How to do Valentine’s Day on a budget

Written by Chelsea Potter on 7 February 2017

The run up to Valentine’s Day brings with it a certain amount of pressure to do something special for your partner and when budgets are tight you may find yourself worrying that you are unable to create the perfect day or evening.

However, help is at hand – PayPlan has created a quick round up of five romantic things you could do for very little money, to have a truly special Valentine’s Day while ensuring those purse strings are kept tight. Take your pick of one or two and your February 14th should go without a hitch!

candle lit valentines dining

  1. Candlelit dinner

You don’t need lobster and champagne to create the perfect romantic dining experience for two; a candlelit dinner can easily be put together on a budget. Use what you already have in the house, with a couple of extra additions from the supermarket, then dress up and wow your partner on the 14th.

You will need:

  • Tea light candles – dim the lights and create some ambience with 10-15 placed around the room.
  • A pasta dish and wine – supermarket own brands and discounted wine are still delicious. All you need is pasta (59p), mince (£2.50) and sauce. You could even make your own sauce simply using tomato passata (35p), fresh basil (£1.25) and garlic (30p).
  • Flowers – a simple bunch from the supermarket in a nice vase will help create that romantic vibe. Daffodils are bright, cheerful and cheap at this time of year!

Cost: £6.99

memory box

  1. Memory box

Scour the house for those old dinner receipts, cinema stubs, concert tickets and important photographs then put these together in a memory box to present your partner with on Valentine’s Day. They’ll enjoy looking through this and remembering all the fun you’ve had together, plus it’s a sentimental but very cheap present to create.

You will need:

  • Clean shoe box or small cardboard box – you no doubt have one of these stored in a cupboard in the house.
  • Wrapping paper – either pick up a themed roll from the supermarket or use some already in the house and cover your box with this. Tissue paper works just as well!
  • Photographs and sentimental memories – round up every fun, sentimental thing you can find and fill the box with these. Write a little note on the back of each, telling them how much you love them and what makes this memory special. Be sure to add to the box over time and continue to fill it with memories!

Cost: FREE

couple at dinner table

  1. Money saving meal for two

There are plenty of restaurant chains now offering discounts for those savvy enough to seek them out. There are even opportunities to purchase fun food based activities, such as discount afternoon teas in stately homes, to enjoy together at the weekend. Forget about the ‘no coupons on a date’ rule, save some money and keep the romance alive, while ensuring Valentine’s Day doesn’t impact your finances negatively.

You will need:

  • To source a voucher code or coupon – check out the MoneySavingExpert website or Groupon for the latest round up of voucher codes for top restaurants. Download these to your phone or print them off and present them at dinner to enjoy money off the bill.
  • Look out for local deals – smaller chains showcase weekday meal deals around your local area. Take advantage of these when choosing where to go for your Valentine’s meal.

Cost: £15-£30 depending on restaurant

bunch of flowers

  1. Create your own bouquet

Florists are notoriously expensive this time of year and sometimes, due to high demand, the bouquet you do receive can look a little lacklustre. So why not dabble in the art of floristry yourself this Valentine’s Day? Put together a bespoke bouquet for your partner using budget flowers from your local supermarket – it’s a great way of picking out the ones you know they’ll love and creating the bunch yourself makes it even more special.

You will need:

  • Two to four small bunches of flowers – your local supermarket will usually stock smaller bunches of roses, carnations and gerberas as well as seasonal flowers, ready for you to choose your favourites and use to create a bouquet.
  • Brown package paper – you can pick this up relatively cheaply (65p) from your local supermarket or post office.

Be sure to dry the stems first then mix and match colours into a large bunch and wrap the flowers in the brown paper for a rustic, homemade vibe!

Cost: £6-£12

couple cuddling watching tv

  1. A cosy night in

For many, a night in together on the sofa is something that doesn’t happen often due to busy lives. So setting aside an evening around Valentine’s Day to choose a movie is a great option for a romantic evening in. Grab plenty of blankets, some snacks and settle down for the night. You could also each pick your favourite movie ever and make an effort to watch these together with no complaints!

You will need:

  • Netflix – for plenty of variety when it comes to movies, sign up for Netflix. You get the first month free and you can cancel before any money is taken out. Just be sure to pop a note in your diary to do this!

Cost: FREE

couple holding hands

  1. Budget big day out

If you do fancy spending the day together, doing something new, then you’ll discover deals on big attractions up and down the UK. MoneySavingExpert features updated deals regularly on the site, featuring everything from Alton Towers for thrill seeking romantics to London Zoo for those who want to stroll hand in hand to visit the animals.

You will need:

  • To load up cost saving websites – such as com and search for the attraction you want to save money visiting.
  • Estimate travel costs – it’s important that you factor in the cost of getting to the destination, whether that be petrol or a train ticket. Ensure you shop around for the best deals when it comes to travel, a coach is usually the best budget option over a train.
  • Take your own snacks – food at attractions is notoriously expensive, pack a picnic (even if you have to eat it in your coats on benches outside!)

Cost: dependent on location

Sources:

Tea light candles, Fresh basil, Tomato passata, Garlic, Daffodils, Pasta, Mince,

Brown packaging paper 


Filed under Money Saving Ideas

This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

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