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Valentine's Day Dates on a Budget

Valentine's Day Dates on a Budget

Who ISN'T trying to save money? No one that I know personally. Joel and I love to splurge (particularly on eating out) but we are constantly trying to curb our urges to do just that and keep a little bit more of our money in our bank accounts for things like a new car, vacation, tires... 

Because of that, we have been challenging ourselves a little more lately to come up with fun things to do together that are more friendly on the ole wallet. It started out as a you pick then you pick situation, then it kind of became I pick all of the time (because I'm full of good ides (; ) But honestly, I LOVE planning things. I think I could be an event planner in another life. (So if you're reading this and are planning an event soon and want some amateur help, hit me UP!!) 

So, let me help YOU plan a super sweet date for you and your significant other (or BFF, or pet) or whoever else it is you're considering your Valentine this year!! Take my ideas and do them exactly as I suggest here, or put your own spin on them!! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's with a loved one (even if it's your dog, because (don't tell Joel) I already told Jake and Mush they were my Valentine's! So no judgement here if that's you too!)

Valentine's Day Dates

on a Budget


1. Watch the sunset at a new location

Sunset watching at a nearby state park. (we obviously took the dogs this time^ but not always!)

Sunset watching at a nearby state park. (we obviously took the dogs this time^ but not always!)

Call your S.O. on your lunch break, and tell them to be ready at blah o'clock. Tell them to wear comfy clothes. On your way home stop and get a snack for you two to share and your person's favorite warm beverage (I would pick apple cider) When you pick your person up don't forget to grab some blankets and to heat up your drink and put it in a thermos! Take a short drive somewhere nearby (a park, top of a parking garage with a nice view of your town/city, a parking lot on a hill, wherever!) Park, turn on the "You + Me" playlist on Spotify (trust me), enjoy your warm beverages and snacks, put the phones on airplane mode, and just talk or hold hands while watching the sunset. We seriously did this a few weeks ago (no dogs!) in a parking lot overlooking part of a golf course near our apartment. The sunset wasn't the most spectacular one that particular evening, but it was so nice to just sit together, chit chatting, no screens, no dogs. Something so simple, so sweet, was exactly what I needed that week and you won't regret doing this for your person, I promise!  


2. Order a heart shaped pizza

^^Papa Murphy's^^ <3

^^Papa Murphy's^^ <3

I won't lie, this is exactly what we are doing this year. And I've been pumped about it for weeks haha! Some of the places below you can order online, but if it were me I would just call to order so you can make sure you're getting heart shaped! Make a special dessert at home, or pick up something before picking up your pizza! Some of these places also have special VDay desserts!  *You could always make your own heart shaped pizza at home easily with some refrigerator pizza crust! 

You can order a heart shaped pizza at these places: (list updated for 2019!)

Papa Murphy’s

California Pizza Kitchen

Pizza Hut

Papa Johns

Hungry Howie’s


Cappy’s Pizza

Donatos Pizza

Cassano’s Pizza



3. Catch a matinee or discount-day movie

Most theaters have a discount-day during the week where all tickets all day are cheap. We did this at one of the nearby theaters last week and it was a lot of fun to break up the week with an impromptu date night on a Tuesday! BONUS: Go during the week and the theaters usually aren't that crowded. That's always a perk if you're like me and don't enjoy large groups of people! (Plus it's nice to go on a random week-day-date-night) Take your boo out to breakfast (if you're going to a matinee) or dessert (if you're going during the week) with the money you saved on the movie tickets! 


4. Check out a local state park

Park hangs when we lived in MD.

Park hangs when we lived in MD.

State parks will always and forever be some of my favorite places to go. State parks are only getting more and more involved in their communities and continuously have programs that are usually free with a park day pass. I see more and more parks doing programs for holidays, too. State parks typically allow dogs on trails so are fun to take the pups to for a nice outdoor walk. If you and your Valentine love state parks like we do, consider forgoing VDay gifts this year and go in together on a year pass to your state's parks! Most year passes that I've looked into pay for themselves in just a few visits and give you perks like camping discounts etc. 

*Check out Ohio State Parks event calendar HERE 

*Check out Texas State Parks events listing HERE


5. Board game and appetizer night

Grab your favorite board games, have you and your Valentine pick 2 or 3 appetizers each to make, put on some fun music, and have fun munching on yummy food and laughing together! Don't have any board games? Check out the Dollar Tree! Their stuff is cheap and worth spending $1 on a fun game even if you only use it once. Make up your own versions of charades with notecards!  There are also free games you can download on your phone/tablet that are a lot of fun like "Heads Up" "Know or Go" and probably a lot more that I've never seen! I think some libraries may even have games you can check out (or use there at the library) *Make it a double-date and invite another couple for twice the amount of yummy food and more game options!


6. Play tourist in your own town

Dublin Bottling Works tour in Dublin, TX

Dublin Bottling Works tour in Dublin, TX

*or a nearby town/city. This can be a lot of fun because there are usually a LOT of things in people's area that they don't check out because they think they'll explore them "another time" or that it's too "touristy." Which may be true, but what better day than today AND, why not!? Also, click "events" on Facebook, and there will be a tab for "events near me" that is always interesting to use to search for new things to do! 

Check out:

  1. local factories/manufactures. Think chocolate/candy places, locally made goodies like popcorn places, soda places, breweries and other non-edible things! No matter what it is, it'll probably be interesting seeing how its made BONUS* most food places that give tours give free samples too!* I recently found out that Airstreams are made near my hometown!? I had NO idea, and can't wait to check it out the next time I'm in town.

  2. local museums. Even if you've been there before, most museums will have at least one exhibit that changes yearly/bi-yearly!

  3. local grocery stores that give free samples. In Ohio, I know that a lot of the new Kroger Marketplaces have free samples, Costco has free samples on certain days. Whole Foods and Jungle Jim's (near Cincinnati!) sometimes does free samples (I think...) but regardless is always a fun little date night picking out a few weird and different foods to try later and eating at their in-store restaurants.


Want help using one of my ideas for

you and your Valentine!? 

Send me a message! I'll help you research your area and come up with something fun and cheap for you and your person!! (Like I said, I LOVE planning! (: )

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