1. Book a Brewery tour
Brewery tours. They’re usually between £5-15 and always include free tasters, if not a discount at a bar, so they’re a good fun, and I guess educational, way to do something a bit different for not much money. Plus, nothing says, “I love you” like a free half pint.”
2. Celebrate on the 15th instead
Delay it a day. Chocolates, flowers and Valentine’s themed goodies will be 75% cheaper on the 15th. As long as your partner is cool with it, you can have a lot of fun spoiling each other this way.
3. Or, order a gift to arrive the day before
One year I ordered an edible arrangement to be delivered on February 13th and not only did I get free delivery but it was also on sale.
4. Try some Pinterest hacks for homemade gifts
Try Pinterest hacks. Things you can DIY and actually put a little effort into it! It’s a romantic gesture knowing that something was made just for you. And it’s incredibly cheap.
5. Build up a homemade gift of 365 little love notes for next year
Write a nice thing about your partner or something you love about them everyday for a year and store it in a jar. By the time it’s Valentine’s Day you have 365 personal love letters for them to open. It’s more romantic than spending money on unheartfelt gifts, plus it’s free!
6. Make a fancy, romantic meal together at home
My fiancé and I stay in and make a heart shaped meal at home instead of going out to dinner. The first year we were dating, Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday and spending $100 plus on a meal while fighting 50 other couples for a table didn’t sound too appealing to us. We opted to stay in and make a heart shaped pizza. It’s now become our Valentine’s Day tradition, but we switch up the heart shaped meal each year! We also try to make each other gifts vs buying them.
7. Give each other a massage
Foot rub or back rub. It doesn’t have to lead to sex but it’s just a nice way to say ‘I appreciate you’ by spending time and effort rather than money.
8. Find thoughtful and unique gifts in charity and vintage shops
Go to Goodwill and thrift shops. They actually have some pretty cool stuff for super cheap.
9. Go on a date to a museum or art gallery
My partner and I set a limit on what we’ll spend on presents (usually up to £20). In past years we’ve gone to (free) museums, gone for a walk, or just got a takeaway on the day itself.
10. Buy a thoughtful book
There’s a book you can buy called 642 ways you love each other. It has prompts in it for you both to write in and it can last a few years. It’s a great idea for both and is more than a one time gift.
11. Take the time to craft them the perfect mixtape or playlist
One year my boyfriend made me this CD that came with a written letter that told the story of our relationship. At certain parts of the story it would tell me to play a track on the CD. So the CD overall tells the story of our relationship. This idea only costs the price of a blank CD and it’s honestly one of the sweetest and most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.
12. Make a little lollipop bouquet
Lollipop bouquet in a smallish votive holder. Stick some floral foam in the votive holder, stick the lollipops in it. It’s very cute.
Image Credit: Primary Games
13. Book your hotel well in advance and maybe even for the day before
Book a cheap hotel room around the day, even the day before can be much cheaper, you don’t even have to go far. It’s the perfect excuse for getting your own space without offending anyone, and if you can afford it maybe get a meal or see a film or just spend some time in bed with snacks and no one bothering you.
14. Treat your partner, and yourself, to an extra long sesh in bed
Sex, lots and lots of sex.
15. Buy something cheap, then take a little time to customise it to make it more thoughtful
I always go with sentimental/effort. Last year for our anniversary (granted, not Valentine’s Day, but same principal), I was broke as hell. My husband is very hard on his socks. I bought him a budget pack of 7 pairs of plain black socks, unpicked an old jumper that I wore on our first date, and used the wool to embroider important dates from our relationship onto his socks – first date, first kiss, when we got engaged, married etc. It cost me £5 and a couple of hours – totally worth it.
Fran Crossley, Facebook
16. If you celebrate Galentine’s/Palentine’s Day instead – do it secret santa style
I don’t have a SO to celebrate with but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Valentine’s Day. I get a couple friends together and we celebrate Palentine’s day. We always do it the weekend after Valentine’s Day so we can take advantage of the sales. We do it secret Santa style. It’s a fun, unique way to celebrate the day and despite my single status, I still look forward to it.