Valentine’s day is around the corner and so we wanted to share a few ideas with you to celebrate the loves in your life, but stick to it creatively and affordably!
We wanted to share these ideas so that you can realize that you can have a very romantic and special Valentine’s without having to spend any money.
We wanted to quickly recommend that you check out our Valentine’s Shortcuts post to save time and money. Most of the ideas cost nothing to very little money to do!
Ways to Save as a Couple – Have Date Night In
If you have kids, either have the older kids watch the younger in another part of the house, or if your kids are younger (like ours) you can usually plan that they will go to bed early (around 7:30-8). If you kids are older, they can have their “kids’ date night in” in another room of the house watching movies or playing games. This frees up your night without the cost or headache of a sitter on Valentine’s Day.
If you can’t buy anything for your date night in, here’s what you can do!
Make a special dinner:
- For the main dish - Create your entree (pastas are romantic and very inexpensive) with foods you have on hand. Be creative and pull out some ingredients and then google “recipe for:” and list the ingredients that you have and you will probably be able to come up with a new and fun dinner. Use the google recipe search as tool to help you come up with the perfect dish! Its odd how a new dish can get you out of your comfort zone while helping you laugh and have fun in the kitchen. One of our cheap pasta favorites is pasta with olive oil, sliced fresh green onions, fresh sliced tomato chunks or grape/cherry cut in half with Parmesan cheese – very simple, but elegant and yummy!
- For dessert - Follow the same steps as you did with dinner and find ingredients that you have in your pantry already and google them to find some new fun ways of using them. For example, there are so many things you can do with a cake mix. If you have a fondu pot, you can take some simple ingredients and turn them into a very romantic dessert – make your own chocolate dipped strawberries and more. Check AllRecipes.com and they have a fun search tool to find recipes that include and don’t include certain things.
- For the beverages - Mix a juice or kool-aid with sprite, ginger ale or other sparkling drink. Again, use Google as a resource for a fun drink! Also, check our recipe section here where we shared a fun bubbly beverage to make. We also shared a couple of really simple, affordable and elegant desserts (like mini-cheesecakes) too.
For the setting:
- Make the dinner setting something special using what you have on hand already: tablecloths, flower petals, dim lights and candles, decorations, love notes, etc. You can cut heart shapes out of paper or fabric!
- We would even recommend moving the dinner setting outside of the kitchen/dining room into the living room or even the bedroom for a change of scenery.
- Also, don’t forget the romantic music – you do not have to go out and buy any either! Just use Pandora.com and you an have easy listening for FREE (with a few commercials here and there).
- In addition, our Pinterest board and Valentine’s shortcuts post for lots of last-minute, money-saving ideas!
For the activities:
- Write a poem or love letter to each other or play a game where you name your favorite memories from each year of your marriage or reminisce about your favorite memories. Get to know your spouse more by playing a fun game where you ask each other about your favorites foods, vacations you have spent together, or your favorite songs. Just get talking and it might just spark something more to learn new things about your spouse.
- Have a do-it-yourself couples massage at home with the classic music and setting.
- Watch your wedding video or vacation video together, watch movies you have at home and haven’t seen for a while.
- Play cards or even a board game.
- Set up a bubble bath with the special fixings. Even look at making your own bath salts or bath fizzies for the occasion.
For gifts for each other:
- Make a scrapbook or photo gift together and you’ll find even more to talk and reminisce about! Seriously, if you are planning on making the scrapbook already, then doing it together can be a great way to make it that much more meaningful.
- Write a poem or love letter that you can keep in your keepsakes or create a gift that brings back memories.
- Make the classic coupon book!
Ways to Save as a Family and Kids – Enjoy a Family Valentine Party at Home
Family Valentine Parties can be a great way for each in the family to get to know each other more, to appreciate time spent with one another and to learn to be “gracious and loving” even more with one another. Here’s some ideas.
For the Dinner: Make a fun dinner with ingredients you have on hand (see tips above) and use red food coloring to turn as much of it as you can pink or red. For a special dessert, use some of that food coloring to decorate sugar cookies or ice cream sundaes.
For the activities:
- Have the kids make valentines for each other, listing why they love and appreciate their siblings and parents, etc.
- Have a dress-up where everyone comes to dinner and acts like ladies and gentlemen (great time to sneak those etiquette lessons in there).
- Play family games together or watch a favorite family movie.
For valentine exchanges: Make homemade valentines! There are HUNDREDS of ideas and ways to do this, but the Family Fun site has a lot of ideas as well as Pinterest. Find projects that use the supplies you have on hand already so that you do not need to purchase anything. In addition, you will find a ton of other ideas on their site for foods, parties and more.
For gifts for family and friends, make your own:
- Bath salts and bath fizzies that we mentioned above are a fantastic gift! Combine with any of your stockpile of lotions or other personal care items for a nice gift.
- Make a food gift.
- Make a photo gift.
- We made bookmarks for our kids’ co-op Valentine party
For the Home Decor:
- Make your own decorations by recycling and using the resources that you have at home. We recommend you check out our previous post HERE or check out our Pinterest page for Valentine’s shortcuts that save time and money!
- Have the kids make homemade decorations to decorate the house. Check out the AllFreeCrafts site for ideas.
These are only a few ideas for a virtually no cost Valentine’s Day celebration this year. Remember that sometimes activities that you might do together anyway can become a great date-night opportunity when you set aside the time. We would love to hear more ideas that you have – please leave a comment and share some of your ideas too!