A Cheap & Cheery Valentine’s Day

I used to really like Valentine’s Day in a really big way. Before the kids came along, we used to make sure we, at the very least, went away around Valentine’s Day – dinner, wine etc… the whole works. Thinking back, what was the bloody point in putting any effort into Valentine’s Day? We had no kids, no mortgage and a pretty unlimited amount of time we could spend with each other doing coupley crap and there was no need to cram a years worth of romance into one day.

One thing, we never did, was go out for dinner on actual Valentine’s Day. I can never get my head around paying through the nose to eat from a more limited menu, surrounded by tacky decorations and having to dodge the awkward ‘would you like to purchase a rose for the lady?’ moments. We always tried to go away before or after instead.

This has, I suppose, made it easier to adjust now that we are both time and cash poor. You might think that now we barely see each other as a couple, we’d be more interested in an easy date for Valentine’s Day, but the opposite is true… and I’d advise other couples to do the same. (Disclaimer: if your other half swoops in with dinner reservations, a bottle of prosecco and tickets to a show… forget everything I am about to suggest!)

  • Movie Night: This one is at the top of my list because it’s the cheapest and easiest. Get the kids to bed, chose something on Netflix (do this the day before – we have all lost an entire evening deciding what to watch) and settle in. To make it a Valentine’s event, you could make pink popcorn or cookie dough hearts to munch during. Oh and rosé, but the wine is simply because it’ll be a Tuesday. Budget: £10
  • M&S Dine in for Two: Marks and Spencer’s is always a good shout – the food is bloody delicious, you can pick everything up in one place, and you get to potter around the kitchen together as if you’re properly cooking together. For £20 you get a starter, main, side, dessert, wine/prosecco and chocolates – full menu here. On a negative note, the hundreds of people shopping for this deal in store during the lead up to valentine’s day will rip your fingers off if you try to lift the last Red onion & fontal Cheese pantofola (whatever that is!) But just pop on your shin guards and brave this one. Budget: £20
  • Breakfast Date: Valentine’s is all about dinner but breakfast is such a good option. If you live together, you can get up early and make a breakfast favourite or try something new. I saw Tesco are suggesting a Valentine’s bruschetta which sounds cheap but with a big impact. I think I could see myself chunky cutting a crusty loaf, doing bacon, mushrooms, mashed avocado, tomatoes… OR arrange to have breakfast out in a nice place – you’ll pay a fraction of what you’d pay for dinner but you still get a nice meal out! Budget: £10-£20
  • Get ‘Outdoorsy’: I’ll happily go on record to say that while I would never arrange this as Valentine’s activity – I am distinctly “Indoorsy” by nature (I blame my aversion to suitable shoes)… however, in theory, it could actually be rather romantic. I can see the appeal in wrapping up warm and going for a nice evening walk with a thermal mug of cocoa etc. Budget: £Free
  • Get Homemade: If you’re so inclined and so enabled, you could get crafty. Pinterest is full of ideas for chocolate covered cookie dough bites, funky buntingand other crafts in the line of things your other half might like.

We’ll be doing a movie night once the kids are in bed but to be honest, with it being a Tuesday night – anyone could be forgiven for skipping Valentine’s altogether couldn’t they!


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