What to do for Valentine’s Day on a Budget (30 Ideas for Her!)

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Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and you want to show your girlfriend or wife how much she means to you (that gets you brownie points in my book already!) I know that Valentine’s Day can be a costly holiday, so this year I have come up with ideas for creative, budget-friendly dates for her

Valentine’s Day is the one day a year that is specifically branded for romantic couples. Other than anniversaries; it is one of the only times to have a scheduled celebration of your love for one another. 

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This can, however, end up being very costly to those who are trying to create and live by a budget. Valentine’s Day tends to give everyone thoughts of extravagant dates, expensive food, and jewelry – can you hear the cash register already? Often we forget the most important part is just spending time with your partner and enjoying your love for one another. 

That being said, I don’t know a woman that has ever turned down a gift or meaningful gesture on the sacred day of love. If you’ve been stressing about what to get her or how to treat her on V-day, I’m here to help! It doesn’t matter if money is tight or not, because I have some cheap Valentine’s day ideas for her that are sure to be a hit! 

In this post, I will discuss some fun and romantic ideas that you can surprise her with, even on a budget, to maximize the romance and minimize the strain on your finances.

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30 Things To Do For Valentine’s Day On A Budget Just For Her

10 At home Valentine’s Day ideas for her

#1 Cook Together For A budget friendly valentine’s date Night

A cheap and classic way to spend Valentine’s Day with your partner is by cooking a meal together. You can choose a family recipe, one you found online, or even one you saw on a cooking show. Whatever you choose all you will need for this date night are the food and drink ingredients for the night and your other half’s company.

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#2 Romance Movie Night

Movie nights are a staple when it comes to dates and may be a regular part of you and your partner’s routine, but you can make it special this Valentine’s Day by choosing a few romantic or romantic comedy movies or shows that you know she will enjoy. A simple at home meal will also be more delicious than ordering takeout if you want to spend time together at home for this lover’s holiday. Just add a few candles, mood lighting, and some delicious desserts to finish off a meal.

#3 Art and Wine

You don’t have to be an artist or spend a large amount of money on the wine for this budget date on Valentine’s Day. You can use sketch paper or find a few cheap canvases at your local hobby store, along with some paint, acrylic, or watercolor, and you can also find brushes for fairly cheap if you don’t have any lying around. Five Below actually has a great art section that is inexpensive. 

This is a fun activity for you and her to enjoy together, and it is likely not something you both get to do unless one or both of you are artists. This cuts out all of the traveling and money you would spend driving to a fancy restaurant and lets you both spend time having fun and laughing together as you drink, eat, and paint whatever you want. Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s gift for her!

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#4 Makeshift Spa Day for her

Everyone has their own beauty products lying around, whether it’s those face masks you never got a chance to use, those sugar scrubs waiting to exfoliate the dry skin, or any other oils or bath bombs you never seem to have time to use. 

It is time to use those this Valentine’s Day! If you have these items lying around and they are safe to use and not way expired, then you can prepare a makeshift spa day for you and your partner to enjoy! If you don’t have any of these items around or they are terribly expired, you can find a great deal on simple things like face masks, nail polish, or bath bombs at your local dollar store. It’s the perect budget-friendly valentine’s date idea! Spend $10 for a priceless reaction.

A budget spa day doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, it just has to be fun and refreshing. She will really take to heart the effort you put in, making it all the more special for her on Valentine’s day.

#5 Bake Together

We all enjoy watching a cooking show every now and then, but since we are trying to keep everything on budget, we probably shouldn’t try to recreate that beef wellington. 

In this case, we can stick to baked goods, like cookies or cupcakes. For this Valentine’s idea, you and your partner can either follow a recipe from a show or battle each other out with the decorating of premade cookies. Whatever you choose, a friendly baking competition will add some excitement and let you enjoy some tasty treats after all your hard work. It’s the perfect Valentine’s day activity for her!

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#6 Budget Friendly Valentine’s Date idea: Game Night

We all have different interests and things we enjoy doing in our downtime. Some of us enjoy playing games. If you and your partner enjoy playing games or even hosting game nights, you can take this Valentine’s opportunity to have some time to pick games you want to play and enjoy them together. 

Whether it’s board games, puzzles, or video games, you and your partner can enjoy a fun night of indulging in your favorite pastimes, and you can also make it a double date and invite friends over to make the games more competitive!

#7 Learn to Dance Together

While you may not be the most graceful, and since this is a budget-friendly article, I will not be suggesting you hire a dance instructor, but you can still teach yourself to dance. The easiest way to do this is to do some research online and find a series of video tutorials on a styles of dance you are both interested in. 

