Valentine’s Day creeps up every year, often when we’re not financially prepared. Extravagant displays of love? In this economy?

For those of you seeking cheap Valentine’s Day ideas that don’t skimp on the romance, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re reminiscing about your first date, planning a special celebration with family members, or even organizing a gal-entine’s day bash, this list is for you! 

Forget the stress of draining your bank account on expensive gifts, or wracking your brain trying to think of innovative ideas beyond the classic heart-shaped box of chocolates or bouquet of roses.

This year, we’re doin’ it differently! From creative date ideas to thoughtful love messages, we’re ditching the cliché red roses and opting for my motto: Simple Pleasures, Deeply Felt. All it takes is a personal touch to create special memories that last a lifetime.

Read below for our list of 50 budget-friendly valentine’s day ideas! 

Ready to make this February 14th the most romantic holiday without breaking the bank? Here are some budget-friendly ways to celebrate your love:

Stay-At-Home DIYs

1. Love Letter Time Capsule: Write a love letter or a favorite memory on a piece of paper. Now, seal it in a jar, and bury it in your backyard! (It’s like a little love seed!) Open it next Valentine’s Day for a sweet blast from the past.

2. Sweet Kitchen Concoctions: Whip up your favorite desserts together. It’s a fun and collaborative activity that ends with sweet treats. That’s a win-win in my book!

3. DIY Photo Albums: Collect photos from your phone and print them out to create your own Valentine’s Day card or album. (Bonus: Create captions that make you both laugh!)

4. Get Creative: Create art with your partner! Brushes and small canvases are a great inexpensive idea with huge opportunity. Create small scale no-pressure paintings on 2″ x 2″ to 5″ x 5″ canvases. Make it a tradition every Valentine’s Day. Designate a part of a wall to your works of art and watch it grow!

5. Romantic Playlist Duel: Each of you creates a playlist with songs that make you swoon, then have a cozy night sharing the auxiliary cord and comparing tunes.

6. Game Night at Home: Break out the board games, card games, or plan a trivia night. If you want to make it even more personal, write questions for each other on index cards with the intention of connecting in a deeper way.

7. Candle Making: Melt some wax, add a scent, pour into a heat-safe container or jar, add some fire-safe bits and bobs, let it cool, and you’ve got a perfect gift to light up your evening.

8. Blanket Fort: Take a note from your 5-year old self and rearrange the furniture to create a comfy “fort” for lounging or movie-watching. Add a ton of pillows, top it off with blankets on top and watch it all come together. (Bonus idea: Break out some flashlights for intimate fort-night lighting.)

9. Backyard Camping: Set up a tent, grab a cozy blanket, and stargaze with your significant other. (Of course, you’ll also want to bring some snacks and maybe even some cocoa.)

10. Scavenger Hunt Indoors: Hide little love notes or small gifts around the house and lead each other on a wild goose chase. For an extra challenge, make each clue a riddle!


Out & About Wallet-Friendly Adventures

11. Local Library Date: Head to your local library or book store and check out some books together. While you’re there, find a quiet, cozy spot and read the summaries of books you’re interested in to each other.

12. Botanical Garden Stroll: Many gardens have free or low-cost admission, making it a budget-friendly way to enjoy the beauty of nature and each other’s company at the same time.

13. Thrift Store Exploration: Go junk-diving with your significant other! Set a budget of $10 to $20 each, and see what sentimental trinkets you can scrounge up for each other. (Bonus: Add an artistic element to this by turning small trinkets into works of art with paint or clay.)

14. Ice Cream Date: Looking for a classic, simple, and sweet vibe to share with your sweetheart? Head out to an ice cream parlor and split a sundae or a chocolate milkshake.

15. Sunrise or Sunset Watching: Find a great spot in your town and enjoy the beauty of the beginning or end to the day. Bring a bottle of wine or some favorite snacks.

16. Bowling Alley Fun: Lace-up those funky shoes and hit the lanes. Up the ante with a kiss for every strike!

17. Volunteer Together: Spend Valentine’s Day giving back by volunteering together at a food drive or a local animal shelter, Make your special day special for someone else too.

18. Gallery Hop: Many local galleries are free to enter. It’s a cultured and inexpensive way to spend some quality time together.

19. Picnic in the Park: Pack some homemade goodies, a water bottle, and enjoy a picnic on the grass in a park. (Bonus: Spending time around trees lowers stress levels!)

20. Take a Hike: Explore the nature of your city by hiking a local trail. Be sure to bring some snacks and water! 


Movie Night Ideas

21. Homemade Movie Theater: Arrange your living room floor with pillows and blankets, pick your favorite movie from a streaming service, pop some popcorn, and chill in. 

22. ’80s Romance Rewind: Dive into the nostalgic charm of ’80s with classics like When Harry Met Sally, Valley Girl, or Sixteen Candles. Don’t forget the retro snacks!

