As Valentine’s Day rolls around again this year, you may be finding it tricky to pick the perfect way to celebrate with your significant other. If you’re watching your spending or on a budget it can feel even more challenging. In today’s post I have a host of ideas to help you enjoy the perfect Valentine’s Day.
As someone who was single for more years than I would care to count, Valentine’s Day always felt like a bit of sore point in the calendar for me. Perhaps that’s why, now that I’m in a relationship, I love Valentine’s Day with the exchanging of cards, gifts and making it a special occasion. I feel like I’m making up for lost time!
Of course when thinking about romance, it doesn’t all have to be about money, or how much you spend. Doing something romantic and thoughtful for your partner doesn’t have to cost a penny, so if you’re trying to be as frugal as possible then I have some ideas for you to try.
Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with spending your hard earned money on the love of your life, as long as you have the money to spend (i.e. you’re not going into debt as a result) and the gift is given from a place of love and thoughtfulness rather than out of duty (i.e. don’t buy something for the sake of it, just because you’re expected to on Valentine’s Day). If you’re looking for some interesting, more spendy ideas then I’ve got you covered too.
Then of course what about those of us who are single this Valentine’s Day? I don’t think you should miss out. Instead of feeling glum (which is what I had a tendency to feel), use it as an opportunity to really pamper yourself. In the past I had fun buying myself roses, jewellery and preparing myself a special dinner to enjoy, while sat in front of my favourite rom com. Read on for some ideas you can try to give yourself some self-love on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine Ideas If You’re On A Tight Budget
Ideas That Won’t Cost You A Penny
Here’s a selection of things you could plan for Valentine’s Day which won’t cost you any money:
- Make your own Valentine’s card or leave a romantic note for your loved one to find
- Prepare breakfast in bed, even if it’s just bringing up a nice hot cup of tea or coffee to start the day for the 2 of you
- Offer your partner a massage
- Create some “Love cheques” which offer various things you will do for your partner that they can “cash-in” at some point in the future. You could create this on a computer to print off or hand draw them. In fact a quick google search turns up plenty of creative cheques or coupons you could print off to use
- If you’re both always on the go with a young family to care for, a precious gift is the opportunity for some time-out. We’re talking a couple of hours looking after the kids while the lady has an indulgent bath, reads a book or paints her nails. For the man those child-free hours could be used to play a video game, watch some sport or head out to the pub with his mates. This gift doesn’t have to take place on Valentine’s Day itself - just promised to the other person as a gift when they’re ready to take it
- Head out for a walk together and take the time to talk about your plans as a couple. Trips away, shared hobbies and loved ones are good topics
- Play a game together, it could be as simple as a game of cards, or a board game, or even a console game for 2 if you have one
- Find a movie that you both love or fancy watching and cosy up on the sofa together. Bonus extra - make some popcorn!
- The gift of your undivided attention & time can mean more than any gift, especially if it’s something you often forget to do. Take time to show your partner how much they really mean to you
Ideas For A Small Budget
If you’d like to spend some money, but are on a low budget, here’s a few things you could try:
- Prepare a romantic evening in. Dinner for two or even a carpet picnic for two are both great ways to get some special time together.
- Decorate whichever room you plan to have your date in, or at the very least make sure it’s nice and tidy
- Think about using scented candles, a red or pink table-cloth or blanket for the floor, some romantic music playing softly, even rose petals scattered around - anything you can do to set the ambience
- If you’re having a cooked dinner, go to the effort of laying the table out nicely, dim the lights slightly if you can
- Choose a dining option that delights the both of you:
- Many supermarkets offer really good value Valentine’s meal deals. These tend to be around £20 for 3 courses and a bottle of wine, some even include chocolates too
- Or you may want to cook a dinner of your own choosing. Going to the effort of lovingly preparing a delicious meal for your significant other will make them feel very special
- If you go the picnic route, buy yourselves some delicious finger foods that you don’t get to eat very often so that it feels special. Sometimes we plan a cheese and antipasti type night with all sorts of goodies to snack on
- Decorate whichever room you plan to have your date in, or at the very least make sure it’s nice and tidy
- Create your own gift, such as a low cost gift hamper. This is a wonderful way to wow your partner with a personalised touch. You can source things like scented candles, chocolates, wine, dvds, books and bath bombs for very reasonable prices if you shop around
- If you’d like to buy a Valentine’s card, consider using a cashback site such as TopCashback (affiliate link) or Quidco (affiliate link) to buy from an online retailer such as Moonpig. They have a wide variety of cards to choose from both big and small, plus if you personalise it you are likely to get mega brownie points from your loved one. At the time of publishing this post TopCashback are offering 8.32% and Quidco 7.5% cashback for Moonpig purchases
Ideas For A Spendy Budget
If you’re not worried about being frugal where Valentines Day is concerned, here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Chocolates are always a winner for males or females
- A bouquet of red roses or a different variety of your partner’s favourite flowers. The biggest bargain last year could be found on the Amazon Treasure Truck, where they offered 36 red roses, a Ferrero ‘sweet’ surprise and a greetings card for just £9.99! Of course it was only available on the day if you could get to an Amazon Treasure truck, but still - what a bargain! Consider signing up for Amazon Truck notifications
- Make a reservation at a nice restaurant either for the day itself, or the nearest weekend date available (this is what we’re doing this year!)
