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Hearts, macarons, and gifts on a table.

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Love is in the air.  It’s Valentine’s Day and everyone loves to feel loved but does it have to break your budget?!  There are many ways to show people you love them…on a budget!  Check out these fun and cheap Valentine’s Day ideas for family and keep that money in your wallet!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Family

You may think Valentine’s Day is just a “Hallmark holiday” but it is important to make the people we love feel special and let them know how much we care about them, but that does not mean we have to spend a lot of money to do so. 

There are many budget-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas, gifts, and activities we can do and give for little to no money.  

And especially if you’re not a huge fan of the holiday it can be fun to simply celebrate your love for one another as a family instead of making it a romantic holiday!  Getting the kids involved is a fun way to spend some extra quality time together and a great excuse to do things you wouldn’t normally do.

11 Cheap Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Breakfast in Bed

You can either make breakfast in bed for your significant other, your kids, or everyone.  Kids love getting surprised with breakfast in bed especially because they think it’s fun that they are “getting to break the rules” and eat in their beds. 

And, of course, what adult doesn’t like being served a full breakfast that they don’t have to get up and make themselves?!

This gift idea could end up costing you virtually no money if you already have all the supplies on hand.

Paper Conversation Hearts

This Valentine’s Day idea is mostly for the kids, but I see no reason it couldn’t be for adults as well?

A few days before Valentine’s Day I cut out a bunch of big-ish paper hearts from colored construction paper and write something I love about my kids on each one. 

Each night while they are sleeping I tape one to the outside of their bedroom door. They get excited to wake up and look for them each morning and even enjoy it now as they are getting older. 

Everyone enjoys hearing wonderful things about themselves and it’s a great confidence booster for your kids as well.  

Family Movie Night

We love having family movie nights at home!  We will rent a new release from Redbox or find something fun on Netflix, take the kids to the dollar store and let them pick a box of candy (they have the same boxes they do at the movie theaters) put on our sweats, and pop some popcorn.  

Not only will you save an insane amount of money but you can control the volume (anyone else insanely sensitive to super loud movies🙉) and can pause the movie when you need a bathroom break!.

It’s honestly so much more enjoyable than spending $100+ to take your family to the movie theater.

Multiple valentine's images in a grid with text that reads: 11 Valentines gift ideas for small budgets

Celebrate on a Different Night

Did you ever notice how much more expensive your dinner is at your favorite restaurant on Valentine’s Day? 

Yep. That’s because many restaurants will either jack up the prices or offer a “special” or “limited” menu for Valentine’s Day.  

Not to mention it can be difficult to get reservations and your food may end up taking forever if the restaurant is super busy.  You can avoid all of the above simply by going out to dinner on a different day. 

Try celebrating Valentine’s Day the weekend before or the weekend after…There are no rules stating you have to go out only on February 14th. 

You’ll avoid the crowds, the price-gouging and likely have a better dining experience overall.

Splurge at Home

Another option is to skip the restaurant altogether and splurge on some extra fancy food you normally wouldn’t buy and cook at home.  

Sure, you’ll spend more than normal on the ingredients (I’d want some lobster, for sure) but you’ll still come out on top by preparing it yourself instead of ordering at a restaurant. 

Get out the fancy tablecloth, light some candles and pick up your partner’s (or family’s) favorite dessert! You can still make it special and be able to eat in your pj’s if you like…the best of both worlds.

Bring the Restaurant to You

Not much of a creative cook but would still like to avoid dining out for Valentine’s Day?  Try bringing the restaurant to you with a meal delivery service.  

Companies like Blue Apron allow you to go onto their site, choose the meals that look the most appetizing and they will send you a box with all the ingredients you need (in exact amounts) to create chef-quality meals at home.  

While the costs for meal-delivery services aren’t necessarily “cheap”, the food is very high quality and they include step-by-step recipe cards with detailed instructions and pictures, making it possible for someone with even very limited culinary experience to cook.  

Save $50 on your first two boxes when you try Blue Apron

Yes, some may consider this Valentine’s Day idea a bit of a splurge too but it will still save you money when compared to restaurant prices (and a tip).

So go ahead and create a restaurant-like experience at home or even turn it into a cooking date.

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Go Out for Dessert

Another option is to eat at home and go out for dessert instead.  This is fun, especially for the kids. You can swing by your favorite restaurant, grab a table and just order the most decadent dessert, or pop into your local doughnut or ice cream shop.

Buy Cheap Flowers

Ok, stick with me here…I promise you the cheaper flowers from a grocery store or Sam’s Club always seem to last longer than the pricey ones from the flower shop.  

Especially since flower prices increase around Valentine’s day as well.  

I have actually compared the lifespan of the expensive flowers versus the cheap flowers and the cheap flowers outlive the expensive ones every single time. 

Check out this video to see how I maintain my fresh flowers to keep them looking beautiful for longer.

Or skip the flowers altogether and opt for a potted houseplant or something you can eventually plant outdoors to enjoy year-round!

Gifts of Time, Not Things

Have you read the book The 5 love languages? If not, I highly recommend it.  It’s a short and easy read but SO eye-opening (there is a version for children too).  

The author, Gary Chapman, talks about how different people feel love in different ways.  I won’t go into all of them but I will tell you that my love language is acts of service.  

I feel stressed and overwhelmed easily, especially around the house since I (happily) spend most of my time working on this website and my YouTube channel.  

So when my husband spends his precious time taking care of things around the house, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, or doing some other task it is the best gift.  

It frees up time for me and makes me feel less stressed and guilty about the things I’m not getting done.  

These are the times I feel most loved because I know he’s doing it not because he wants to, but because he wants to ease my burden and reduce my stress. 

Read the book and determine your significant other’s love language then brainstorm about how you can show them love in the way it means the most to them.

This will make them feel so loved and special without you even having to buy a thing…and that goes for your kids too.

Shop Discount Sites

Discount sites such as Groupon offer fun activities in your area at a discounted rate.  Sometimes you may find dining vouchers or tickets at a small discount, but other times it can be quite substantial.

But don’t wait until the last minute so you’re able to plan accordingly and be sure to read the fine print carefully since often these deals are restricted to specific dates or times. 

» READ MORE:  13 Reusable Household Items That Will Actually Save You Money

Make a Photobook

Have you ever made your love interest a cheesy scrapbook when you were younger?  Yeah, me neither 😳. But listen, ain’t nobody got time to get out the glitter and bedazzle those pages anymore.  

These days printed photo books are the way to go.  I make a “family yearbook” every year so we have a way to look back at all our favorite pictures and memories from the year. 

This would be a great Valentine’s Day gift for anyone in your life! My favorite site to use for making photobooks is Mixbook and they run specials all the time, especially around Valentine’s Day. 

And if you’re short on time, they even offer an option to upload your pics and have the book created automatically.  These photobooks are such beautiful keepsakes your family will love to look back through them for years to come.

Get $20 OFF your purchase at Mixbook

(And don’t forget to use Rakuten to stack extra savings and get the best deal…

Get a $30 welcome bonus when you join Rakuten and spend $30)

Go ahead and try some of these low-cost Valentine’s Day ideas for family this Valentine’s Day – your budget will thank you.

This eBook has 70+ LEGIT side-hustle ideas

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Owner | Founder at Cents + Purpose | Website

Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.

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