Hey friends, Valentine’s Day is coming up and we’re in the thick of our No Spend month. Sam and I have struggled for years finding fun AND budget friendly or no spend Valentine’s date night options. (Or any date night for that matter!)
Quite simply, we’re total food snobs. We really, REALLY enjoy good food. And, when you’re a food snob, Olive Garden and the mall food court (some budget friendly options) just won’t do.
But, like all things, how we respond comes back to a choice – it comes back to OUR choice. It’s not about dropping our food snobbery – we embrace that part of us with wide arms and glad hearts (and tummies) – but it is about questioning and changing the stories we tell ourselves when we live within limits.
This month, we have chosen to set some pretty strict limits. It’s a challenge to ourselves, a game and an opportunity to freshen the awareness we bring to our household budget and habits. We can choose to be sad, flat and mopey – you know the type: victims of circumstances who can’t see past their sense of loss or FOMO (fear of missing out).
Or we can choose to be empowered, grateful and excited for the guaranteed lessons and edges of change.
We choose the latter. I hope you do, too.
With that in mind, here are some fun, romantic and frugal Valentine’s date night options to get you ready to focus on your love for each other, embrace the opportunities tied to your choice to live within limits, and celebrate new habits that sidestep the same ol’ money fight.
EAT DINNER AT HOME
This one saves us $50-$100 every time. Our town is full of restaurants like this and this and this. It’s really easy to spend a LOT of money really quickly. The one simple act of eating dinner at home, gives us space to avoid a rash and expensive decision AND we’ve eaten a healthy, whole food dinner for next to nothing!
If you’re on a no spend Valentine’s date, stop here. Go for a walk sans kids, sit and be still together to watch the world go by, find a surprising free gathering outside of your typical route.
If you don’t mind spending a few dollars head to a coffee shop or tea house for a little more atmosphere.
PACK UP DINNER AND HAVE A PICNIC.
Parks, city squares, schools and universities, city planners and developers are getting more and more creative about making third place areas for gathering but without the cost.
GO OUT FOR TEA.
This clearly costs money, but maybe around $6 on the high end. I don’t know about you but that’s a VAST improvement in what Sam and I usually spend!
GO TO THE LIBRARY
Now this one can’t really happen if you’re planning a late night date but it’s a FREE, public place that’s full of inspiration. A fun date night might be to head to the library with my Values Workbook in hand and fill it out together.
Or, set a timer for 10 minutes and explore the stacks. Pick a book that you think your partner would enjoy. Read poetry to each other. Grab your favorite children’s book and read aloud to each other. Have fun.
GO TO THE BOOKSTORE
This one’s a lot like the library, but the store is full of inspiration and they often have cozy chairs to sit in. Peruse the travel section and choose a destination together. Then plan a trip that you can incorporate into your long-term goals once you pay off your debt.
Grab a book about home design and envision together what your space will look like once you’re ready. There’s SO many inspiring books out there!
GET SOME EXERCISE
If you have a gym membership, take a yoga or group class together and then hang out in the lobby afterwards (my gym has comfy chairs and sofas) and catch up. You could even bring some tea in a thermos from home to make this a totally no spend Valentine’s date night!
Or, go for a walk. A really long, slow (or fast) walk in the woods, or downtown, or in your neighborhood, or around the mall, and do it without whining voices, the need to stop for snacks every 7 minutes and potty breaks in the scrub brush. Luxurious!
GO TO YOUR GROCERY STORE CAFE
This might seem lame, and it may sound like another expense, but, I have YEARS of experience using grocery store seating areas as my office. Sam and I meet there to have lunch and catch up every now and then. You don’t have to buy a thing. No one will bother you if you’re just hanging out in a booth, chatting with each other and drinking free water (or coffee you brought from home). It’s usually a pretty nice and intimate atmosphere and a great place to connect, without spending a dime!
GET A MOVIE FROM THE LIBRARY
If you’re really into movies, the library can be a great source of movies, for free! Or, just use the Netflix or Hulu or Amazon accounts you’ve relegated to kid channels and find something you’ve been wanting to watch. Snuggle on the couch and just be together. I’ve got a GREAT list of some of my favorites that I’ll be sending to my peeps in my weekly Saturday Sampler Newsletter – so make sure you’re on my list by filling out the form here!
CHECK OUT YOUR CITY’S LOCAL EVENTS PAGE
There are often many free events and meetups happening all around us that we’re not even aware of. Did you listen to this Invisibilia or this one about Max Hawkin’s foray into random bubble hopping? It’s inspiring.
READ A BOOK TO EACH OTHER
No spend Valentine’s approved!
The book can be self-help, something you’re doing together or it maybe something a bit more romantic. Here’s a list I made of some of my favorite personal finance and self-growth books. You can get access to that below! (Although, if it’s romance you’re wanting maybe you want to read something more along these lines 😉
Bam, my friend: 10 no spend or frugal Valentine’s date night options for you to try out during your No Spend month.
If you have any ideas to share please leave them in the comments below!
As always, I’m rooting for you.
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