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Did you know that the average money spent on Valentine’s day is over $600?! I read this in a study by MoneyWise Cost of Love Index. That’s just crazy to me! There are plenty of affordable date ideas that can make for a super romantic day. This holiday does NOT have to break the bank!
My husband and I are about to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary, and we have no debt (including no home mortgage). So we’ve had a little practice and know a thing or two about keeping things romantic yet also coming up with affordable date ideas. It helps that we’re both real homebodies. Our favorite thing to do together is stay home, eat dinner together, and cuddle on the couch. This easily makes for a romantic and affordable Valentine’s day.
But that’s not for everyone.
However, it is relatively simple to plan a romantic and affordable date for anyone.
In fact, if you want to plan a really romantic date that is tailored specifically for your partner, you just need to learn and understand their love language first.
Then you can plan affordable date ideas based on yours AND their love languages!
Frugal Rule of Thumb: If the day’s activities fall into your love languages, it WILL be very romantic for both of you. Regardless of the cost of those activities, you’ll still have a high level of romance! They can be affordable or even free.
Planning a romantic and affordable date is a two-step process:
- Determine your love language and your partner’s love language. This will steer the type of activities to the most romantic for you both.
- Plan affordable Valentine’s Day activities based on those love languages. Keyword: affordable.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Read on to start planning your most romantic AND affordable Valentine’s Day ever!
If you need help discovering your love languages or coming up with affordable activities that fall into your love languages, this post will give you the information you need.
Plan your Valentine’s Day based on the love languages
Everyone has their own personality, hobbies, enjoyments, etc and those play a role in the effectiveness of different kinds of affection.
The Five Love Languages
There are five main ways that we show love for our partners:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
If you’ve never heard of the 5 love languages, read more about the theory here and discover your primary love language by taking this quick online quiz:
How much each of these love languages means to each of us, or how much they make us feel loved and valued, varies from person to person.
For example, someone whose primary love language is gifts may not feel as appreciated if you make dinner and do the dishes. Or someone whose love language is physical touch may feel super loved if you to go out of your way to hold their hand or steal a kiss when you’re together.
If you plan a Valentine’s Day based on your partner’s love language, it WILL be romantic for them!
Again, if you don’t know yours or your partner’s yet, I recommend taking this quick 30-question quiz:
Once you’ve discovered yours and your partner’s love languages, it’s time to start coming up with affordable options in that romantic category.
The cool thing is that many times, one activity can fall into multiple love language categories. So keep that in mind when you’re planning and you can craft a date that will leave you both feeling special and well-loved.
Ideas for Affordable Love Language Activities
There are price ranges for all the usual romantic things you can do for date night. As a frugal thumb, I tend toward the most thrifty options which I’m going to share with you below.
I hope it will give you some ideas on where you can save and where it’s worth spending more for you.
Important: Don’t go overboard with the plans. I recommend keeping it to 2 or 3 activities from your partner’s love language. Be creative and combine one or two of your own love language activities in too. You’ll both have an amazing time!
Affordable Date Ideas for the “Gift” Love Language
- Flowers – A bouquet of flowers can be expensive! If you must buy them online, buy a discounted gift card from raise.com first. They have cards for 1-800Flowers, ProFlowers, and more. I’ve gotten gift cards for up to 29% off from there! (Frugal Thumb Pro tip: Start at ebates.com and then link to raise.com for an additional 1% cash back.) Or you can buy flowers for less at the grocery store and make them just as beautiful with a vase and ribbon at home. Even a solitary flower can be romantic this way. If your partner likes plants or gardening, you can opt for a living plant at a local gardening or hardware store. Red Christmas bows can also go a long way if you have extras after the holidays. Add a sweet note and this doubles for the “words of affirmation” love language.
