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Thoughtful Valentine's Day Ideas for a Lighthearted Budget

 

It’s hard to miss the start of the Valentine’s Day season - when rom-coms, love songs, and commercials for everything from edible bouquets to diamond jewelry start flooding airwaves, you know it’s just around the corner. But when money’s tight, it can be hard to feel the love and plan a romantic night out, especially when you limit your options to the traditional dinner and a movie.

Could you and your date step out of your comfort zone and try something new and different this Valentine’s Day? Check out these ideas to make your date feel like a million bucks without tapping yourself out financially.

 

Skip Straight to Dessert

Who says you have to wait for dessert? Dinner is the bulk of the cost with dinner and a movie, and restaurants are guaranteed to be booked to capacity on Valentine’s Day. If you’re strapped for cash, you can offer to treat your date to dessert for two instead – whether they like ice cream, baked goods, or a little of both, you’re bound to find something you can both enjoy for a fraction of the cost.

If you already know just how to satisfy their sweet tooth, you might even be able to bring a Valentine’s Day dessert date to them or have them over for a little sugar fix. Why not set up your own sundae bar? A tub of their favorite ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and some other tasty toppings like homemade brownies might be just the thing to show your date your sweet side.

 

Go Out for a Day Date

You don’t need to wait until the sun sets on Valentine’s Day to get your date night started. If money’s tight, why not keep the “day” in Valentine’s Day with an early date this year?

If you’re short on cash you may be looking for a little extra help to really wow your date this Valentine’s Day, but you don’t have to break the bank to make your date smile all day long with these fun date ideas:

  • Grab Lunch: Lunch menus tend to be less expensive than dinner options.
  • Catch a Matinee Showing: Movies are usually cheaper and less crowded before 4pm.
  • Take a Picnic: Take in some natural beauty with a packed lunch and a walk in the park.

 

 

Check Out a Bookstore or Library

You may not think of the bookstore as the most romantic of settings, but if your date is an avid reader, a bookstore is another great alternative for an inexpensive and low-key day date. If you’re low on funds, a chat over some coffee and a stroll down the aisles of your date’s favorite bookstore might be just the ticket.

You can even check out your local library if your bank account is running on fumes. You have free access to thousands of books, CDs, and movies to enjoy, and all you need is a library card.

You could get two copies of a book you’d like to read together, or each pick out something for the other to read and end your date back home. Maybe something suspenseful, or something a little more romantic to get both your pulses racing? Curling up on the couch and reading aloud to each other is sure to bring you closer together, and like love, it doesn’t cost a thing.

 

Have a Night In

When you’re short on dough, dinner and a movie can seem like a pretty tall order. Why not opt for a night in to save some money instead? Payday loans may help you out when you're next check is weeks away, but planning a night in is a less expensive, low-key alternative to going out on the town for dinner and a movie. Spoil your date with their favorite foods, or share a recipe that's close to your heart.

And you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your couch to catch a movie. With Netflix, Hulu, and on-demand movie options in every imaginable genre, you’re sure to find something you’ll both enjoy without sitting through half an hour of trailers. You can get as many snacks and drinks as you want without paying $8 a bucket for popcorn, and the best part is, you get to enjoy it all in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

When Valentine’s Day is upon you, not having the extra cash you need can make it hard to celebrate the way you’d like. But just because restaurants are full and movies are sold out doesn’t mean you have to pile onto the Valentine’s Day bandwagon. This February, try thinking outside of the box of chocolates with these fun date ideas. Your date is sure to love them!