There's something extra special about dates that demand more of your creativity than your credit card, don't you think? After all, anyone can spend a few hundred bucks on expensive cocktails and heart-shaped jewelry. Well, maybe not anyone. But the point is, taking the time to plan a special evening for you and your partner demonstrates a level of thoughtfulness and consideration that simply paying the check does not. So even if you're not on a super tight budget, these cheap Valentine's Day date ideas are a great way to show your boyfriend or girlfriend that you care.
Don't get me wrong — splurging on a fancy meal is completely lovely and thoughtful (nothing makes me feel classier than having waiters pop bottles on my behalf). But if you haven't quite got the means — or you're just aiming to break from your traditional Valentine's Day routine — these three date ideas will having you feeling classy and cultured at a fraction of the cost. Seriously, all of these dates are under $50 for both of you.
For those of us with Champagne taste on a beer budget, now's the time to don our finest faux pearls and have a fabulous Valentine's Day, one our wallets are sure to appreciate as much as our partners.
Plan a wine and cheese night.
No need to drop hundreds on plane tickets and hotels. Instead, bring the flavors of a French vacay to your home by planning a little wine and cheese night for you and your SO.
Head to your local grocery store or Trader Joe's, grab a bottle of wine, the closest thing you can find to a French baguette, and pick up a blend of cheeses. Not Kraft and Baby Bell, ya'll — I'm talking imported goat cheese and Camemberts. You and your partner can tackle the shopping together, or you can surprise them by snagging and setting it all up yourself (just cut and lay the cheeses out on a platter and you're good to go!).
If you want to take your indoor pique-nique vibes to the next level, lay a checker-print blanket out on the living room floor, play the Amélie soundtrack in the background, and grab a fresh bouquet of flowers to add to the ambiance.
Estimated Cost: $45 for two
A night at the museum.
For something a bit higher-brow (but still low cost), spend the afternoon or evening at a museum with your partner. Most offer substantial youth and student discounts, so even the priciest museums are usually no more than $20 a ticket.
If you live in a massive city and have dozens of exhibitions at your doorstep, opt for a museum that won't be too filled with tourists, so you and your partner can have the space to yourselves. If you live in a smaller town, make the effort to scope out local art shows or nearby museums that you two can explore (I'll bet there's at least one within an hour's drive!).
It's a chance to break from your routine, soak up a little culture, and spend about the same amount you would on a night at the movies.
Estimated Cost: $40 for two
Enjoy some just desserts.
Literally, though. Make a later reservation at a chic restaurant nearby (French, Italian, Thai — your call!), but instead of booking a table for dinner, jump straight to indulging in some decadent desserts.
It's a fabulous way to feel like you're treating yourselves without spending a ton on a four-course meal. And let's be real, all of that foie gras and salmon en croute is just delaying the excitement of stuffing your face with chocolate mousse, no?
Estimated Cost: $25 - $50 for two (depending on how much you order!)
Money can't buy love, ya'll — but a few bucks can buy chocolate and cheese, and that's really all I need.
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