16 Great Valentine's Day Ideas
on a Budget

16 Valentine's Day Ideas for Him & Her on a Budget

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American consumers were expected to spend an average of $147 on Valentine's Day in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. That is a lot of money!

The most popular products purchased by love doves on Valentine's Day include chocolates, flowers, diamond earrings, dinner for two, and a bottle of champagne, according to Bank Rate. Chocolate is the cheapest gift, starting at about $14 for a small box. The earrings come in first as most expensive at $325 with dinner in second at about $96.

So, what do you do? You could go the expensive route and buy a gold watch or diamond earrings from the best online jewelry store; but do you have that kind of cash? If not, there are plenty of ways to show your love how special they are this Valentine's Day without ending up broke as a joke. Here are 16 tips and tricks to do just that.

1. Cook Dinner at Home

valentine's day dinner on a budget

To anyone out there wondering whether to cook or go out this Valentine's Day, stay home. Cooking for your boo will not only save you money, it will impress them. If cooking isn't your strong suit, that's ok! It'll still be cute that you tried and remember; there is always takeout.

Pro tip: Light some candles or a fire and eat dinner somewhere other than the kitchen (picnic style!). It will set the mood for your romantic evening.

2. Get Outside or Exercise Together

valentine's day hiking

Get some fresh air and exercise this Valentine's Day! Enjoy the great outdoors on a hike while holding hands with your loved one or flow together through a mindful yoga asana. Also, check out the best home workout programs. It'll be better for you than sitting in a movie eating salted popcorn with extra butter, am I right?

Pro tip: Numerous studies show that couples who exercises together are happier and stay together longer, according to Psychology Today. Additionally, the physiological effects of exercise mirror feelings of attraction. As a result, your partner may mistake these physiological effects with feelings of attraction, making you even more attractive to them. Cool, huh?

3. Set up a Surprise

Surprises are a meaningful way to show someone you really care. Set up candles and flowers or make your love their favorite dessert and coffee. If you're stuck, breakfast in bed is always an amazing phenomenon to wake up to. You really can't go wrong with a surprise, no matter how big or small!

Pro tip: Surprises are actually proven to be beneficial for relationships. According to Psychology Today, surprises release the neurochemical called dopamine into the brain. Dopamine is linked with feelings of euphoria, love, and "butterflies". In other words, surprising your loved one is an easy way to trigger loving feelings between you and your partner.

4. Get Affordable, Quality Flowers Delivered

valentine's day flowers on a budget

If you're buying flowers, get them delivered. Whether you address them to work or to the house, your loved one will feel extra special receiving a delivery. The best flower delivery services can help you choose a gorgeous, quality flower bouquet at an affordable price.

Pro tip: Store your cut flowers in the refrigerator overnight to keep them fresh, especially in the summer time. It will keep them fresh, according to Martha Stewart.

5. Write a Love Letter

Love letters will never fail to leave your loved one feeling fuzzy inside on Valentine's Day. Granted, I'm a writer; but I think most girls and guys can appreciate a heartfelt letter reminding us why we're special. It can be tough to get your feelings out on paper, but don't be afraid! Your beau will appreciate the effort and totally get the butterflies, as long as you keep it real.

Protip: The most effective love letters should include writing related to passion, decision/commitment, and intimacy, according to Yale Psychologist Robert J. Sternberg's theory of love.

6. Make Your Own Card

Don't waste money on a corny card that doesn't really explain how you feel this Valentine's Day. Make a card for your special someone instead. You can use colored pencils and other art supplies or design one on the computer. Even if you're not artsy, it will show them you care enough to try your hardest. Plus, you can make up for it with a loving poem or heartfelt note on the inside. Put some emotion into it, people!

Pro tip: If you're not sure what to write in your card, look up some quotes and find one that suits your relationship. Write it in the card in quotations and then simply write, "I couldn't have said it any better myself. I love you." Ta-da, you've made a romantic Valentine's Day card. You're welcome.

7. Buy Affordable Perfume/Cologne or Beauty Products

valentine's day perfume on a budget

Buy affordable perfume or cologne from the best online perfume store this Valentine's Day instead of spending a fortune in the store. If you know your beau likes a certain scent, chances are you can find it online for less.

Ladies also love beauty products. In case you didn't know, beauty is expensive. Another way to make your girl happy is to find out which beauty products she loves. Then, keep checking the best online beauty supply for deals on her favorites for Valentine's Day.

