There are a lot of mixed feelings about the celebration of Valentine’s Day (and this isn’t the forum for a searching analysis of its place in modern society!). But whatever your viewpoint, it may well be that come February 14th you feel the urge to mark the occasion in some way 🎉

Whether you label it ‘Galentine’s Day’, ‘Palentine’s Day’, or if you’re happily ‘Single by Choice’, just use it as an unspecified excuse to show some self-love 💅

However you spend it, we’re here with all you need to know... the best selection of budget date activities and gift ideas this side of Cupid’s bow 🏹

Cheap Valentine’s Day Date Ideas 📆

When it comes to arranging a Valentine’s Day to make your loved one swoon, we’d like to hope that for most, experience beats expense. So we’re starting off with ideas to supercharge your economical date-night... Valentine’s stylie 🥰

Perhaps you already put first-date effort in every single day, but even so, it’s probably fair to say that the special person in your life will expect a little extra thought on this occasion.

There’s no rule to say that your special Valentine’s Day date can’t be a movie night in your own living room, if you’re both homebodies who’d prefer to be comfy while you binge on rom-coms.

But if you’re going for the DIY approach, it just means you need to find a fun way to make it feel special. You might even find that despite budget limitations, you actually win bonus points for being thoughtful 🤔

  1. Netflix… No Bill 🎥 — Watching TV might sound a dull suggestion for some, but that’s where knowledge of your partner helps! By creating a themed evening around whatever you’re watching, you can make the everyday a novelty (now what’s their password again?).
  2. Ladle the Love 🥣It’s often said that the best route to a person’s heart is through their stomach. We’re not talking about an impromptu surgical procedure, but instead recommending you give your significant other a night to remember by cooking them a romantic dinner.
  3. Make It Game Night 🎲This one’s only relevant IF the special someone in your life actually enjoys it when you play games together… but it’s free, and can be made to feel like a real event with a little imagination to set the scene. So why not break out a board game?
  4. It’s OK to Hunt 🦊If you want to plan something to challenge the grey matter, a scavenger hunt can be the perfect way to create a bespoke experience without breaking the bank. It’s also a great chance to include locations that have special significance to you.
  5. Put Your Skates on ⛸Nothing screams romance quite like a bruised coccyx! A trip to the local ice skating rink can be a fun and frugal way to show your loved one a good time whilst making a fool of yourself. Bonus points for actually letting go of the side railings.
  6. Hit Up an Open Mic Night 🎸There are few experiences more life-affirming than live music. Gigs and festivals can get expensive, but you can still absorb some up-and-coming talent by checking out any free events or open mic nights running in your local area.
  7. Get Creative in the Kitchen 👨‍🍳If you liked the idea of impressing your Valentine's Day date with a meal but feel you’re lacking the culinary skills to prepare it yourself, then a cooking class could be the solution! There will be a cost associated, but the lesson you learn can last a lifetime.
  8. Go for a Giggle 🤣You may not be able to afford the headline acts, but going to a comedy show is a cost-effective night out in a lot of larger towns and cities. Sit right at the front and heckle mercilessly for extra value-for-money. The comedians love it and will include you in their act!
  9. Crank Up the Karaoke 🎤When you’re done it might not just be the orchestra that’s empty… but even if you do clear the venue with your serenade, belting out your favourite banger in a karaoke bar can be a hoot. You only truly know a person once you’ve heard their Karaoke, 'weapon-of-choice'.
  10. A Spook-tacular Time 👻If the love of your life can handle a fright (or if you just want to be the brave one), a ghost tour makes a fun valentine activity. Plus it gives you the chance to learn more about the history of the local area. Just don’t blame us if you have nightmares!

Any one of those ideas should have your special woman or man eating out of the palm of your hand… but a little more effort might be required for a celebration that isn’t bland.

If you want to avoid turning up for your special date empty-handed, then we have great news, our selection of cheap Valentine’s Day gifts has also landed 👇

Cheap Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas 🎁

Ok, so you’ve got a killer Valentine’s Day date planned… what we need now is an equally thoughtful Valentine’s gift. Not that there’s anything wrong with a bottle of wine and rush trip to the florist, but perhaps these are not the ideal ingredients for a unique Valentine experience.

The great news is that often the best gifts don’t cost much. In actual fact, the most romantic gifts are often the ones that play on an inside joke, or which incorporate mementos from things that you’ve done together. Perhaps even the fun date you had last Valentine’s Day?

  1. What’s a Mixtape? 💿Tapes and CDs may be a thing of the past, but you can still show you ‘appreciate’ their musical taste by creating a playlist on your favourite music streaming service. If it helps your sense of nostalgia, you can even hand-write the tracklist for a personal touch!
  2. How Very Crafty 😏Nothing says you care quite like a homemade valentine’s day gift. You don’t have to be too ambitious if creativity isn’t really your thing, and there’s loads of inspiration on sites like etsy.com if you’re short of ideas. The fact you tried will make it all the more special.
  3. Don’t Drop the Crumbs 🥐Another example demonstrating that a great gift doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. There are few pleasures quite so universally appealing as a favourite breakfast served in bed. Just make sure they don’t expect the same treatment every weekend!
  4. Together Since Collage 👨‍🏫We’re continuing with the creative theme (you did say you wanted things cheap!). You can create something both decorative and thoughtful by arranging cherished keepsakes and old love letters in a collage or scrapbook.
  5. Not Vouchers Again! 🧧No, not boring store vouchers… we’re referring to coupons for personal services that you can perform (you thought emptying the bins, right?). You’re only limited by your imagination when deciding what they can be redeemed against.
  6. There’s Value in Verse 🎼 — If you have a way with words, you can impress your Valentine with a verse. It doesn’t even have to be original. You can easily adapt a poem or song that has particular significance for you both. Some of Metallica’s lyrics are actually quite tender...
  7. Rock the Rainbow Rhythm 💃Perhaps your partner lacks confidence on the dance floor, or maybe it’s you that’s shy when it comes to throwing shapes. Either way, a dance class can make sure you’re both on a level-footing, and could even spark the passion for an ongoing shared hobby.
  8. Your Face Here 🥴Buying gifts can be a challenge. It’s sometimes tough to know what to buy the person who has everything. But do they have a life-size picture of your face on a pillow-case? Probs not. Time to rectify that with a personalised novelty gift!
  9. Same Culture… but Later 🦉Museums are cool. But they’re missing something. What if you could see all that interesting museum stuff… but with a drink in your hand? Try a ‘museum late’! These are tickets to exhibitions, staged after hours. Which means you can also avoid the school kids too!
  10. That One Looks Like You 🐠If your budget stretches to entry (ideally for two) at the aquarium, you may find that the ambience can make for quite an intimate setting. You can make your partner’s day complete by scouring the tanks looking to find the best likeness of them. Charming.

So there you have it. Plum’s got your love-life 💑 As well as your finances 💰

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