- If you’re buying for a lady, then you can never go far wrong with accessories:
- A hand bag
- A few years back I received a gorgeous red heart Thomas Sabo charm for my bracelet, it was the perfect Valentine’s gift! Here’s a gorgeous heart charm (affiliate link) that’s actually on offer at £64.50 down from £129 (correct at the time of publishing)
- If you’re buying for a man then you could consider:
- Games (especially if they have a games console)
- Tickets to a sporting, comedy or music event
- Accessory items such as a belt, cufflinks, a shirt or underwear
- A technical gadget they may have been lusting after such as an apple watch, alexa device or games console
- Splash out on a trip away for the 2 of you - you don’t have to do the trip over Valentine’s, it could be a nice experience to gift on the day which you both then have to look forward to. Here are a few special offers I found to inspire you:
- £49 for two - 5 star Mayfair Hotel in London (affiliate link): 3 course lunch or dinner for two with a bottle of wine
- £99 for two - An overnight Lake District stay for two (affiliate link): Includes dinner, bed and breakfast (or for £169 you can add an extra night’s stay with breakfast)
- £109 for two - Spa day with afternoon tea (affiliate link) in the Lakes: Includes a 25 minute treatment and a selection of finger sandwiches and cakes
- £129 for two - Spa day at the Bristol Lido (affiliate link): Includes a 60 minute treatment, tapas lunch, a glass of prosecco and 20% off spa products
- £159 for two - 5 star central London hotel stay (affiliate link): With late 2pm check-out and full english breakfast
- If you really want to push the boat out and dazzle your significant other with a magical experience, then a Disneyland Paris short break would make the most wonderful surprise. Here’s a couple of offers I found:
- Up to 25% off (affiliate link) your Disney hotel and ticket package plus a free half board meal plan if you book by 11th February for 2, 3 or 4 nights between 2nd April to 6th November 2019
- Up to 40% off (affiliate link) your hotel and park tickets if you book by 31st March for 2, 3 or 4 nights until 1st April 2019
Valentine’s Day When You’re Single
I know from experience how tough it can be in the run up to Valentine’s Day and the day itself. For many people it doesn’t bother them at all, after all it’s really just another commercial day that retailers use to try to make us spend our money. But for some, it’s tough being alone on Valentine’s Day.
My recommendation is to use the occasion to make yourself feel special. Things I’ve done on previous singleton Valentine’s Days include:
- Buying flowers for yourself - you can find some lovely and reasonably priced flowers in supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, or look out for Amazon Treasure Truck deals like I mentioned earlier
- Treat yourself to a cinema trip - I have always quite enjoyed going to the cinema by myself. I can eat as much popcorn as I like without being judged and it feels rather indulgent!
- Plan a special evening in for yourself - prepare a nice dinner, pour yourself a glass of wine, watch your favourite film or TV show, pop the fire on and even dress yourself up a little (wear something that makes you feel fabulous)
- Have a pamper night for yourself - I’m talking face mask, hair styling, manicure, pedicure, doing a self tan. Make yourself look fabulous and it will undoubtedly rub off on you, making you feel fabulous
- Arrange to spend the evening with one of your favourite single friends - enjoy each other’s company, have a good giggle and use the time to plan future fun events out
Remember To Do These Things
If you do nothing else, I would urge you to at least consider doing these things:
- Plan for some quality time focusing on the two of you, or just focusing on yourself if you’re on your own
- Make an effort and go out of your way to make it special - do yourself up a bit, make yourself feel fabulous, then if you’re celebrating in a couple you can make the other person feel great too
- Show your love - tell your partner how much they mean to you. Or if you’re on your own make a list of all the great qualities that you have and what you love about yourself. In either case, consider making a bucket list of things you’d like to do, so that you have things to look forward to
Thinking of popping the question?
Valentine’s Day is of course one of those hotspot dates where proposals often happen. I had a chuckle this week on discovering that Poundland are selling £1 engagement rings. There’s a fun video by moneysavingexpert where various members of the public are asked how much they think it’s worth…
Personally I wouldn’t recommend using a £1 ring, but each to their own!
If you are thinking about popping the question this Valentine’s Day and you’re not sure what type of ring to get, or would love for your girlfriend to be able to choose her own ring, you could consider presenting her with a token item of jewellery during the proposal instead. These gorgeous Thomas Sabo charms saying “Marry Me” or with a heart and engagement ring would be perfect for the occasion.
Alternatively, if you simply find a way to make the proposal unique and special to your girlfriend, taking her likes and needs into consideration, the purchase of a ring can come later.
I hope you’ve found this Valentine’s Day guide useful. Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, or simply enjoying the day on your own, I hope you have a wonderful time. Let me know if you have any other ideas for romantic things to do, gifts to give or even share what you get up to this Valentine’s Day…
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