Everyday Money

Valentine’s Day Budget Friendly (At Home) Ideas

January 28, 2020

While things may look and feel a bit different this year due to social distancing and spending more time at home, there are still plenty of ways to make Valentine’s Day special that show your appreciation for your loved ones. Although we may be limited to where we can go out, we learned in 2020 how to create fun ideas and special moments in our own way. Read on for ‘10 Budget Friendly (at home themed) Valentine’s Day Ideas to try this February 14th.

Have an indoor picnic. You can’t tell us this is something you do on the regular. Lay down a blanket in your living room, bring a cute basket full of your favorite finger foods and desserts, your favorite drink, and enjoy! Appreciate each other’s company by chatting, or even playing an old fashioned game of cards. Don’t forget to surround yourself with some flowers to make it feel more Valentine’s Day centric!

Become Mixology Masters. Cocktails, mocktails…whichever route you prefer, try something new! A fun addition could be signing up for a virtual mixology class or buying a drink recipes book.  Need some inspo? Here are 10 Valentine’s Day cocktails ‘that taste like falling in love” or try one of these 11 Valentine’s Day mocktails.

Movie Night.  A trip to the movie theater can add up quick for the pair of tickets and snacks anyways, so why not just enjoy a recent movie release at home (or several)? Have a movie marathon at home for just a few dollars by renting a movie off of Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix, or even at your local library.  Don’t forget the popcorn! Try out our favorite, easy Valentine Day themed popcorn mix.

Cook together.  Open up a bottle of wine, put on your favorite music, dance around and start cooking.  Pinterest can be a great spot to go for new recipes, or YouTube for online cooking classes!  By dining in you’ll save money and skip the crowds. Want to make it really feel like a special date night? Dress up for your dinner. Bonus: Make your dinner at home a themed dinner. Watching 50 First Dates when accompanied by a pineapple upside down cake or watching two pups fall in love during The Lady and the Tramp while eating a plate of homemade spaghetti and meatballs is much more fun.  Here are some more romantic movie menu ideas:

  • The Notebook: Enjoy a candlelit crab boil for two in honor of this seaside romance. 
  • Lady and the Tramp: Share a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs, then go for a moonlit stroll with the one you love.
  • Sixteen Candles:Enjoy birthday cake with your crush, plus updated takes on meatloaf and “tater tots”.
  • Chungking Express:Two unconventional love stories inspire an Asian street-food feast with pineapple for dessert.
  • Julie and Julia: Enjoy the Julia’s famous Beef Bourguignon! This hearty French stew is a classic combination of wine, garlic, and onion. Serve it with boiled or roasted new potatoes.
  • Casablanca: Cheers your meal with some Champagne Fizz.
  • Goodfellas: Dinner was a big thing for the mobsters in “Goodfellas”. Enjoy a good spaghetti and meatball meal while watching this film (whether or not you slice the garlic with a razor blade is your call.) 
  • When Harry Met Sally: Enjoy a nice salad and finish your dinner off with a Apple Pie of course! “I’d like the chef’s salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream — just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing.”

Order a carryout food feast. Skip cooking this evening all together and order out instead. Pick up dinner or get a variety of dishes from a handful of different local restaurants!

Enjoy a fancy charcuterie board! Maybe you’re not up to cooking and prefer to not order out – another fun idea is to munch on delicious meats and cheeses instead! Design a gorgeous charcuterie board and serve with a bottle of wine for the best night in! Even better? We have tips on how to build the ultimate cheeseboard on a budget here! (Make sure to add a little valentine’s day chocolate to your board!)

Create a Scavenger Hunt. This can be made into a family or couple activity. You don’t even have to leave your house (even though you can to make it more adventurous).  At the end of the hunt, exchange little gifts, cards or baked goods that you’ve purchased within a pre-agreed upon budget.

Take your Valentine’s Day outdoors by ice skating, sledding or hiking.  Valentine’s Day in Wisconsin is always pretty chilly. Why not use it to your advantage and bundle up to go outside with your valentine?  Make sure to fill your thermos mug with a warm beverage (hot chocolate with extra whip is a great choice)!

Don’t forget your furry friends this valentine’s day!  Bake some dog treats together and take your furry loved ones to the dog park or for an extra-long walk. 

Volunteer together. Dedicate this Valentine’s Day to helping others. Call your local nonprofits to see how they need help. Not only does this benefit the community but it also costs nothing. Spread the love!

Remember, in the end, Valentine’s Day is really about spending time with the loved ones. Time, after all, is the most precious gift of all.

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