You can set your living room up as a makeshift dance studio or ballroom and put on any fancy attire you own to make this a fun and romantic experience for you and for her. You may not be experts after this, but at least you learned something and got the chance to spend a romantic evening with one another, dancing and laughing.

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#8 Scrapbook

Memories are a powerful thing, and creating a scrapbook together is the perfect way to take a walk down memory lane and relive some of the highlights from your time together. 

The only real tools you will need for this V-Day project is a scrapbook, glue, scissors, and any other decorations or additions you want to add to your book of memories. You can both reminisce and even continue to plan future ideas for the scrapbook while sorting through the timeline of your relationship on this day of love.

#9 Have a Cuddly Bonfire

If you have a backyard and the ability to create a bonfire, then you and your partner can have a bonfire night together. You can cuddle up together, roast marshmallows, and even roast hotdogs for your dinner over the bonfire. This is a very simple thing to do that you might do all the time, but it is a nice way to get some quality time and use it as an excuse to cuddle up next to each other on a chilly night while enjoying some classic camping foods.

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#10 At Home Crafts

Crafting is a great activity that has many different options, and plenty of online ideas for Valentine’s Day crafts would be wonderful for those on a budget this holiday. You can look up any variety of crafting ideas and put your own spin on them for Valentine’s Day, or you can find premade ideas for the holiday. 

For example, if you want to make felted hearts, a bouquet of paper flowers, or even just make an origami heart that lists a reason you love the other person on them, you can make this day special in your own way with a crafting experience your partner won’t soon forget.

10 Cheap Valentine’s date ideas To Take her On

#11 Backyard Picnic Is The Perfect valentines day date on a budget

If you are looking for a simple but romantic way to spend the day with your girlfriend or wife then there’s no better way than with a planned backyard picnic. This doesn’t have to be the fanciest most expensive date but making simple finger foods or even getting a charcuterie platter from your local grocery store with some red wine and chocolates, will be a welcome and romantic gesture for your loved one. You can enjoy the outdoors and even set up this date during the evening as well, just add candles for romantic lighting.

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#12 Take a Drive  (Free – Minus Gas Of Course!)

Taking a drive may seem like a boring way to spend this romantic holiday, but you can plan out a route in advance or just drive and stop by things that seem interesting to you and your wife or girlfriend. It’s a cheap way to spend Valentines day. 

You can make stops like hiking trails, popular sightseeing, or even just interesting shops you pass or funny road signs. The choices are all yours on this date drive, and you can have unlimited creativity.

#13 Take Her On A Romantic Camping Trip For Valentine’s Day

Camping can be fairly cheap, and as long as you are in the correct climate for February, it can be an enjoyable experience for those outdoorsy couples.Camping is a great option if you’re trying to do Valentines day on a budget!

If you are already an outdoorsy couple, you likely already have a tent and other camping basics for the excursion, so you would only need food and the other essentials to enjoy a weekend camping trip together.

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#14 Visit an Arcade

Popular arcades are everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s a Dave and Busters or your local bowling alley, you can find an arcade near you and have a night of fun for a fairly cheap price point. 

Give yourself a budget so you don’t end up going over. Rather than spending money on diamond earrings, why not spend much less money on a night of fun you will both enjoy. You can both compete in games, win tickets, and redeem prizes to go home with after a memorable date night.

#15 Take Her Out For A Dessert On Valentine’s Day 

Desserts are cheaper than spending money on an entire meal, and while restaurants will be very busy on Valentine’s Day itself, many other shops like local bakeries, ice cream spots, or other stores may not be as crowded. If you cook a meal together and then go out you will really have a budget-friendly V-Day! Going out on just a dessert date is a nice way to spend the holiday together and discover new local places to indulge in sweet treats.

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#16 Candle Making Find A Class Or DIY It At Home

This may be a little bit harder to find, but there are a few different options to achieve this Valentine’s Day activity. You can look up local places around you that have candle-making classes and try to book a time for you and your partner to go and participate in a class where you have all of the supplies given to you with an instructor for the price you pay for the class. 

This is the easiest option but will probably be more expensive than getting all the materials yourself. If you determine that it is cheaper and easier to get the materials yourself then you can go to your local hobby store and create your own candle-making class for your partner. This is a fun way to make something that you can use around the house together and to do something new together in the spirit of this loving holiday.

#17 Take Her To A Museum On V-Day

Museums are a great date for Valentine’s Day, especially if you and your partner have shared interests in the things at the museum. There are many different kinds of museums from natural history, trains, automobiles, and much more. You can find a museum that you and your partner will enjoy, and they are usually reasonably priced, and all you pay is admission and possibly parking. Some museums even do activities for couples on Valentine’s Day to get more visitors, so keep an eye out and enjoy a visit to the museum to take in beautiful exhibits of dinosaurs, stars, and even cars or airplanes.

