Valentine’s Day is only about a week away, but don’t panic. If you’re looking for some cheap, fun ideas to make your Valentine smile, we’ve got you covered. From last-minute activities for the kiddos to romantic ideas you can implement at home with your sweetheart, this list of top ways to save money on Valentine’s Day is sure to sweeten your February.
Valentine’s Idea For the Kids
Celebrating Valentine’s with the kiddos doesn’t have to be a big deal, but doing something different or unique is one way of creating a memorable family tradition. One of the best ways to say I love you to your children is by giving your time, so each of these ideas is meant to be enjoyed together.
Romantic Restaurant at Home
If you’ve got kids at home, this idea will keep the whole family busy on February 14th. Your objective? Create a fine dining experience in your own home. Let the kids plan and create menus, shop for ingredients, decorate the “restaurant,” choose the music, etc. Older kids can even help out with the serving and cooking.
If you’ve never created a treasure hunt for your kids, this is an activity they won’t soon forget. Depending on their ages, you can make the clues as simple or as complex as they need to be and write them on paper hearts hidden in strategic locations. For prizes, head to the dollar store for small stuffed animals, conversation hearts, or art supplies. This is an ideal winter activity, but if you live in a warmer climate, you can also take it outdoors.
Who says decorating cookies is a Christmas-only activity? We’re willing to bet you still have plenty of red sprinkles and ingredients that can do double-duty for Valentine’s-themed cookies. (Hint: Crushed candy canes leftover from Christmas make great cookie toppings.) If you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, no worries, just cut out heart shapes with a butter knife. After you’re done, you can even take a walk to deliver a batch to a neighbor who could use some cheering up.
Write a Letter
Middle school and high-school kids will cherish a loving and encouraging letter from a parent for years to come. You could even make this a Valentine’s Day tradition. Let them know all the things that make them unique and how much you love them. It’s something tangible they can look at, and the rarity of it makes it even more precious. Believe it or not, this is a heartfelt idea with surprising benefits, like a better relationship with your children.
If you live in the Northern part of the country, you might be sick of the snow, but use the winter wonderland to your advantage. A sledding day is just the thing to get out from behind the screen for some fresh air and exercise. You can easily turn this into a skating party or snowball fight too. Afterward, everyone can warm up with some hot chocolate and some heart-shaped tea sandwiches.
Valentine’s Ideas For Your Honey
There’s no doubt that the past year has been a strain on relationships. Quarantining with another soul for months on end can put a damper on even the most passionate folks. And at a time when what you need most is a romantic getaway or night out to rekindle the flames, many couples are still in lockdown.
While the idea of a candlelight meal at home might seem about as exciting as loading the dishwasher, a little effort can brighten your loved-ones spirits. Here are some inexpensive and creative Valentine’s ideas for couples.
Leave “Why I Love You” Hearts All Over the House
This is a super-easy idea that is sure to brighten up a dull morning. Cut out construction paper hearts and write out one reason why you love your partner on each one. You don’t have to be profound. “I love you because you’re always on time,” or I love you because you make fantastic pancakes” will do nicely. Tape them strategically all over your place—on the mirror, the front door, the coffeemaker—you get the picture.
Have a Picnic in the Living Room
If it’s too cold where you live to go to the park or the beach, put a colorful blanket on the living room floor and have a picnic—complete with a bottle of (cheap) wine and your choice of lunch. Turn off the TV and find some nature sounds on your phone. Heck, you could even wear some flip flops and shorts or don a sexy bathing suit. Use a fan to mimic the effects of a cool breeze. There is no limit to the fun props you can add to this setting with a little imagination.
Take a (Free) Online Class Together
There’s never been a more prolific offering of online classes than right now, and what better way to shake things up a bit than by learning something new together. You can find plenty of free online courses on poetry, philosophy, French, cooking, yoga, massage, meditation, and more. Check out sites like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare together and develop a list of options, then select one you will both enjoy.
Be Someone Else for the Day
If one or both of you have a flair for the dramatic, consider a new persona this Valentine’s Day. Masks and costumes are great at Halloween, but they can be just as fun, sexy, and enchanting when it’s just the two of you. Role-playing can be a therapeutic way of acting out your deepest desires and strengthen your relationship, and it’s an excellent activity to heat things up in the bedroom.
Valentine’s Ideas For Yourself
If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, that’s all the more reason to treat yourself to what you really want. The relationship you have with yourself is the longest and most intimate relationship you will ever have, so show yourself some much-deserved love with these nurturing ideas.
A trip to the spa is expensive, but an at-home spa day can cost next-to-nothing. You know all those lotions, shower gels, and self-care products you’ve been saving for a special day? Now is that day. Break out the scented candles and the bubble bath and put some relaxing new-age music on your phone while you soak in the tub. Give yourself a pedicure, a manicure, or both.
Here’s something to be happy about: When you’re single, takeout costs a lot less money. Splurge on sirloin tips, shrimp scampi, or another favorite dish from a local eatery. You’ll be treating yourself and a small business this Valentine’s Day. Hint: Now would be the ideal time to use those Door Dash gift cards you earned for taking paid online surveys.
Shut Out the World for the Day
If Valentine’s Day is just too much for you to handle, maybe you need to take extra-special care of yourself for the Day. Pull down the shades, put on your most comfortable sweats, make yourself a cup of tea, and curl up with a good book. Avoid irritating reminders of happy relationships by staying off social media, and if you decide to binge-watch Netflix, opt for a comedy.
When you’re looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the cheap, remember the whole idea behind the celebration is love, and love is free. However, if you still don’t feel complete without a heart-shaped box of chocolates, keep in mind that on February 15th, those coveted sweets will go on sale for a fraction of the cost and taste even better.