It can be hard to celebrate Valentine’s Day and keep it under budget. Maybe that’s why many couples give up the whole V-Day thing after a few years of marriage. But it’s super important to do something special with your hubby – not only does it strengthen your marriage, it’s just plain fun!
1. If you have kids, first make sure your babysitting plans are solidified now. You don’t want to be stuck with a last minute scramble to find someone suitable to babysit, let alone give you two another excuse to not go out. Oh, and if someone gave you babysitting vouchers for Christmas, you might want to use this as an opportunity to cash those in!
2. Skip the card. If you’re going out, you’re probably going to be spending money anyway. Don’t buy an overpriced card that gives you a pass on what to say (or write). Make your own card or skip it all together.
3. Sign up for a few of your favorite restaurant email lists. Chances are, you’ll get coupons from at least one of them sent to your email before the big day, which will in turn, save you money. Chili’s Bar and Grill has a promo going on right now where you can get free appetizers and dessert just for signing up.
4. Don’t go out to eat on Valentine’s Day or night. Especially if you want a relaxing evening without heavy traffic and noisy crowds. Instead, pick another night of the week to make your plans.
5. Or go for a Valentine’s lunch only. Maybe Valentine’s Day is the only day you two can get out for a meal. Lunch will be less crowded than dinner, and way cheaper.
6. Split a meal. Most restaurant entrees are over 1,000 calories a piece, which means you shouldn’t eat everything on your plate anyway. Those portion sizes can feed a person 2 or 3 times at most. Splitting a meal eliminates leftovers, which means less food sitting uneaten in your fridge, and more room for dessert!
7. Catch a matinee or see if there’s a discount movie theater nearby. Cinema savers generally have the same movies that play in a regular theater only a couple weeks after it premieres. Sneak some snacks and water bottles to save on exorbitant theater food costs. I even got through with ice cream once!
8. Scan your local newspaper’s website or event calendar. If the classic dinner and a movie isn’t your thing, a unique outing might be a welcome reprieve. You’ll be able to find free and cheap activities, especially if you live in a bigger city.
9. Grab takeout with a twist. It’s much cheaper than a sit down restaurant, and you can still make it pretty special. Snag some fancy glasses and your own choice of bubbly, then sit (in the car if it’s cold!) and watch the sunset or the stars come out.
10. Spend time outside. If you live somewhere warm, have a picnic in the park or on the beach. Take a hike through some local trails. If it’s cold, bundle up for a walk downtown and visit some shops you drive by but never have time to stop at.
11. Find the best chocolate chip cookie.If you want a day activity, pick four or five eating establishments or bakeries and buy a cookie from each one. Keep track of your stats and see if you both agree which is the best! We managed to do this under $10 dollars.
12. Make a Barnes & Noble book date. Make sure you swing by a Starbucks first, then browse the selections at a local bookstore. Keep your phone handy to jot down books you want to read, then check the library or buy them cheaper off Amazon later. Yes, I really do that!
How have you saved money while still going out on Valentine’s Day?
If you’d rather stay in for Valentine’s Day, make sure you come back here on Wednesday when I share 12 frugal ideas for celebrating at home.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.