Valentine’s Day is big. In fact, Americans spent around $20 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2016 alone (or $146 for each person who celebrated).
But you can have a fantastic and romantic Valentine’s without spending lots, which is important if you’re saving to become a homeowner (or saving for other goals such as retirement).
Here are six ways to pull this off:
Make a reservation at an affordable restaurant
To dine out on Valentine’s Day, it’s a good idea to have a reservation (unless you want spend your romantic date in a long wait to be seated). You don’t have to go to the most expensive restaurant to have a great dinner, and you can easily make reservations at affordable restaurants using OpenTable.
Go ice skating
Few things are more romantic and fun than ice skating. Whether you live in a cold climate with outdoor rinks, or a city with indoor rinks, ice skating is an excellent and affordable way to enjoy your Valentine’s date.
Make a nice dinner at home
On a day when restaurants are busy and chaotic, cooking a romantic dinner at home is a great option. The Cheap Gourmet provides some tasty recipe ideas, and you can serve a high-quality wine with dinner for under $20.
Handwrite a love letter
Who doesn’t appreciate receiving a romantic handwritten love letter? (especially when it’s unexpected) Tell your loved one what you think of them by writing them on a blank card (avoid pre-written cards on Valentine’s Day). Alternatively, you can create a card online.
Bring your loved one coffee in a personalized mug
Have a partner who enjoys coffee? Design a personalized coffee mug for them, and surprise them by serving fresh coffee in it. You can make the experience better by serving an excellent coffee (for under $10).
Go on a picnic
If you live in a warm climate (and will miss out on the ice skating), enjoy your Valentine’s Day on a picnic — especially as Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday in 2017. You can find some great picnic recipes from Southern Living.
You can enjoy a wonderful Valentine’s Day on budget prices
If you’re planning on buying a home or preparing for retirement, it’s important to save money. And Valentine’s Day happens to be a holiday filled with marked up prices. So consider following one of these tips to enjoy a romantic Valentine’s without breaking your bank account.