Valentine’s on a Budget: Date Tips for Money-Conscious Couples

Jan 25, 2015 | Money and Saving, Random Thoughts

Hearts Day is just around the corner. So, where do you plan to spend the 14th with your man? Dinner dates in a fancy restaurant may be the perfect excuse for you to go out. The question now is – does it always have to be like that every year? What if you are still not able to recover from last Christmas’ spending, do you still have to push through that expensive date?

Here’s the truth: Date on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are tons of things you can do without spending a fortune. Plus, showing how much you love someone doesn’t automatically equate to fancy dinner and expensive gifts, right?

If you are looking for ways to enjoy V-day but still have to consider the budget, then here are date night ideas you can do.

1. Have a dinner for two – in your home. Who says you can only have a sumptuous meal in restaurants? Restaurants are more expensive, not to mention fully booked, so it’s best to just have a yummy dinner at home. Plan your menu – from appetizers to desserts to wine – at least a week before Valentine’s, buy the necessary ingredients then whip up your skills in the kitchen on the day itself. It can be a good bonding for you and your husband too.

You can enjoy a four or five-course meal at the comfort of your home without compromising your budget. Start with a soup of your choice, prepare a salad complete with croutons and bacon bits (you can use store-bought honey mustard dressing or balsamic vinegar), serve steak or salmon if you prefer being on the lighter side, and bake a chocolate cake to help you get in the mood after. Check out this list for Valentine’s Day menu inspirations.

READ: Simple Ribs Recipe 

2. Celebrate it a little early. Or later, whichever works for you. Valentine’s Day is the time where prices of flowers are doubled and restaurants can be more expensive. You don’t have to celebrate Hearts Day on the day itself. Schedule it earlier or a week after. It’s just the same.

3. Make personalized, handmade gifts. Again, spending V-day doesn’t have to be expensive. Stuffed toys, flowers and chocolates are so overrated so why not do something by hand? It may be as simple as a handwritten love letter, making a memory box or scrapbook of the previous years’ memories, or even baking a cake or cupcakes. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Plus, it makes the gift even more special as well.

4. Consider budget entertainment. Concert tickets can be pricey and crowded. Why not opt for a date that is acceptable on the pocket and something you can learn from, say museums, art galleries and cultural centers that offer exhibits and performances at a cheaper price? Or if you prefer staying in, schedule a DVD night and watch your favorite films while sharing a big bowl of popcorn or ice cream – in your pajamas. Movies such as When Harry met Sally, Pretty Woman, While You Were Sleeping, Notting Hill, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Ghost will always be crowd favorites. If you are going to watch a movie with the kids, Lady and the Tramp, Enchanted and Shrek will do the trick.

Quality entertainment and memorable date don’t always have to be too much on the budget.

5. Use coupons. Yes, this is where Deal Grocer, Ensogo and whatever coupon sites come in. The good thing about these sites is that they offer restaurant coupons and deals which allows you to save some cash without compromising the dining experience. Enjoy exciting deals from House of Wagyu, Annabel’s. You can also try a luxurious cruise along Manila Bay with full-course dinner for only P770.00 (this originally costs P11,000!).

You can also opt for a (discounted) staycation at the Midas Hotel, Luxent Hotel  or Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, brought to you by Deal Grocer.

Just make sure to check the availability and validity of the coupon on V-Day to avoid any hassle and sudden use of credit cash just because the coupons were not honored.

6. Save up for it. If you really insist on going out on Valentine’s Day, eat in an expensive restaurant and buy something for your man, then at least save up for it. Schedule your spending so you will be able to make room for V-Day and prevent you from using those plastic cards. Remember, never ever consider credit cards as an extension of your cash. If you can’t afford it now, then don’t force the issue.

7. Give the gift of time. This is the best gift you can give to your man during the love month – or any other months of the year. Make it all about you two. Take this is an opportunity to spend time together as a couple, reminisce about how you’ve been over the years and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Valentine’s Day is about spending time with the person you love and making each day count. Sure, material things matter – for now – but at the end of the day, it’s all about being together as a couple and reminding yourselves of your love for each other.

Happy Valentine’s Day mommas!


  1. Maan

    Naku, for me, Valentine’s is overrated. Like if you’re going to spend, spend it on a day that really means something to you as a couple like your anniversary. Taking a cue from what you said, I’d rather stay at home, eat takeout, and watch movies. πŸ™‚

    • Ayi

      That’s true. Actually valentine’s is not just about couples lang naman. Since we had kids, my husband and I always spend V-day at home tapos cook lang ng masarap. At least kasama pa kids. Hehehe.

  2. Aleigna Tejada

    Great list, mommy! Will be sharing this with the boyfriend. Hihi. :))

    • Ayi

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Serene shikukeza

    We usually spend the Vday either ahead of time or later due to the heavy traffic it has been causing Manila! I have to agree with having a dinner date at home because it will have that personal touch.

    • Ayi

      Kami din. If we go out, usually after Valentine’s na. Everything is expensive din kasi :))

  4. Nilyn EC Matugas

    This is a really great list! Thanks. We don’t really plan on doing something on v-day pero gusto ko sana kahit papano may gawin kami, I like the movie date on pajamas, sharing pop corn! πŸ˜€

    • Ayi

      Thanks mommy! I hope this list can help in making your V-day special πŸ™‚

  5. mcalimlim

    Me and husband would want to stay at home and let me cook another of his favorite dish. Mahirap kasama si husband sa date kasi ako more on practical at kuripot side, siya will always say “minsan lang tayo mag-date, ayoko ng tipid, it’s fine mommy” .:)

    Thank you for always sharing your tips, it really help us mommies πŸ™‚

  6. Cai

    Nice tips! My husband and I do this also. And we celebrate it as a family πŸ™‚

  7. Que Sullano - Gavan

    We never celebrate Valentine. But we see to it to have date days or nights. This Valentine weekend we are joining a couple’s retreat organized by the church.

    • Ayi

      That is also another way to spend Valentine’s without compromising the budget πŸ™‚

  8. MrsMartinez

    These are great tips especially #1 magugustuhan yan ng asawa ko tipid hehe


  9. Mommy Jen

    It’ll be better to celebrate nga not on the exact day kasi everything can be expensive. I have not planned anything yet and this reminds me that I only have 2 more weeks.! Yay!~ =)

  10. Mr. Jacob's Mom (@MrJacobsMom)

    Hay nako, I learned last year to not go out on Valentine’s Day to eat! I’m baking and cooking na lang at home!

    • Ayi

      I love that idea πŸ™‚ I’m planning to whip up something up din this Valentine’s. Yung date, bahala na kung kelan :))



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