assorted color heart shaped candies

Not everyone has the funds they’d like for Valentine’s Day, so how can you make Valentine’s Day special on a budget?

You can think of so many romantic ideas to show your loved one they are special, but a lot of them involve spending too much money, especially as anything with a heart on it suddenly goes up in price in February! Restaurants are harder to get into and typical places for dates are packed! Ever seen a bowling alley on Valentine’s Day? Me neither – no one loves me enough to take me! It can turn the whole thing into a bit of an ordeal and leave you feeling stressed out rather than loved up.

Maybe this year, you can get a bit creative for the occasion.

Whether your relationship is old or new, long distance or you live together, or full of family, you can make your loved one feel celebrated.

Of course, just your presence and general love is enough, but it’s nice to go all out sometimes!

Ideas for making Valentine’s Day special on a budget

1. Cook a special meal for your partner.

Who doesn’t like to be cooked for? It can be their favourite dish, or just a normal dinner with some candles lit. Have children? Get the family involved, get them to help set the table and make it a special occasion for everyone.
If you can’t cook, maybe make something simple, they’ll know the effort involved for you. And if absolutely desperate, you could just dress up a takeaway!

You could even hire a private chef for the evening to come to your home and cook. My personal experience was perfect, and while it is not quite a budget idea, it can be cheaper than eating out on Valentine’s Day.

The BBC Good Food website has some great recipes for each part of the dinner, but you can Google almost anything and find something you both like.

If you bake, bake heart shaped everything!

heart shape sandwich cookies
Photo by Furkan İsmail Dokuzlar on

2. Candles, candles , candles!

You cannot go wrong with candles to create a romantic mood. Bath with candles, dinner with candles, film with candles….cheap, but sweet!

3. Find their favourite film or book.

Does your partner have a favourite childhood story? Or a film that they no longer own? The internet has made rare gifts much easier to find. Spend a few hours browsing the internet, find that special gift and spend the night watching their favourite film with them, or cooking for them while they relax with their book.

4. Pamper your partner.

A pamper evening is a great way to show someone you care, but you don’t have to send them to an expensive spa – you can create your own at home!
Run a bath, get some face masks, and relax together. You could even give them a massage if you’re feeling kind!

bathroom in modern resort house
Photo by Tim Gouw on

5. Fill a picture frame or photo album of your favourite pictures.

Putting great memories all in one place is a special way to celebrate your time together so far. Photo albums can be brought out and added to each year.
Or, simply get a nice photo frame and put your favourite photo together in it so that it can be displayed as a reminder of your day.

6. Do a job they dislike.

Simple as this sounds, just taking away one job that your partner hates will make their day! Wash the car, clean the bathroom, anything that will make them feel they’re getting a break. This is where ‘coupons’ can be useful as they can be used in the future rather than right now. People often mention them as a free gift idea, but washing the car in February is not very sensible (in the UK at least)!

7. Scavenger Hunt.

This is a fun idea and a great way to give your partner a few smaller gifts. You can make up clues and hide small gifts around the house or in the garden. Or you could go further afield!

8. Make a gift

A handmade gift, whether you’re crafty or not, will be just as special as any, if not more so. It shows that you have been thinking of them and what you could make and have spent time on their present. You could buy a craft kit or make something out of things you have at home. So grab a sheet of paper, fold it in half and get to work on that card!

i love you signage
Photo by George Dolgikh on

These are just a few ways to make Valentine’s Day special on a budget. The suggestions can also be applied to birthdays, or just random treat days for your partner.

Will you be trying any? Do you have any more ideas to add? What are your plans this Valentine’s Day?