20 Cheap Dates: How to Enjoy V-Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day can be so challenging when a fancy dinner really hurts the tight budget. Good thing is, you don’t need to spend all your money to have a genuine, fun date.

Here are some date ideas you’ll both love that won’t break the bank.

1. Celebrate Margarita Monday

Valentine’s Day is a Monday… if you know what I mean. Anyone else a lover for Tex-Mex food??? Find the closest Mexican restaurant and dive into those chips and salsa.

2. Two-Place Takeout

Sure, a take-out dinner might not seem too unusual or special, but you can easily make this a lot of fun. One of the best dates I’ve been on was a picnic dinner where we each got to pick one item from a favorite restaurant in the city. We got a panini and a poke rice bowl to-go, and then found a comfy spot to watch the sun dip over the skyline.

Take the away the difficulty of picking one place to go out to eat. Have each partner pick up one thing that they want to eat and know that the other person will also like. Then split and share your two meals.

It’s more fun if you mix cuisines!

3. Sightseeing Drive

Okay, what is more romantic than getting to know the town your partner grew up in? Maybe you’re in college and you don’t live near your hometown, so take a scenic drive anyways and point out places that interest you or remind you of home. Night drives, chill music and storytelling can make a great date at any time.

4. Create a Playlist Together

Spotify has the option for collaborative playlists where you can both add to them. Add your favorite songs and share the love.

5. DIY Wine Tasting

Not everyone is a fan of wine, but this can be so much fun to try with friends or a partner. If you’re of legal age, buy a couple cheap bottles at your local store and maybe some cheese and crackers from the grocery store. Taste all the wines and rank them with each other!

They don’t have to be expensive either. One wine I recently tried was Tiny Umbrella’s Pink Moscato, which I bought for just $5.99!

6. Visit an Animal Shelter

This maaaaay be tempting for those of you who want a pet, but it’s so much fun to meet and cuddle cute animals. Just contact or check the website of a shelter near you to make sure they’re allowing walk-ins under COVID regulations.

7. Breakfast in Bed… or for Dinner

Some people really love breakfast! Maybe waffles are the key to their heart, or maybe they always make breakfast for you so you want to return the favor. Little things like breakfast in bed can mean the world to someone.

8. Make Indoor S’Mores

Missing summer nights and bonfires? You can totally roast marshmallows over a stovetop. Don’t have a stove? You can also make a s’mores dip in the oven with a layer of ground up graham crackers, chocolate and then marshmallows on top.

9. Take Buzzfeed Quizzes Together

What type of M&M are you? Which Friends character are you? There are endless, fun quizzes to take, especially with a partner.

10. Rent a Cheap AirBnB

Have you ever searched for AirBnB listings near you? Depending on the area, you may be able to find some cute little cabins, sky-view apartments or lakeside homes for a decent price. Especially since it’s winter time, a lot of the out-of-season homes are going for half price.

I’ve seen small apartments for less than $40 a night, a mere $20 per person. Rent one out for a night, bring takeout dinner, games to play and enjoy wherever you are. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need for a couple’s escape.

11. Popcorn & a Movie

Who doesn’t love a classic movie date? Make it fun with snacks, popcorn, pjs and of course their favorite movie. You know what makes the experience even better? A projector.

I bought a mini projector which I love to use at home and even outside in the summer. I got my LightInTheBox projector for a decent price and it connects to my laptop for easy Netflix streaming. Link is below to purchase from Amazon.

Mini Projector, PVO Portable Projector for Cartoon, Kids Gift, Outdoor Movie Projector, LED Pico Video Projector for Home Theater Movie Projector with HDMI USB AV Interfaces and Remote Control

12. Make Your Own Sundae Bar

A gallon of ice cream plus sprinkles, fudge, peanut butter sauce and whipped cream makes one cute date. While it’s so simple and easy, it turns dessert into a cute activity.

13. Did Someone Say Spa Night?

Body scrubs, hair, bubbles, massages… and bonus points if you both do face masks.

14. Stroll Through the City

Whether you’re near an artsy town, big city or a village in the holding hills, strolling through another place can be so much fun. Plan a cute outfit, pick a place to eat and take in the views. If you’re near Boston, make sure to get some gelato in the North End… if you’re like me in believing that ice cream should be consumed year-round.

Bring a camera too đŸ™‚

15. Go Ice Skating

Winter dates don’t have to all be cold and uncomfortable or inside and boring! Going ice skating (and holding hands with your partner to keep balance) can be cute and fun.

16. Go Thrifting and Pick Out Outfits for Each Other

Thrifting clothing isn’t only good for the environment, but it’s also fun AND relatively cheap. If you’re going out with a partner, have them pick out an outfit for you and vice versa. Find out who has the better style… and bonus points if you love it.

17. Bake Something Together

What sweeter way to show your love for someone than a batch of cookies?? You don’t have to be a skilled baker to make one of these desserts. Check out my 7 Super Sweet Valentine’s Day Desserts here.

Photo by Amnah Mohammad on Pexels.com

18. Go Bowling

This is a great winter time activity! While bowling may not be everyone’s favorite activity, it’s a fun way to get out of the house for a relatively cheap price. Bring your friends for a couple’s night or have a big group outing!

19. Have a Trivia Night

You may not want to go out to an arcade or bar, but you can have your own trivia night at home! This is a way to have a chill date while getting to know each other and your interests.

20. Make a Time Capsule

You could get creative with this: pictures, letters and tangible memories. Set a time to return to it and reopen it later.

Go Ahead… Ask ‘Em Out

or… hear me out… text all your single friends and have the BEST night out. EVER. (and then come back to make cookies, watch movies and have a spa night because we ALL deserve a little self care on the day of love).

Yours Truly,

Cat Taylor

Looking for some V-Day sweets?

7 Super Sweet Valentine’s Day Desserts

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