A Romantic Valentine’s Day When You Are Flat Broke

How to Have a Romantic Valentine’s Day When You Are Flat Broke

The cool part about going thrifty for Valentine’s Day is that you’ll get to celebrate by doing something unique, memorable and outside-the-box. Skip the flowers and candy and opt for true romance and intimacy instead. Some of my favorite memories aren’t about the gifts at all.  They’re about the experience!

valentine's day on a budget

We can fantasize about diamonds and roses every day of the week but you and I both know that’s not realistic and well, just crazy!  Also, think about it, it’s kind of boring.  There are many times in life when we need to be cost conscious. Don’t let that deter you from celebrating this special day. I love finding ways to capture the holiday and spend time together while saving money; being smart doesn’t make you cheap.

Valentine’s Day is the time you get to tell them how much you care. It never was meant to be extravagant nor does it require gifts with a hefty price tag. I think you’ll be surprised to find that with a little creative effort, you can have a memorable Valentine’s Day whether you have money to spend or not. The gesture and sentiment will last a lot longer than those flowers or diamonds, I promise!

Here are a few of my favorite ideas to help you have a romantic Valentine’s Day whether you’re flat broke or simply trying to save a few bucks:

Classic Candlelight Dinner: Don’t underestimate how romantic this can be. It doesn’t matter what the meal is but knowing someone cares enough to prepare the table and prepare a meal goes straight to the heart, especially if you’re not the one who usually does the cooking. Trust me, they know how much work goes into throwing it all together and will appreciate it. Candlelight sets the mood for a romantic evening ahead.  No Budget or time for a big dinner, a candle lit breakfast or desert can be just as romantic when shared with someone you care deeply about.  

romantic candle light

Picnic Fun:  Picnics are cute, thoughtful and fun and almost always are a big hit. Take it to the park if the weather permits or rearrange the livingroom for a picnic surprise. Serve up picnic foods, a bottle of wine or sparkling water and focus on connecting through relaxation and good conversation. 

romance on a budget

Play Hooky: What better gift than to let your spouse off the hook and skip work for the day. Take the day together to do something you normally miss out on because you’re at work, binge watch your favorite show or just stay comfy cozy in bed all day. This will be the most fun; and may end up being an annual tradition. I dare you to call in!

romantic play

Have Fun on Purpose: Oftentimes we get so busy doing life that we forget to take the time to unwind and simply have fun. Try something new or spend time doing something you enjoy and never get enough time for; whatever it is, do it together. Video games, hiking and city tours are great choices even if it’s not really your type of thing.

romantic date with dog

Dance the Night Away: Turn your living room into a dance floor. Print freebie Valentine décor online (it’s okay, you can be cheesy on Valentine’s Day), adjust the lighting and turn on some mood music. Dancing can be energizing, stress relieving, both sensual and intimate. Even if you’re not great at it, it’s a wonderful opportunity to practice with your spouse in the comfort of your own home. Don’t knock it till you try it! 


Find the Free Stuff: Most major cities have plenty of free stuff to do within your community all year long; take advantage of it. Print Valentine’s cards online for free, write a heartfelt love letter or poem, pick some wildflowers or renew your vows at a Valentine’s Day group event (common on this day of the year). Spend a little extra time learning about your city and I’ll promise you’ll find a hidden gem or two in there.

free night life

Still need some great FREE ideas?  Check out our post here.  30 Ways to not spend a dime are listed for you there!

Our favorite holidays are highly commercialized; don’t be misled into believing you need to buy more things just to show someone you care. Your time and attention will always be the best gift of all!


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  1. Chubskulit Rose

    Pillow fight would be so much fun! Hubby and I should do that lol.

    • Barefoot Budgeting

      I love a good pillow fight! Much gentler than a snowball for sure haha.. Food fights are the best if it weren’t for the clean up hahaha! So happy to have you here Chubskulit Rose 🙂 I do hope you enjoy that pillow fight (and win!). xo


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