Pro tip: Make sure you buy from a retailer you can trust. Makeup and fragrances can be easily replicated by counterfeit brands or sold unethically online (a.k.a. used).

8. Make a Picture Book

Picture books are pretty easy to put together and don't cost much. You can buy an album, order some pictures from your local store and have one made in a day or two.

Pro tip: CVS.com and Walgreens.com offer easy picture book options. If you have one near you, I recommend you check out their sites. You can also try Shutterfly.com and Snapfish.com.

9. Make Your Loved One a Playlist

You can't go wrong with the gift of music. It used to be that you'd make your girlfriend or boyfriend a mixed tape for Valentine's Day. These days, you can make a playlist for your loved one to listen to during your home-cooked Valentine's meal and throughout your romantic evening. Transfer it to their iTunes so they can play it whenever they want to be reminded of you.

Pro tip: Music is associated with values, according to Science of Relationships. When two people have similar tastes in music, they tend to feel they have similar values, which can increase their social attraction towards each other. In other words, if you can nail the playlist, there's a good chance you're relationship will go further.

10. Sprinkle Rose Petals

Rose petals are the classic way to romanticize any evening. This Valentine's Day, make your mate feel like they're in a movie with a line of roses leading up to the bed.

Pro tip: After you create a trail leading to the bed, spell out "I love you" or make a big heart on top of the bed. Your special someone won't be able to resist jumping into a pile of delicious smelling petals.

11. Don't Buy an Expensive Bottle of Champagne/Wine

valentine's day budget wine

Champagne and wine are delightful, but you don't need to go crazy. Honestly, it all tastes the same and most people can't tell the difference between an expensive bottle and a cheap bottle. Opt for the cheapish version to save some cash and still enjoy your fancy, romantic evening.

Pro tip: Serving champagne in wine glasses instead of flutes will give its juices more air to breathe, according to The Daily Beast. You'll get more flavors!

12. Check Groupon

Groupon is an amazing sales site and app. in which you can find vouchers and coupons for deals on virtually anything. Has your girlfriend been talking about taking a dance class? Get her five intro sessions on Groupon. Has your boyfriend been talking about a new video game console? You may be able to get a better deal if you check out Groupon first.

Pro tip: Take note: Groupon items usually come with fine print containing the details and rules of your purchase. Read through it before you buy to avoid surprises.

13. Get Crafty

craft ideas for valentine's day on a budget

For me, Valentine's Day is all about getting crafty. Check Pinterest for thousands of awesome ideas including "open when" letters, photo gifts, desserts and so much more.

Pro tip: Use Mod Podge for fun photo crafts like transferring to wood. This consumer crafts blog will guide you through such crafty processes.

14. Give Her/Him a Massage

If I had a nickel for every time I would rather be given a massage than a physical gift like chocolates, flowers, or literally anything else, I would be rich. Ok, no I definitely wouldn't; but my point is that massages are the actual best gift ever.

You can get romantic with some peaceful music, soothing oils, and deliciously scented candles. Enjoy an intimate hour with your partner instead of buying them something they probably don't need anyway.

Pro tip: Coach your partner through deep breathing while you rub them down. It will help them sink into an even deeper pool of relaxation by decreasing their heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety, according to Harvard Health Publications.

15. Go for a Gift Card

If you're really confused about this whole Valentine's mess, go with a gift card. You can buy one for however much you can afford. If you don't know where he/she shops, look through the best gift card exchanges. You'll find cards that are accepted by thousands of retailers, so your love can shop where they want.

Pro tip: The smallest gift cards can be the most thoughtful and useful. For example, put $25 on a Starbucks card if you know your boyfriend or girlfriend loves their caramel lattes. That's five super delicious, valuable boosts of coffee energy!

16. Clothes & Shoes

budget clothing gifts for valentine's day

Clothes and shoes are great gifts as long as you know your beau's style. Check the best online shoe stores and the best online clothing stores for amazing deals this Valentine's Day. Also, make sure to check the return policy in case you get the wrong size or your partner isn't satisfied with your selection.

Get Out and Save This Valentine's Day

Now you're all set to save money on the most sincere presents for your love this Valentine's Day. Have some more ideas? Fill me in on your favorite Valentine's tips and tricks in the comments!

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