Valentine’s on a budget: what you need to know

Once again, Valentine’s Day is on the way, which means that if you have a special someone in your life, it’s time to get planning. Of course, like most special days, Valentine’s Day can be expensive. Which, when you have a family, is far from ideal. When you’re child-free, splurging on Valentine’s Day is understandable and seems more acceptable somehow. When you are a parent, there are other priorities. 

Luckily, the good news is that even though celebrating the day of love might seem impossible to do on a budget, it’s really not. You can make that special someone feel loved without blowing the bank. It’s just a case of getting creative and being smart about how you mark the occasion. Just like any celebration, if you think outside the box, you can make it extra special and all without overspending. Here are some ideas for making Valentine’s Day more budget-friendly.

Make gift buying more budget-friendly

One of the most expensive areas of Valentine’s Day is gift buying, especially as when it comes to picking presents some people seem to like to go a little OTT. However, if money is tight this year, it’s essential to be smart about your spending. The best way to do that is by setting yourself and your partner a gift buying budget.

Sit down together and discuss how much realistically, you can both afford to spend. Don’t forget to factor in the other costs that might come with the day, such as dinner. No matter how much you can afford, £5 or £50, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure to be realistic about the budget that you set. It can actually be quite a fun challenge to see what you can buy for a set price.

Once you’ve set a budget, you can then start planning out your gift ideas. The chances are that you want to make your money stretch as far as possible so that you can make him/her feel special. Whether someone surprises you with beautiful Valentine’s Day flowers or a box of chocolates, the chances are that you want to return the favour. The question is, what should you get?

If you are stuck for a gift idea, one quite nice idea is to centre Valentine’s Day gifts around food and drinks, and treat your loved one to a hamper of all their favourite treats. The best thing about this gift is that if you make some of the bits and bobs yourself, you can keep the cost down and surprise your partner with an awesome present.

Cut the cost of dinner

It’s not Valentine’s Day if you don’t go out for dinner, or is it? If you are a parent that means a babysitter as well and to be honest – I’ve always found the idea of going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day and being surrounded by lots of other people all doing the same and potentially eating the same rather odd. Lots of people like that but it isn’t for me.

Why not dine in with a romantic meal for two? Who said that the best way to spend Valentine’s Day was in a restaurant? How about spending the evening snuggled up at home with your significant other, munching on some fabulous food?


As Valentine’s Day draws closer, you’ll notice that most supermarkets will offer a Valentine’s Day meal deal. Coming in at between £15 and £25 for a three-course meal for two, these meal deals give you a lot for your money, and best of all, the food on offer is always of a high-quality. So even though you’re not in a restaurant, you’ll feel like you are.

If you want to dine out but can’t afford the pricey evening menus, why not go for a Valentine’s lunch? They’ll be plenty of lovely options on offer, the food will be cheaper and the restaurant less busy. It may not be as romantic as a candlelit dinner, but the money you’ll save will make it worth the compromise. Or instead of heading out for dinner, once you’ve eaten at home, why not go out for drinks?

Keep entertainment costs low

If you usually head out for a little entertainment on Valentine’s Day, this year, you might need to rethink this. Instead of paying out for expensive theatre tickets, save your money. How about heading to a bar with live music or comedy? The entertainment is free, all you’ll have to pay for are your drinks.

Desperate to see a show? How about looking for ways to make the cost of tickets a little cheaper? There are plenty of websites that offer discounted tickets, so make sure to have a look for these. You’ll also find that if you opt to buy the tickets last minute that they may be a little cheaper, so this is also worth looking into.


Instead of going out, why not stay in? It might not be as exciting as heading out to see a show, but you can still make your evening fun. Plan a movie night, pick a couple of films, buy snacks and a bottle of champagne, and have a cosy night in.

You might need to get a little creative with how you mark the occasion, but even on a budget, you can still make Valentine’s Day special.

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