6 Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Date Ideas


Want to celebrate Valentine’s Day without having to break up with your paycheck? Relationship expert and professional matchmaker Samantha Daniels has some ideas to keep the romance alive (and under budget) this year!

We know, we know. It’s not even February yet. But Valentine’s Day is going to be here before you know it! Do you and your significant other have a plan to celebrate this year? While there are plenty of very fun, very romantic, and very expensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, those are not the only options out there. It is possible to have a great date night without overspending (or overthinking!).

Samantha Daniels—relationship expert and founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking at SamanthasTable.com—provides great ideas for a fun and inexpensive Valentine’s Day date.

Idea #1: Create a Romantic, Citywide Photoshoot.

Samantha says: “If you have been meaning to capture a few photos of you and your significant other, this Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to do so. Skip the costly photographer and pick a few of the most romantic spots in your city for an impromptu photo shoot. Taking cute pictures at the spot where the two of you met or at the restaurant where you made things official will bring back fond memories. Plus, you will have an assortment of sweet snapshots at the end of the day.”

Idea #2: Make a Modern-Day Mix-Tape Together.

Samantha says: “Actual mix-tapes might be a thing of yesteryear, but you still could put together a mix of your favorite tunes on a playlist on iTunes or Spotify.”

Idea #3: Plan a Scavenger Hunt.

Samantha says: “You can plan a hunt in your city to find romantic gifts and create the perfect Valentine’s Day. Turn Valentine’s Day into an adventure with a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Leave your beau with a list of things to do or find in each location. Better yet, turn it into date night prep as you swing by a chocolate shop for a budget-friendly dessert, a liquor store for your favorite vintage, and your local grocery store for ingredients to go. By the time you get home, you will have explored the city and collected everything you need for a romantic evening for two.”

Idea #4: Have a fondue evening together.

Samantha says: “This is romantic and also inexpensive.  Buy a variety of cheese to melt for appetizers and entrees, and then buy different types of chocolates to melt for the desserts. This is fun and romantic all at once.”

Idea #5: Plan a Romantic Evening at Home.

Samantha says: “If you want to keep things low key and avoid the hefty cost of prix fixe restaurant menus on Valentine’s Day, opt for a romantic night of cooking with your favorite music and a bubble bath at home instead. You and your girlfriend can prep your favorite meal together or divide and conquer with dinner and dessert. You will heat things up in the kitchen as you tease each other about cooking skills before enjoying a delicious meal together. Follow it up with a bubble bath surrounded by candles.”

Idea #6: Have a Romantic Movie Night.

Samantha says: “Go ahead and choose a few old classics like ‘An Affair to Remember’ or ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ and hunker down for the evening. Don’t forget to get your favorites flavors of popcorn and some yummy snacks. Make sure you have a bottle of bubbly on hand and a soft blanket to cuddle under.”

So there you go! Next time you’re staring at a $300 dinner reservation or a $250 carriage ride, just remember that romance doesn’t come with a price tag. Try one of these great ideas for an inexpensive date or maybe an idea of your own—and then put some of the money you’ve towards something that will really help your relationship, like paying down credit card debt or starting an emergency fund. If you thought romance and fiscal responsibility couldn’t go hand in hand, then guess again!


Samantha Daniels - OppLoans Contributor












About the Contributor: 

Samantha Daniels is one of the foremost professional matchmakers and dating and relationship commentators in the country. Not only does she own the well-known bicoastal matchmaking service, Samantha’s Table, but she also is a book author and the creator of an exclusive dating app, The Dating Lounge. She is ivy league educated, a former divorce attorney by trade and she has an uncanny ability to know who goes well with whom. She works with high profile people and busy professionals and she has been responsible for thousands finding love. Her app, The Dating Lounge is being coined as the “Dealbreaker app” and is the only exclusive invitation-only dating app created by a real and well-known professional matchmaker (Samantha) where upscale, successful people find real relationships. She used her expertise from her years in the dating industry to tailor-make The Dating Lounge for her high-end clients by giving them exactly what they want in an app-exclusivity, information, accuracy and connections. She is also a frequently relied upon dating expert on TV shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood and CNBC and in print media like NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and USA Today.  She has been a national spokesperson for Petco, Crest, Oral B and Febreze. She was also a creator/producer on the NBC/Darren Star TV show, Miss Match starring Alicia Silverstone; the show was based on her life story. And, she is the author of the book, Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker (Simon & Schuster) and writes for Huffington Post and Thought Catalog. For more information visit SamanthasTable.com.

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