11 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas (That Won’t Make You Look Cheap)

Cheap Valentine's Day

Tips for Having a Cheap Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of burnt out from Christmas. I needed some cheap Valentine’s Day ideas that my husband would love, so I compiled a list of things I’ve done in the past, as well as some other free or low-cost options to celebrate the day of love.

This will be the sixth Valentine’s Day I’ve celebrated with Tim. Each year I try to outdo myself, and sometimes it works and other times not so much. But regardless, Tim is always happy, and that’s what matters most to me!

Cheap Valentine's Day

Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day Anyway?

Growing up, I learned that St. Valentine was imprisoned and sentenced to death. While in prison, he secretly sent letters to the woman he loved. He allegedly signed his last letter “Your Valentine”, and a tradition was born.

There are other legends, however, about the origins of Valentine’s Day. According to an article on history.com, there were at least 3 Catholic clerics with the name Valentine, and each one can be tied to the reason we celebrate the holiday today.

St. Valentine
Photo: Catholic.org

Aside from the lovestruck St. Valentine, another third-century Saint was arrested for marrying couples in secret after Emperor Claudius of Rome outlawed marriage. Claudius apparently thought single men performed better in war than those with someone waiting for them at home. Because of his defiance, this St. Valentine was caught and put to death. Romantic, isn’t it?

By the 1840s, Valentine’s cards were becoming mass-produced and Valentine’s Day as we know it was in full gear!

How To Celebrate a Cheap Valentine’s Day

If you’re looking for cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas, take a look at this list of my favorite activities and gifts, and I think you’ll be sure to find several that would work for you!


Scavenger Hunt For a Gift I actually did this for an anniversary gift, but it would work for any holiday or birthday! Tim had been so anxious to see the live-action Beauty and the Beast (he’s a soft-hearted Disney fanatic, and it’s adorable!), and I knew that would be the perfect gift for him.

Instead of just handing him the movie tickets, I made up a fun scavenger hunt for him. I wrote down where I put his gift, cut the letters out and hid them all around the house. He had to find all of the letters to decipher the code and find his gift. It was a blast!

Sunset Picnic I’m not sure it gets much more romantic than enjoying a picnic with the sunset as your backdrop. Throw together some sandwiches or cold fried chicken (the ultimate picnic food), grab a cheap bottle of wine, and throw down a blanket for a cheap, romantic love day celebration.

Cheap Valentine's Day

Sweet Sunset Picnics are fun and cheap!

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” -Robert Frost

Hiking If you’re the athletic type, grab your hiking gear and your love, and hit the trails! I love finding a beautiful trail and exploring with Tim. If you don’t know of any hiking trails, a quick Google search will probably solve that. I found a beautiful trail along a lake nearby that we had no clue about. And we’ve lived here for over five years!

Cook a Meal Together Cooking together can be fun, and I think you learn a lot about each other in the process. Like how well your other half follows directions. Look for a fun, easy recipe like my Taco Meatloaf, and enjoy each other’s company. For dessert, pick something sweet to commemorate the day.

Related Article: Grandma Kate’s Peach Cake

Movie Night Who loves snuggling on the couch with your partner, enjoying a nice movie and some popcorn? I do! I personally love horror films, but Tim hates watching them with me because I’m such a baby that I make him laugh during the scary parts. He prefers chick-flicks anyway, so that works perfectly for Valentine’s day!

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If you love showering your other half with gifts, but don’t want to spend a fortune, here are some free or cheap Valentine’s Day ideas that will still show how much you love them!

“What I Love About You” Book– What better gift is there than one that (literally) tells them how much you love them? This is a great way to show your creative side. I used a deck of cards and a hole punch to make my book for Tim. I glued a piece of paper on each card and wrote one thing I love about him on each.

The More Sentimental, The Better

“Open When” Letters and Candy– This is perfect for long-distance relationships, but works great no matter how far apart you are! Tim and I did the first year of our relationship long-distance, and because of that, I needed a way to make him feel like I was closer.

I sent him a box with 15 small gifts or letters, each wrapped with instructions to “Open When..” For instance:

“Open when you’re in a silly mood”- a pack of snickers.

“Open when” you are doubting my love- a letter explaining how much I loved him and couldn’t wait to move to Alabama to be with him.

“Open when you’re missing the kids”- an envelope with handmade cards from each of my three kids.

It’s fun to come up with silly puns and gifts! Give it a shot!

Valentines Day CHeap
Photo: Pixabay

Something They Take Pride In– It’s always appreciated when you give a gift letting your significant other know you understand what’s important to them. It could be a new steering wheel cover for their car, or Ninja Turtle shoelaces for their running shoes (is my husband the only one obsessed with cartoons?).

If they take pride in something, encourage that! This beard care kit is perfect if the man in your life is like my brother in law and takes pride in growing a full, manly-looking beard.

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because the reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

Custom Slideshow Video– This gift will show your love that they are worth spending your time on. Although it can be time-consuming, a personalized video made up of photos of the two of you is such a romantic gesture!

You can make a video on Microsoft Powerpoint or Open Office (free) and upload it to youtube! I made the video below as a gift for Tim on a first Valentine’s day. He loved it!

Photobook of Your Time Together– If you’re not really the tech type and the thought of putting together a slide-show makes you nervous, an alternative option would be a photobook.

You can upload your favorite photos from throughout your relationship to Walgreens.com or another photo site and put together a photobook. You can even customize it and write your own captions on the pages.

If you do this, you can choose hard or soft cover and pick from several different sizes. Over the years I’ve made several of these books, like one to remember our anniversary Vacation to Ireland. It’s so fun to look back on the memories of our time together.

Ireland on a Budget

I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.” – Nicholas Sparks

Massage– If your partner’s love language is physical touch, pampering them might be the best gift ever! A massage doesn’t cost anything and can help them relax after a long day. I’ve never heard of a man who would turn down a massage, and I know I sure wouldn’t if Tim offered!

Light some candles, put on some Boyz II Men, and let the pampering begin! Of course, massages can be a great intro for more intimate pampering, so you should try this edible massage oil by Lunabody. Talk about a great way to end Valentine’s day!

Valentine's day on a budget

I hope you take some of these Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas and have the best time with the love of your life!

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