Cheap and Creative Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-gift-ideasIt may still be January, but for most love-struck girls across the country, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Restaurants love Valentine’s Day because it’s the one weeknight a year they can guarantee they’ll be booked. How about you save your dough this year and surprise your girlfriend or wife with a cheap but creative date idea for Valentine’s Day?

I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day. The years that I had a boyfriend, I was in long distance relationships. The years that I was single, I celebrated SAD (Singles Awareness Day), and the years that I’ve been married, my husband has always had to work a 24-hour shift, but we still manage to celebrate in our own way. And since we’re newlyweds on a budget, we are always looking for cheap date ideas, especially on Valentine’s Day.

Here are our top cheap and creative date ideas for Valentine’s Day:

Celebrate on February 13

This is our favorite tradition. Since my husband has always had to work on Valentine’s Day, we’ve taken to celebrating on February 13th instead. The best thing about celebrating on this day is that everything is completely empty! There was no wait at the restaurant, the movies had plenty of seating, there was no traffic, and all the prices were normal. If you go out on Feb. 14, you can definitely expect to pay a premium, have long wait times, and spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot.

Isn’t the whole point of Valentine’s Day to just remind the one you love that you do in fact treasure their love? You can easily do this by celebrating on the 13th.

Think outside the box

If you know your sweetie would never go for the Feb. 13 idea, another great cheap and creative date idea for Valentine’s Day would be to do something you normally wouldn’t do. Don’t settle for a restaurant and movie. Do something that will remind you why you enjoy each others’ company. Some ideas include:

  • Wine tasting
  • Museum
  • Planetarium–how romantic is it to look at the stars?
  • Zoo
  • Go for a Hike and bring a picnic!
  • Celebrate the sunset and bring your own cupcakes
  • Visit a dessert shop
  • Go somewhere super fancy but stay at the bar and order drinks and apps only

Get personal

Some of the best dates I’ve ever been on were the ones that were thoughtful. Don’t want to spend a lot of money going out to dinner? Make a fancy dinner at home instead! Turn on Frank Sinatra, crank open a bottle of wine, light those candles and cook your sweetie a rack of lamb. And don’t forget the chocolate fondue for dessert!

Not much of a chef? Have your sweetie help! That’s the whole point of Valentine’s day–spending time together. And if the food is really bad, you can always order take out and laugh about it later.


Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of creative and cheap date ideas for Valentine’s Day that will satisfy your wallet and keep your partner happy.