My favorite way to show others that I care for them is through gifts. Unfortunately, that language of love isn’t always the best for my wallet! This year, with saving being one of our main goals I’ve had to think about some ways that my hubby and I can have a special time together without blowing our budget.

Did you know that a study done by the National Retail Federation says that the average American spends $136.57 on Valentine’s day plans and gifts?! That’s quite a bit…especially considering our entire budget for the month to eat out is $100!

So, for those of you who are on a budget like we are, but would like to have a romantic time with your significant other. Here are 8 ways that you can save money, yet savor the moment with your honey.

Dine In

Who says you have to go out for a fancy meal? Valentine’s can be memorable and special without going out dinner! Instead of sitting in a packed restaurant or waiting an hour to get a table, enjoy the opportunity to slow down and cook your favorite meal together. With some mood lighting, the right music, and that special someone you can have an even more romantic experience then in a bustling restaurant.

For those with kids, yes I know that doesn’t seem relaxing; however, there are a few options for you.

1. Feed the kids a special dinner of their favorite foods and then tuck them in for the night. Once they are snuggled in bed you can turn on some slow music and start cooking a tasty meal together. While it’s cooking, you can dance in the kitchen, change into that special outfit you have for your dinner, or share a smooch 😉 What really matters is for one evening to truly slow down and take the time to enjoy each other’s company!

2. Send the kids off their grandparents and let them have a special Valentine’s party together, while you and your love get to enjoy some peace and quiet at home!

Go Out for Dessert

I truly believe chocolate should be a love language…or more specifically, chocolate pastries or baked goods! An easy way to cut down on expenses, yet still go out is to make a homemade meal and then go out to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant for an indulgent treat. Indulging in a decadent cheesecake or chocolate mousse is even more enjoyable when it’s not getting added to your dinner tab!

Play Outside

I know for us it is hard to find the time to go outdoors like we want to. With work and then going home to have dinner and finish a few chores before bed, there just doesn’t seem to be a way to fit it in.

If you are a nature lover, like me, but are having a hard time fitting it in, then this special occasion might be just what the doctor ordered. Exploring the great outdoors with your special someone can be quite romantic – and the best part, it’s free!!!

In warmer climates you could head to the beach or go on your favorite hiking trail. Or, if you live in an area that tends to more frigid temps this time of year, perhaps a snowshoeing adventure or snowball fight is what will allow you to spend some quality time together.

Have a Movie Night

It has been a very rare occasion for us to watch a movie in the last 8 months. With a baby who has decided that sleep is not his favorite thing our nighttime hours are generally filled with much bouncing and “shushing”. For us, an excellent option for a budget friendly date night is cuddling on the couch with a romantic comedy and some salty snacks and simply enjoying each other’s presence.

This is a great option whether there are kids in the picture or not. Sometimes, the best thing we can do in this crazy life is just sit down and rest together. With the frantic pace of life these days there is nothing more enjoyable than snuggly pj’s, some comfort food (snacks), and sinking into the couch with your person! And, once again – it’s free!

Snuggle by the Fire

I have always thought a fire in the fireplace to be terribly romantic. A sweet and budget friendly activity to do with your honey is to grab some hot cocoa and some s’more making supplies and enjoy the warmth of the fire and each other’s presence.

Trade Massages

Grab some lotion or massage oil, put on your favorite relaxing playlist and then spend the evening giving each other a calming, romantic massage. *bonus points for some homemade chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy* It is so easy to become preoccupied with every day necessities and stresses, which can in turn cause tension between couples. Being able to help each other relax can help you reconnect and get back on the same wavelength.

Memory Lane

If you find that life has you feeling stressed and making it hard to connect, than this might be the perfect Valentine’s Day activity for you. Spend the evening reminiscing about your journey together. Take time to look at photos from the beginning of your relationship. Dig out the love letters or saved texts and remember some of your favorite moments. You could even create a video or slideshow, complete with your favorite songs, and document your journey together.

Insider Tip!

This is what we personally did last year, and most likely will do this year. We have just come from the holiday season and at some point you were most likely given a gift card to your favorite spot to eat, or a special place you don’t usually get to go to. We saved the gift card that we were given last year and were then able to go have a special meal out on Valentine’s without spending any from our budget. If you can’t do it this year, just keep it in mind for the next time someone gives you a gift card to your favorite place!

There really are an abundance of ways that you can spend time together with your special someone without having to spend much, if any, money! As I have gotten older and life has gotten busier, I have come to realize that it isn’t about the gift, it’s about the person behind the gift. Things don’t matter. Moments do. That’s what Valentine’s Day is about. I hope you have a wonderful day taking the time to enjoy and cherish the people you have to love.

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