6 budget-friendly ideas for Valentine’s Day


✔ Showing someone you care shouldn’t be measured by how much you spend.

✔ This Valentine’s Day, say more with less by planning ahead with budget-friendly ideas that show your love and appreciation without having to spend a lot.

✔ It’s all in the prep work. Take time to put together what you’ll need for a special night in, a day out, or to create something truly unique. 

Valentine’s Day is that special time of year when you show loved ones how much you appreciate them. But showing how much you care doesn’t have to come with a big price tag. Some of the most romantic gifts and gestures can be the ones that you create that have special meaning. 

Here are six ways to spend less, get creative and share the love this Valentine’s Day: 

Plan a romantic night in

The average cost of a three-course dinner can range from $80-100 (excluding wine). For much less, you can create a great date night at home by doing something that takes you out of your day-to-day routine and gives you a chance to demonstrate how much you care. With a little preparation, you can plan a dinner for your Valentine or pick a recipe and make it together. Break out the good dishes and glassware, pick up their favourite bottle of wine and set the table with candles and flowers. Take it up a notch by creating a playlist of your favourite songs throughout the years. 

Get sentimental

If you’ve been together for a long time, you likely have things like old photos, receipts or ticket stubs that you can use to create a time capsule. If most of your memories are digital, print them on high-quality photo paper. And think about other things you can gather to share with your partner like: 

  • Birthday or anniversary cards or love notes 
  • Their favourite home-made recipe
  • Pictures of your favourite spots (parks, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.)
  • Postcards from places you’ve been

Any reminders that bring back positive memories can be added to your time capsule. If it’s a hit, you can think about adding more next year.  

Connect with nature 

Hitting the road and going on an adventure can be a nice change of pace to connect with nature and each other. Plan a day your Valentine will remember by getting outside to do something fun. There are plenty of cool outdoor skating rinks, parks, and famous landmarks to visit or winter hike locations with some incredible views. You can even plan a winter picnic complete with soup, snacks and hot chocolate. 

Have a movie marathon

Going to the theatre to catch the latest blockbuster can cost as much as $65 for two people with tickets and snacks. Instead of spending money on a night out, plan a home movie night. Start by choosing a movie theme together and curating a list of your and your partner’s favourite films. Then choose your top picks and create a space in your place that has all the movie-watching comforts – pillows, cozy blankets, and low-lighting. Make your favourite snacks, like popcorn, candy, or nachos. It’s a great way to enjoy the movies without the cost of tickets and snacks. 

Go online for a one-of-a-kind gift

A simple online search for a “personalized romantic gift” will give you lots of options and price points to choose from. Many Canadian companies offer one-of-a-kind gifts that you can customize for your significant other without having to spend a lot. Consider things that you can inscribe with a favourite expression, memory or image that captures the spirit of your relationship. 

Here are some other low-cost and unique ideas: 

  • Assemble your own paper flower bouquets 
  • Personalized mugs, puzzles, magnets, calendars, or journals using a favourite picture
  • Ready-made booklets that let you tell your own love story by filling in the blanks

Try something new together

Plan your date night around an experience you can enjoy together. Sign up for a virtual event such as a paint night or cooking class, and turn your home-based Valentine's Day into a night "out". This allows for some intimate time where you get to learn something new about each other, create new memories, and have fun all at the same time.

This Valentine’s Day don’t let your budget get in the way of doing something fun and thoughtful. With a little planning and some creativity, you can make truly memorable moments for that special someone.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

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