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#18 Trivia Night: Valentines Day on a Budget

If you and your partner enjoy the local bar scene and game nights, then a trivia night is also an exciting way to spend the night. Many local establishments have date night activities at local bars, such as trivia night, and you and your partner can have fun drinking and participating; and the food is much cheaper than at a 5-star restaurant, and you get the entertainment of the trivia itself added in.

#19 Tandem Bike Ride For My Warmer Climate Friends

Tandem bike riding is something that screams couples only, and that is exactly what you are looking for on this budget Valentine’s Day adventure. You can rent a tandem bike and map out a route of parks and neighborhoods to bike around. For this Valentines Day idea, you will really only need to pay for the tandem bike rental and possible helmets if you don’t have your own, so it is very budget-friendly. Together you can try to make sense of a tandem bike if this will be your first time using one, and you can make goofy and romantic memories while taking in the scenery.

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#20 Budget-Friendly Ice Skating Is A Romantic & Fun Valentines Idea For Her

Ice skating is the star activity in every winter-themed rom-com, so it is only appropriate to try your hand at it this Valentine’s Day. Most ice-skating rinks stay open through this holiday so that couples can come and enjoy this activity together. Whether you have ice skated before or this is your first time, it is a budget-friendly way to try something new and have fun together. While also taking some romcom-inspired photos for your scrapbook.

10 Free things to do on Valentine’s Day with your GF or Wife

#21 Free: Visit A Park & Take Her For A Romantic Stroll

Many state and local parks are free to walk around. This is a great way to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, take in the beautiful scenery, and spend some time together enjoying one another’s company. A simple activity but one that will bring you closer together as you talk about any that comes to mind on this beautiful nature walk.

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#22 Stargaze For Free On Valentine’s Night

Stargazing is free, and you can do it from your backyard, your local park, or on a camping trail. There are many different options to stargaze, but the easiest will be your backyard. If you have little light pollution from your home, you should be able to see the beautiful stars at night, and you can lay out a blanket and pillows so you two can lay in the yard comfortably while pointing out any constellations you can find.

#23 Treat Her To A Scavenger Hunt On V-Day!

A scavenger hunt takes a bit of an effort, but it can be done for free! You just come up with all of the clues for your partner and then watch as they inch closer to the grand prize at the end. 

All of the clues can be things that relate to your relationship or fun inside jokes that lead to an item, either way, you should personalize them in some way to make it special. The final prize can also be something simple, such as a love note or a delicious home-cooked meal.

#24 Free V-Day Idea: Give Her A Massage She’ll Never Forget!

You won’t be getting your personal professional masseuse for this one, but you can still make an intimate and relaxing night together by giving each other a massage. You can make your own hot steam towels at home and create a space for the massages, so it feels like the real deal. This is sure to be a relaxing experience even if you both lack the professional masseuse skills.

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#25 Go to a free comedy show

Depending on the area you live in, you are likely going to be able to find a local comedy club or improv theater that offers free admission to see the shows. Many open mic nights and other similar acts are free to guests so that the local comedians can get exposure. End your night with a laugh at one of these shows.  

#26 Volunteer at a Shelter It’s Free & Rewarding

Volunteering may not seem romantic, but it is an activity that will bring you and your partner closer together by participating in something that has meaning and helps others. A great way to do this is to volunteer at your local animal shelter. You’ll get to spend time with lovable animals and give them the love they deserve in this holiday that is usually only for human couples.

#27 Make at home Cocktails

If you have the ingredients at your disposal for some delectable cocktails, then you can be the bartender for the evening at your own home. Have fun making new drinks and finding recipes that use your at home ingredients to make some amazing drinks that you two can enjoy together.  

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#28 Make Chocolate Fondue For Her At Home

You don’t need a fondue maker but if you have one lying around and some chocolate then it makes it that much easier. You can follow online tutorials about how to properly melt the chocolate. All you will need is a glass bowl, chocolate, hot water, and a big pot. You can dip many different things in your at home chocolate fondue and have fun tasting these creations.

#29 Take Her To A Free Movie in the Park For Valentine’s Day

Many times, especially for holidays like Valentine’s Day, local parks will host movie nights where you and others can bring chairs and sit around at the park and watch a movie. This is a nice way to bundle up and experience watching a movie in a different way than just watching from home.

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#30 Take a Free Walking Tour Around An Area Of Interest

Walking tours can make you more in tune with the area you live in and help you find hidden gems along the way. A nice and free way to spend Valentines is to take your loved one out on a walking tour, so you two can discover new things about your city together.

I hope this list of 30 cheap or free Valentine’s Day ideas will help you find the perfect budget friendly date night idea for her. Let me know which idea you will try this year!

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hi! I'm shannon

I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.