My favorite Valentine’s day was a low-key bedroom picnic, with champagne and a great film to watch. We end up staying home a lot more when we’re trying to save, but that doesn’t mean luxury is totally out of the question. Here are a few cheap date ideas for a night in that goes beyond the standard vegging out we do all the time. With a whimsical approach and a little creativity, an intimate and cozy evening could easily beat any fancy-schmancy wining and dining out on the town.
Fondue has the impact of fine dining, and is so easy and fun to share. You can make your own with cheeses, wine, garlic, etc, but it’s hard to beat the price, taste, and ease of this Trader Joe’s version. So good with French bread, green apples, and veggies. Bonus: Adorable vintage fondue pots are easily found under $20 on Etsy. For dessert, this super-impressive-looking recipe for chocolate mousse will cost you about $6 in bittersweet chocolate and almost no cooking knowledge. Wine pairs well with cheese and chocolate and romance, and wine does not have to be expensive. Good wine does not have to be expensive. Chianti tends to be really inexpensive for quality bottles. (You may be able to find it even cheaper than this.)
Add some whimsy to the night by building a blanket fort together to camp out in. There are great DIY tutorials here and here for simple teepees that cost around $15 in supplies. Deck out your fort with pillows, a blanket, and a little sheepskin rug to curl up with. Make your living room even more romantic by hanging string lights or replacing a lamp bulb with this one.
Rent a few classic love story movies. Even better: check out what’s streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime if you have it, or borrow some films from a friend.
Why not make it a pajama party? Get gussied up in a pretty romper that will be comfy enough to cuddle up in but majorly cute.
Okay, so sometimes you still just want to go out. Get dressed up, go out to a classic dollar theater movie or do some free art gallery-hopping, and then grab a bottle of wine from the store to share at home. It will drastically reduce your bill by the end of the night to avoid a bar or restaurant.
What are your favorite cheap date ideas?
Lauren Johnson is a filmmaker/producer living in West Hollywood who enjoys a great foreign thriller, leisure beers, and non-primary colors. She also writes the site LOCONCEPTS.
P.S. Here’s a FREE DOWNLOAD for you! 110 Cheap Date Ideas! Enjoy!