With Valentine’s day coming up, there always seems to be a yearly panic about what to do in order to ‘celebrate’ the day with your loved one. But with restaurants raising their prices on the night (my bf’s favourite restaurant is charging £70 per head), and bars and clubs following suit, it is often rather tricky to find something romantic to do ‘on budget’. Personally, my ideal ‘date’ is a night in with a DVD and a family sized slab of chocolate (preferably Galaxy) but since it’s a ‘special’ day we’re celebrating, I’ve devised a list of affordable, on budget things to do, which are just as romantically inspired!
Bake A Cake!
As soppy as this sounds, baking a cake together is actually a really lovely (and romantic) thing to do, especially as you can have fun decorating it – and then eating it together! If you (like me), can’t ‘bake’ to save your life – cake mixes are relatively cheap, as are cake decorations, and the major supermarkets tend to offer Valentine’s inspired decorations around this time of year! One of my favourite cake mixes is the Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Mix, which although calorific (it is a special day though after all) tastes absolutely amazing. Oh, and you only need to add eggs and oil!
Put Together A Scrapbook/Photo Album
As we live in a digital age, it’s rather rare to see hard copies of photo albums laying around people’s homes, especially with recent photographs in. I personally however, LOVE photo albums – and I could quite happily sit there for hours sorting through pictures, sticking them in albums – and writing a little note next to it to remind me about who is in the photo (for when I’m grey and old!). I know it sounds a little soppy to put together a scrapbook of things you like, or a photo album of memories – but it’s the perfect ‘partner’ activity for Feb 14th! Photo Albums can be bought extremely cheaply from Amazon, and if you don’t have a printer to turn your photos into hard copies, Boots often do great deals if you order a certain number of images!
Candlelit Dinner For Two
So what if you’re having fish and chips. Or spaghetti. Or toad in the hole (my favourite!). Dimming the lights and adding a candle to your meal for two, can sometimes make all the difference – and it’s definitely a much more affordable version of a romantic dinner! If you don’t fancy having your usual Thursday night dinner however, M&S often do their ‘Dine In For 2 For £10’ range, which I can personally vouch for – as we did this last year and it was delicious. The Millionaire’s Shortbread Desserts are to-die-for!
Picnics, although usually enjoyed on sunny days – are definitely another romantic option you could try this Valentines! Who knows whether it will be snowing, raining or shining on Thursday, the weather in this country is very temperamental – so if it isn’t picnic friendly weather – why not have an indoor picnic? You could – if you are organised, prepare the picnic together (including all the favourites – sausage rolls, cream cheese and salmon sandwiches, lemonade, cocktail sausages, crisps, mini cupcakes), lay a blanket down in your living room and enjoy the delicious spread!
Leave A Love Note
If you (like me) will be working this Valentine’s Day, and won’t be around to take a long walk through the park – enjoying the hours of daylight, why not leave your bf/gf a love note, to let them know how much they mean to you. A post-it-note on the fridge (boys, I’m talking to you) isn’t quite what I mean. A hand-written, as soppy as it gets, heart felt letter is more like it! Go on, give it a try!
Make Each Other’s Presents
If you are really on budget this Valentine’s, or are just feeling creative – making each other’s presents could be a really affordable, and romantic thing to do? One year, I decided to make my boyfriend a ‘cat cushion’ (his favourite animal!) and planned to spritz some of my perfume on it, so that it reminded him of me, which although started off well, ended up as a flat, slightly unfortunate and sad looking cat shaped squashy thing. It did smell of me though. And it’s the thought that counts right?
Hot Chocolate, An Open Fire and A Great DVD
Okay, so PS. I Love You, although very V-Day appropriate might not be what your Valentine had in mind, so perhaps choose a movie that both of you can enjoy! If you have an open fire, why not grab a blanket, snuggle on the sofa and sip hot chocolate? If you are being really adventurous, you could even roast marshmallows (try Rosie from The Londoner’s Oreo Squish Marshmallows for an extra delicious treat!).
Create your own make-shift Spa!
If you haven’t got hundreds to splash out on a spa day for two, why not create your very own make-shift spa at home? Run a bath, pour in your favourite bubble bath, line it with tea-light candles (and if you can – although, mine isn’t big enough) share a bath with your loved one. After a relaxing soak, pop up your make-shift masseuse table (or, use your bed!) and practice your massage skills on one another. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could invest in some aromatherapy oils, to give your home spa that typical spa scent?
Have A Portrait Session, At Home!
For something quite light-hearted and fun, you could get out your pen and paper and start drawing. Each other, I mean! Even if you’re not a natural artist, it’s a really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or evening, especially if you are drawing each other simultaneously. You could giggle (or try not to be offended) at how large he has portrayed your nose, and present each other with their portraits at the end of the session!
Take A Long Walk In The Park!
Yes, it might seem a little boring. A little unexciting. And something you can do any day, so why is it special? However, taking a long walk with your partner, taking along a camera with you – can actually be a really romantic and enjoyable thing to do. Leave your phones at home (or at least pop them on silent) and just enjoy each others company, without any external distractions. We spend an awful lot of time on our phones, checking emails, texting others and updating our Facebook status, so sometimes it’s nice just to pay attention to each other, without any bleeping or ringing!