that means pricey restaurant meals or luxurious spa retreats, showing your loved one what they mean to you can be costly.
If you don’t have the cash to deliver the chocolate box idea of Valentine’s Day, don’t give up – we have put together plenty of affordable date and gift ideas for those on a tight budget. Using your imagination and focusing on sentiment will get you far - after all, the best things in life are free!
Here are our cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank:
Passion, not Pounds
Often, we put pressure on ourselves to don Cupid’s extravagant bow because we think it’s expected. But it really is the thought that counts. To make your loved one feel special it is the simple things that count: breakfast in bed, a relaxing back massage, or a bubbly, candlelit bath - show your loved one that they’re valued through sentimental gestures - not expensive ones.
Rather than sticking to the predictable (and expensive) routine of going for a Valentine’s Day evening meal, take to the kitchen yourself. You could try cooking up a three-course meal which includes your Valentine’s favourite dishes. If you’re not a dab hand in the kitchen, consider simple yet easy recipes, or even a wintery picnic could do the trick.
Country or Park Walks
No matter where you live, there is always somewhere on the map nearby for a lovely walk. It’s surprising what a nice walk can feel like when with your loved one. Hold hands, talk about life and take in the world around you. Why not explore somewhere new, so that you can discover it together? End the walk with a coffee in a café or cup of tea at home.
Warranted, this one depends a cloudless sky on 14th February (a big ask for the UK, we know). But if the clouds disappear at sunset, seize the opportunity: it’s a romantic goldmine not to be missed. Head out with some snacks, warm drinks, and lots of blankets; find a peaceful spot to lay back together and watch the stars twinkle into life.
Going out to the cinema is a classic date destination, but these days, by the time you’ve added your tickets, a drink and a bucket of popcorn to the bill, you’re taking about serious money! Trade in the trip out with a stay-at-home movie night, and go all-out on the atmosphere, the snacks, a candle or two and get snuggled up with a good movie. You can watch an old favourite together, or stream or download something online – for example from Netflix or iTunes.
Fancy doing something different whilst on a budget? Then check out a deals site like Groupon. They sell great adventures, small holidays and experiences at cheap prices. This is awesome for special occasions and date ideas that make amazing memories. Try out afternoon tea or, for the more energetic, go-karting!
Why not have a good time together whilst doing good? Find a local charity like a soup kitchen or dog kennels and volunteer to help out together for the day. It’s something different, you gain valuable life skills, meet great new friends and help others in the process.
You & Me
The memories that you and your loved one have created together are a journey - one which has most likely been captured in photographs. Probably more precious than anything else in the world, reminding your partner of these in a handmade photo scrapbook or video slideshow will no doubt bring a smile to their face. Combine with breakfast in bed as you look back through your time together.
Hopefully you’re more inspired to treat your loved one to a Valentine’s Day to remember, and have some ideas that won’t knock your budget off course. There are always options for fun ways to hang out with your special someone that needn’t cost a fortune. Put a little thought into it and make the date amazing with your imagination, not the money that goes into it.