23. Foreign Film Festival: Travel the world from your sofa by watching foreign films together. What a great way to experience different cultures from the comfort of your home! (Bonus: Omit the subtitles and try to guess the storyline or dialogue.)

24. Riff Away: Interject funny lines between lulls in the dialogue of a movie for a hilarious Mystery Science Theater 3000 vibe.

25. Silent Film Karaoke: Mute a movie and create your own dialogue! The more hilarious or outlandish, the better!

26. DIY Movie Trailer: Before watching each movie, both you and your partner should make up a trailer for it based on the title alone. Compare your versions with the actual movie.

27. Dress-Up Movie Night: Pick a movie and dress up as your favorite characters. (Bonus: Act out the most iconic scenes from the movie.)

28. Animation Appreciation Night: Revisit your childhood favorites. (Did you know that many of your favorite kid shows are on Youtube?) Go down a nostalgic rabbit hole and share what you loved as a kid with your significant other.

29. Themed Snack Creation: Each partner should do their very best to make a snack or drink that is themed around the movie. Think “Potion Cocktails” for a fantasy movie or “Space Snacks” for a sci-fi film. Winner gets to choose the next film!

30. Guess the Score: Mute the movie and take turns creating your own soundtrack using your voice, instruments, or objects around the house. Unmute to see how close you are to the actual score.


Foodie Fun

31. The V-Day Cook-Off Challenge: Cook your own versions of the same dish and have a friendly competition. Taste test to declare the winner!

32. Chocolate Fondue or Charcuterie: Melt chocolate and dip various fruits, marshmallows, and cookies. Or create a spread of simple ingredients on a cutting board for impromptu charcuterie fun. It can be as simple as some crackers, cheese and rolled lunch meats. Go for the most upscale-looking arrangement! It’s simple and deliciously interactive.

33. Blind Taste Testing: One person should prepare a variety of small dishes. The other guesses the ingredients while blindfolded. (Bonus: This game can get hot and heavy if that’s where you want it to go!)

34. Mystery Ingredient Game: Each person buys a secret ingredient for the other, and you both have to incorporate it into a meal. May the most creative cook win!

35. Cocktail Crafting Evening: Experiment with mixing your own cocktails or mocktails with various ingredients that you have on-hand. Make it a competition if that’s your vibe!

36. Edible Bouquets: Instead of flowers, create bouquets using skewers of fruits, veggies, or even small sandwiches. Make your arrangement as eye-pleasing as possible.

37. Fruit Picking and Jam Making: If it’s the right season, go fruit picking and then make jam together. It’s a sweet, creative and inexpensive way to spend the day.

38. Street Food Tour: Find the best budget eats in your city and embark on a street food tour. It’s a culinary adventure for a fraction of the cost.

39. Personalized Tea Blending: Mix and match different herbs and teas to create your own custom blends. Have a taste test to find your new favorite.

40. Chocolate Tasting at Home: Buy different types of chocolate and have a tasting session. Discuss your favorites.


Intimate and Inexpensive

41. DIY Couples’ Photoshoot: Set up your phone or camera and have a fun photoshoot session at home or a nearby picturesque location.

42. Couple’s Yoga: Stretch out and relax together at home with an online yoga session. (Youtube is great for these!)

43. At-Home Spa Day: Create a spa atmosphere with homemade facials, massages, and relaxation. (A quick trip to the self-care section of Target or your local big store is perfect for this!)

44. Poetry Night: Create a cozy spot with dim lighting, beautiful scents, and calming music where you and your partner can have the space and time to write each other love poems, then read them aloud to each other.

45. Dream Planning Session: Spend time talking about your dreams and plans for the future. (Bonus: Create a vision board collage and/or a bucket list of things you want to do together.)

46. Homemade Gift Exchange: Craft a thoughtful gift for each other. It can be a painting, sculpture, macrame item, or small decoupaged storage box. Anything! Make it a full-on session by clearing a table for crafting items.

47. Learning Together: Pick something new to learn together online. It could be a dance, language, skill, craft, etc.! You might even find some new things you’re both into.

48. Memory Lane Trip: Go through old photos, letters, or other keepsakes. Make it a romantic trip down memory lane and share why you loved certain moments so much.

49. Karaoke Concert: Sing your favorite song to each other or, if you’re daring, write a love song together.

50. Record Your Love Story: Record a video or audio of you both sharing how you met and your journey together. (Bonus: Edit it together with photos and videos of your time together.)


The best thing about this list is that you can extend one of these ideas into the whole day, or plan a day filled with a variety of them! 

Do you have some budget Valentine’s Day ideas that we didn’t share here? Comment below and tell us about them!

From our Steamy family to your, we’re wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy Valentine’s Day!