Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and lovebirds everywhere will be opening their hearts – and their wallets – for their special someone. In fact, it’s estimated that this year people will spend a record $27.4 billion in the U.S. on cupid’s special day. And while that’s definitely an astounding figure, there’s no need to send that break-up text. Here are seven simple ways to save big on Valentine’s Day.  

1. Plan a Picnic. 

A picnic can be a romantic and cost-effective date idea. A blanket, a cooler, and some snacks are all you need for a delectable date together. Pick a place with a view for bonus points. Live somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine in February? Move the fun indoors. Light a fire in the fireplace or turn on Planet Earth in the background and it’s almost like you’re outdoors.

Estimated cost: $25

2. Netflix & Cheap.

Going to the movie theater has been the quintessential date night for as long as date nights have been a thing. But with the average ticket price nearing $10 and concession prices that require a second mortgage, it isn’t necessarily the most affordable. So ditch the silver screen for the small screen and save some big bucks. From romantic comedies to thrillers and action flicks, streaming services offer endless options for budget entertainment. Add some microwavable popcorn to the mix and you’ve got a date night classic at a fraction of the price.

Estimated cost: $10

3. DIY Dessert. 

Dessert always has a special place in our hearts. Instead of going all-out on a specialty made dinner this year, do dessert instead. Ingredients are often cheaper, saving you money at the grocery store. Now that’s pretty sweet.

Estimated cost: $10-15

4. Learn Together. 

The more you know together the more you’ll grow together. So why not spend this Valentine’s Day learning something new? Several Colorado and Arizona museums are offering free admission in February. Grab your partner and view some timeless art, listen to local music, or take a stroll through history all for the cost of a cup of tap water.

Estimated cost: $0

5. Acts of Service. 

Those coupons you used to give your mom for free chores when you were little can still have the same profound effect as an adult. Instead of a fancy dinner or spa day, offer to make dinner or host a personal spa night, with you as the chef or masseuse.

Estimated cost: $0-$25 (depending on the act of service)

6. Get Your Game On. 

Break out the childhood classics like Sorry, Monopoly or Yahtzee for a fun, nostalgic date night alone or with a group of friends for even more fun.  Looking for something more? Design your own game by making a scavenger hunt for your significant other.

Estimated cost: $0 (borrow or rent some games!)

7. Practical Presents. 

Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a working dishwasher, so take this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to fix that thing you’ve been promising to fix something for months. Maybe you’ve both been dying to replace that old coffee table, couch, etc. Instead of using the funds on an expensive, impractical gift, use them to buy something you needed anyway. 

Estimated cost: varies

The list of ideas for a fun, inexpensive Valentine’s Day is endless. Remember, it’s not always the number of zeroes on the price tag that has the greatest impact on our hearts.

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