- Movie – There are lots of ways to save on a movie! We never pay full price. If you want to go to the movie theatre, raise.com is a great resource for discounts. I may be mentioning raise.com a lot under the “gifts” love language, but it’s a real money saver. You can get discounted gift cards from Atom, AMC, Fandango, Regal, etc. And bring your own snacks. It’s perfectly legal to carry them in your pockets or purse and save on the theatre food prices. Or you can rent a movie from RedBox or through Amazon Prime, etc to watch at home. Even cheaper yet, watch a favorite that you already own. Done right, this can also overlap with “quality time” or “physical touch” love languages.
- Dinner – If you want to go out, again, there are lots of discounted gift cards for a plethora of restaurants at raise.com. You can also make a reservation for happy hour for cheaper appetizers and drinks, or skip the appetizer, order water, or even share a meal depending on your budget. Also a highly romantic possibility is making dinner at home, which is a big money saver.
- Jewelry – shop the sales, determine the store where you want to buy, and then get a discounted gift card on raise.com to pay for it.
- Shopping spree – if your partner’s primary love language is heavily “gift” and you’re very unsure what to get, you can set a price range and go shopping together. Then they can get whatever they want! And you can pay with a discounted gift card from raise.com! 😀
- Wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day the following weekend or a couple weeks later. All the gifts will be on sale, from flowers and teddy bears to chocolates and jewelry, and more. Plus, the restaurants and theatres may be less packed.
- Search the internet for more affordable gift ideas to fit any budget. I found all sorts of ideas on Pinterest. Check out what I’ve found on my “Frugal Valentine’s Day” board.
Affordable Date Ideas for the “Quality Time” Love Language
- Stargaze – This is a free activity yet gives you plenty of time to talk and enjoy each other’s company. It can also double as snuggle time. Bring plenty of blankets!
- Picnic in the park – Planning the foods together can be a sweet time as well if you pick out each other’s favorites.
- Light candles around the house – This combined with other activities can make for great quality time. For example, poetry reading or giving each other online quizzes, bubble bath, back massage, etc.
- Bubble bath – a soak in the tub can do wonders and is so relaxing
- Game night – play board games, card games, make a puzzle, etc.
- Photos – Look through old photo albums together and spend time reminiscing about your past endeavors, take new photos together
- Recreate your first date or some other memorable time together
Affordable Date Ideas for “Words of Affirmation” Love Language
- Write/Poetry – read love poems, write a poem about your partner
- List – you can make a top 10 favorite things list about your partner and share them, or favorite memories, favorite quotes, favorite trips, etc
- Tell your partner how much you love them and why
- Daydream together about your future, what you’d love to do for your next big trip, or when you’re retired, etc.
Affordable Date Ideas for “Acts of Service” Love Language
- Make dinner – you can do it together or surprise your partner. You can make each other’s favorites. Go shopping when the ingredients are on sale and freeze for the occasion. Shop at Aldi and use apps like Ibotta, Checkout51, and FetchRewards (Referral code R2MPM) to save on food.
- Clean up afterward – do the dishes, wipe down the counters and table, etc while your partner rests and can put their feet up
- Massage – give your partner a massage
- Take the kids to the library so your partner can have some “me” time
Affordable Date Ideas for “Physical Touch” Love Language
- Massage – you could sign up for couples massages by a professional (discounts from raise.com, Groupon, Living Social) or give your partner a free one at home.
- Cuddle – you can do this while watching a movie, or reach across the table to hold hands
- Go on a walk – hold hands, steal kisses, rest your head on their shoulder, etc
- Think of ways to reassure your partner with your touch. You get the idea on this 😉
Now go have that romantic (and affordable) date!
You’ve learned the usefulness of knowing yours and your partner’s love languages, discovered what they are, and read some affordable date ideas for each of those languages.
You’re now ready to plan the ultimate romantic-yet-affordable date ever with your partner! I’m so excited for you!
If you need gift cards, check out raise.com.
And if you need more ideas, check out what I’ve found on my Pinterest “Frugal Valentine’s Day” board.
Have an amazing Valentine’s Day! Lots of love!