As Prince once put it, ‘you don’t have to be rich’. These weren’t just the lyrics to a catchy love song – the late, great pop star really was on to something.
Here’s the truth: money can’t buy you love, and you don’t have to be a big spender to make Valentine’s Day special either. In fact, spending less often forces you to be more imaginative and a bit more thoughtful – and that’s when the ‘big day of love’ starts to take on real meaning.
So what are you waiting for? Try out our five alternative, wallet-friendly ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we’ll promise you’ll be ruling your lover’s world this 14th February.
1. Out with: The shop-bought card
In with: A simple handmade masterpiece
OK, so you’re probably not going to break the bank by buying a greetings card. But even so, you’ll be paying the best part of £3 (or more) for a piece of card that’s likely destined for the recycling bin.
Why do that, when you can create your own card for pennies? You don’t need to be Picasso. Simple designs can be very striking, as these super speedy examples show.
Resist the urge to buy lots of flashy materials from the craft shop. Magazine cuttings, sweet wrappers and photos can be used to make a collage that’s just as cool and arty.
Don’t be surprised if your lover goes all gooey-eyed at your efforts, and insists on giving your card permanent pride of place on the fridge door.
2. Out with: Bouquets
In with: The Love Monster
Yes, you heard us right. Roses may be undeniably gorgeous, but their inflated Valentine’s prices definitely do not smell as sweet.
You could pay £50 for a bunch of blooms that will be dead within a fortnight. Or, you could give your lover a gift whose beauty never fades.
Enter The Love Monster.
Seriously, stitch up one of these for your Valentine. They’re bright, they’re endearing, they cost next to nothing and they’ll sit on your lover’s desk or bedside table forever.
3. Out with: A box of chocolates
In with: Homemade treats
We know they’re tempting, but those glossy boxes laden with praline and ganache won’t give you much bang for your buck. (And did we mention the calories?)
So put your pinny on, and whip up a batch of these beautiful Valentine’s biccies instead. With just five (inexpensive) ingredients, making them is literally child’s play.
And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be with someone who can prove they’re a wizard in the kitchen.
4. Out with: The romantic break
In with: The Magical Mystery Date
Paris and Rome may be pretty, but they’re also a little bit… well, predictable.
So live life on the edge – and give your wallet a rest – by whisking your Valentine off on a Magical Mystery Date instead.
When they see your spontaneous, creative side, they’re guaranteed to go weak at the knees.
How to do it:
1. Write a list of things of fun things to do for under £10. These could include:
- Have coffee on a swing at Playground Coffee House
- Play crazy golf
- Buy a ridiculous item of clothing from a charity shop for £3 or less, then take it in turns to wear it in public
- Buy something you’ve never eaten before and make a meal with it
- Slide down the rock slide by the Suspension Bridge
2. Cut up your ideas so each one is on a separate strip, then fold them up and put them in an envelope or jar.
3. Ask your lover to draw out two or three – and that’s what you’ll do on your Magical Mystery Date!
5. Out with: Crowded restaurants
In with: Breakfast in bed
We all know the road to love is paved with good food. Then again, there’s got to be a better way to spend Valentine’s evening than in a packed restaurant paying a premium for a set menu.
The answer? Breakfast in bed.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a heart-shaped egg on toast, or red velvet pancakes on Valentine’s Day morning?
Surprising your lover with one of these simple yet swoon-worthy recipes is a sure-fire way to win brownie points, while saving a small fortune on restaurant bills.
And with all that money you’ve saved, you’ll be well on the way to affording a romantic summer holiday. Or maybe even a wedding!
Will your special Valentine’s Day end in a proposal? If she or he says ‘yes!’ our affordable loans could help make your dream wedding a reality. Visit our loans page for more details.
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