Valentine’s Day is just days away, and for many, that means it’s time for gifts or an expensive date. In fact, people spend an average of $146 on Valentine’s Day. If you’re on a budget, that’s a lot to spend on a single night out, but you still want your loved one to feel special and appreciated.
Below are ten cheap gift ideas and activities you can do to celebrate without going broke.
1. Check out local food trucks
If you’re looking for cheap date ideas, consider visiting local food trucks. You can sample many different delicious foods without spending a fortune. Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine, and you have a romantic and affordable date.
2. Book a staycation
Instead of a pricey weekend trip to the mountains or the beach, plan a staycation and make the most of your hometown. Tour the sites only tourists usually visit, such as landmarks, museums, or local parks.
To give yourself a break from the same old routine, book a room through Airbnb. You can get a great room for the fraction of the price you’d pay for a hotel.
3. Tour a local brewery
When it comes to cheap date night ideas, touring a brewery can be a perfect activity if you enjoy craft beers. Many local breweries offer free tours or charge a nominal fee. You can learn how the beer is created and sample some of their offerings.
To find a local brewery, check out CraftBeer.com.
4. Buy a potted plant
If you’re looking for cheap gift ideas, you cannot beat flowers, a holiday classic. But instead of a bouquet of roses – which can cost up to $2 or more a flower in February – consider a potted plant. Not only are potted plants cheaper, but your partner also won’t have to worry about finding a vase or throwing out the pricey bouquet when the flowers die.
A potted plant of her favorite flowers, such as orchids or gardenias, can be a lasting gift that costs just $20 or less.
5. Purchase a discounted gift card
If you are determined to buy your partner expensive jewelry or a new electronic device, you can still save money. Before shopping, check out discount gift card sites for deals at retailers like Jared, Ulta, or Best Buy. You can save up to 30 percent off the card’s value, allowing you to stretch your budget further.
If you want to have a romantic dinner out, you can also score discounted gift cards for restaurants, reducing the price of an expensive meal. You can get 12 percent off at Maggiano’s or 15 percent off Seasons 52.
6. Make chocolate-covered strawberries
Chocolate-covered strawberries, while delicious, can cost as much as $40 for a dozen from big-name delivery services. But in just ten minutes, you can whip up your own for under $10.
All you need is a tub of Baker’s Dipping Chocolate, strawberries, wax paper, and a microwave. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, following the instructions on the tub, and then dip the strawberries into the chocolate. Lay them on the wax paper, then put them in the refrigerator for an hour or two to harden. It’s a delicious, easy, and inexpensive gift everyone will love.
7. Cook a meal from a service
Cooking dinner for your partner can be much more thoughtful and personal than a night out at a fancy restaurant. But if you’re clueless in the kitchen, it can be overwhelming. Services like Blue Apron make it easy. They send you all of the ingredients, including individually wrapped spices, and send detailed instructions on how to cook, complete with videos.
Three meals for two people costs $60 a week, but right now the company is offering $30 off your first order.
8. Whip up some fudge
Fudge is a delicious dessert that most people think is more difficult to make than it really is. But this peanut butter fudge recipe is simple and delicious, even if you haven’t made candy before. Once you’re done, cut the fudge into squares and place them into a holiday tin from the dollar store to make them extra special.
9. Create a photo book
Sure, your partner can look at photos of you both on Instagram or Facebook, but a personalized photo album will be much more meaningful. And with Walgreen’s Photo Center, you can create a professional-looking book in just a few minutes.
10. Volunteer together
A great way to spend quality time together is to give back to the community. Sign up to volunteer as a couple for a cause your partner cares about. You can spend an afternoon at the animal shelter walking dogs or serving the homeless at the local soup kitchen. To find opportunities near you, check out Volunteer Match.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget
Whether you need cheap gift ideas or want to spend a night out with using a credit card, you can still have a romantic evening without going broke.
For more cheap date night ideas, check out this article on 14 things to do on a budget.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.53% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|