4 Ways to Have Fun This Valentine's Day Without Spending Too Much

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Jan. 27, 2021

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Two women sitting on a picnic blanket on a tree-lined hill overlooking a sunset.

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You can still have a great date night without breaking out the credit cards.

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Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that's designed to make you spend money. After all, it's marketed as a day to show your love to your spouse or romantic partner -- and no one wants to cheap out when it comes to a grand gesture for someone they care about.

Unfortunately, far too many people end up going overboard on gifts and celebrations, thus busting their budget. Some people even go so far as to take on credit card debt.

This could be a decision that both you and your beloved regret long after the date has passed. But the good news is, you don't have to fall into this trap. Instead, try out one of these four ways to have a fun Valentine's Day without spending a fortune.

1. Try a meal kit instead of dining out

Dining out can be expensive and, let's face it, may not be the safest activity as the pandemic continues. But you can still have an amazing and unique meal without hitting your local fine-dining establishment.

One creative approach to making a special meal on a budget is to try out a meal kit you make at home. Most meal kit companies -- like Blue Apron, Green Chef, or Hello Fresh -- offer an introductory special that gives you discounted meals for your first order, so the price ends up being very low.

You and your partner can have fun picking out something gourmet that you can make together. And the meal kit will make the cooking process easy by providing all of the ingredients you need and a simple recipe you can follow step by step. My husband and I have been trying out a bunch of these services for our date nights, and the cooking process is just as fun as eating the delicacies we've discovered.

2. Plan a picnic at a park

While many activities are off limits due to COVID-19, visiting a state or national park isn't one of them. If you live in a place where it's warm enough, plan a walk at your local park and pack a picnic to enjoy afterward. You and your partner can enjoy some uninterrupted time on the trails and dine together at a beautiful place while spending hardly any money at all.

3. Organize a romantic scavenger hunt

If you and your beloved enjoy games, a romantic scavenger hunt could be the ideal date for Valentine's Day.

You can provide clues that lead to places that are meaningful in your relationship or play on inside jokes to help your partner find hidden treasures. Leave something as simple and inexpensive as a chocolate candy at each place on your hunt, because the fun part is the thrill of the chase.

4. Plan a home spa day

Pampering yourself at a spa may sound fun, but many are still closed due to the pandemic -- and services can be expensive even if your local spa is open.

The good news is that a home spa date can be both much cheaper and more romantic than visiting a professional establishment. Put on a comfy robe, plan a nice soak in the tub, and take turns giving each other massages in the candlelight. You'll feel like you've escaped to an awesome five-star hotel.

The best part about these Valentine's Day date ideas is they're all inexpensive and won't require you to charge up your credit cards. So you can combine one or more activities that sound fun to you and still spend far less than you would for a lavish dinner out.

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