This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, opening up the possibilities for how to spend the day with your significant other. If you’re worried that an entire day with your sweetheart might rack up quite a large bill, don’t worry. There are plenty of inexpensive date and gift ideas that can help make this your most memorable Valentine’s Day yet.
Give them time.
If your significant other is stressed and tired from a busy work life, parenting or maybe both, give them the time they desperately need to relax. Take over their responsibilities at home for the day, whether that means watching the kids, doing household chores, going to the grocery store, etc. Throw in a small gift of bath salts and candles to encourage a spa day. You’ll give them the chance to recharge and that will mean more to them than chocolates ever could.
Take on a DIY project together.
Is there a project you’ve been meaning to do around the house forever, but there never seems to be enough time? Take the day to repaint that room or organize the closet together. Don’t think of it as a chore; play some good music, dish out a few snacks and make it fun and memorable. Celebrate once you finish by popping the cork off that bottle of champagne you still haven’t opened.
Take a lesson.
Learning together can be a great bonding experience. Choose something you’d both like to learn more about; maybe it’s cooking, dancing or woodworking. You can often find good deals on sites like Groupon or Living Social. Classes for do-it-yourself projects at hardware and craft stores are often free on Saturdays.
In the busy day-to-day, dessert is a luxury that you probably don’t have time for. Make your significant other’s favorite dessert — even if it’s complicated and takes a few hours — for a thoughtful gift that you can enjoy together afterwards with a bottle of wine.
Craft a playlist.
Take a page out of yesterday’s playbook and make a modern mixtape; that is, a playlist that you can upload to your sweetheart’s iPod or music streaming account. Put a lot of thought into it and include songs from the most memorable times of your relationship, like a song that played on your first date or one you both listened to on a road trip.
Go local for cheap tickets.
For an inexpensive night out, find music or comedy shows playing in your area. It’s often only a small cover fee and the cost of drinks to see local talent perform at a bar or restaurant, but it’s a great way to mix things up, discover new entertainers and enjoy each other’s company.
Frame a photo.
Find a recent photo of the two of you and frame it for your significant other to take to the office or put on their nightstand. Include a personal memento and tuck it inside the frame, like a movie ticket stub from the day the photo was taken. You could also frame a photo from a vacation and glue on a few shells you collected on the beach. If you’ve been together a long time, then think about making a collage of favorite memories over the years, or framing a photo from one of your first dates.
Think about the future.
Reaffirm your commitment to each other by promising to do something together in the future. Start a vacation fund that you both can contribute to and then spend time researching and dreaming about potential destinations. You might also want to spend some time talking about your financial goals together, to make sure you are on the same page and eliminate potential conflicts down the road.
You can also take away the guesswork by giving your significant other enough date ideas to last a lifetime… or at least the next year. Write out a few dozen ideas for dates on popsicle sticks and store them all in a jar. Promise each other that one day a week, or a month (depending on your schedules), you will draw an idea out of the jar for a special date.
Enjoy the day and remember, it’s not about the money spent but how you spend the time together.