Valentine’s Day on a Budget: Cheap Yet Thoughtful Ideas

published February 1, 2024
A couple giving/receiving a Valentine's day present in a red heart-shaped box

As JLO said, “my love don’t cost a thing”


I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. I know it’s a little cheesy, but the feeling in the air can’t be beat. It’s the perfect occasion to tell that special someone just how you feel. Ideally, that’s something you could (and should) express every day – but the 14th of February gives you an excuse to say it with a little more gusto. 

Still, sometimes it can get expensive. 

True love shouldn’t have a monetary value, but it’s not like you can use that as an excuse when you come home empty-handed to a stone-faced-looking partner. 

Don't worry; your friends at LifePoints have covered you (and your wallet) this year. 

Let’s get started.


Nothing Says Love Like a Homecooked Valentine’s Meal

Restaurants on Valentine's are like my toast in the morning – jam-packed. Avoid the hustle and bustle by whipping up a new recipe. Buying the ingredients is guaranteed to be cheaper than eating out. Especially if you're using the Marks & Spencer or ASDA gift cards you’ve earned through LifePoints.

Go the extra mile with a bottle of bubbly and some candles and ask your *Alexa to set the mood with some mood music. 

Say, “Alexa, play At Last by Etta James”. Sorted. 

*only works if you have an Alexa or another smart speaker. Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself. 

For recipe inspiration, our friends at The Beeb put together this awesome list of date night recipe ideas that don’t break the bank.


Valentine’s Dinner for a Dime

If, like my partner, you can’t cook without almost burning down the house, then there’s nothing wrong with going out. 

However, this article is about how to save money, not spend it. So, think carefully about where you go. I’ve eaten at Michelin-star restaurants that weren’t as good as my local Chinese takeaway. It’s not about the food but the company and the experience. 

You’ll know what cuisine your partner likes (or you should!). Source a budget-friendly option and ensure your dinner out doesn’t mean beans on toast for dinner until March. 

To save money while eating out, here are some things to try:

  • Do a lunch date instead (it’s usually cheaper than dinner)
  • Skip coffees and teas (needlessly expensive)
  • Share a large meal
  • Go for a happy hour
  • Use the Starbucks gift cards you earned through LifePoints for a cheap coffee date
  • Just have deserts (it’s the best part of the meal anyway)


Have a Valentine’s Day Movie Night

By that, I don’t mean sit on the couch and watch some telly. I mean, make it an experience. Bust out the popcorn and sweets. Light some candles. Rent something on Prime or Apple TV that’s just been released. 

There are tons of budget-friendly projectors on Amazon. If you sign up with LifePoints, you can get it even cheaper through Amazon gift cards. You’ve still got time!

Why not take it one step further by creating movie tickets and dressing up? Small changes can mean the biggest difference to someone you love. 


DIY Spa Night

Who needs expensive spa treatments when you can create your own at home? Grab some face masks, light some candles, and put on some soothing music. It's like a regular spa, but the only people whispering in the room will be you two. Bonus points if you can convince your date that cucumber slices on the eyes are a necessary part of the experience. If you sign up with LifePoints you can get Sainsbury’s gift cards for free, where all you’ll need for a spa night can be found on their shelves. 


The Art of Love (and Free Admission)

No matter where you are in the U.K., there’s either a museum or an art gallery nearby. We’re a cultured island, after all. Many art galleries have free admission days or donation-based entry fees. This is a fantastic way to show your date that you're cultured and sophisticated and can say, "Ah, intriguing use of colour" convincingly. Stroll through the halls, pretend you understand abstract art, and enjoy a night of high culture at a low cost. 


Volunteer Together

Hear me out... One of the best ways to show love is to show it to someone who needs it the most. It's a chance to do something meaningful together and bond over a shared cause. Whether it's helping at a local animal shelter or serving food at a soup kitchen, it’s a unique way to spend time together and make a difference. Plus, nothing says sexy like compassion. If you’re still feeling charitable the next day, there’s an opportunity to share your LifePoints rewards with those who need it most as well. 


An Indoor Picnic 

It’s February, after all, so chances are the weather is anything but romantic. Unless your idea of romance is drizzle and mud. So, pack a picnic basket and lay out some blankets on the floor. Pop open a bottle of bubbly, eat your picky bits bought with your M&S gift cards and pretend it's 28 degrees. It’s a cute idea and something you or your partner have probably never done before. Some food just tastes better when you’re sitting on the ground. Not sure why.


Love Feeling the Love? You’ll Love LifePoints : 

Alright, this isn’t really a Valentine’s idea, it’s more an all year type of deal. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash on the side to ensure you don’t need to think about budgeting for your next date.

To be brief:

  • LifePoints connects companies across the UK to people like you and me through surveys
  • If you fill in these surveys, you get points (called LifePoints)
  • You can then swap the LifePoints you earn for various rewards like Amazon vouchers, M&S gift cards and even PayPal cash
  • It’s quick, easy and a great way to ensure you aren’t Googling “budget Valentine’s ideas” next year


What are you waiting for? Sign up and start earning rewards right away. You get 10 points just for joining. 

With a bit of creativity, humour, and the willingness to try something new, you can have a memorable date night without breaking the bank. Know this, it's not about how much you spend but how much fun you have. And if all else fails, remember: love is priceless, but a good date night doesn't have to be.