9 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Breaking the Bank

Wallet-friendly ways to celebrate V-Day, no matter your relationship status.
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Wallet-friendly ways to celebrate V-Day, no matter your relationship status.
Photo Credit: ELLE

Photo Credit: ELLE

Whether you consider cupid a friend or foe, there's no denying it: Valentine's Day has arrived.

The good news is, this holiday isn't just for couples anymore. You can have a blast celebrating this weekend with your significant other, your gal pals, or just with your fabulous self.

We know it's easy to feel like you have to splurge on holidays, so we put together a guide to having and blast while saving some cash this Valentine's Day, no matter your relationship status.

Celebrating With Your S.O:

Love is in the air, but man, those subpar boxes of chocolate are pricey! Thankfully, there are cheaper (and dare we say, better?) ways to proclaim your love for your beau or lady this V-Day.

  • Go stargazing. Bundle up and head to a spot with a clear view of the cosmos. Not only are starry nights synonymous with the idea of romance, but you can turn it into a game by seeing who can spot the most constellations. If you aren’t brushed up on your knowledge of heavenly bodies, the SkyView Free app will help you identify what you’re looking at.
  • Cook a meal together. Instead of going out to eat, stay in and break out the pots and pans. You will brush up on your cooking skills and save money at the same time. Try centering your meal around a certain theme, like Italian dishes or foods that start with the letter “s.” Or cook up your childhood favorites, build a blanket fort, and eat your dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets while watching old cartoons.
  • Go on a bookstore scavenger hunt. Head to your favorite bookstore or library with a list of things to scour the shelves for, like “my favorite love poem” or “someplace I would love to visit.” Once you have completed the list, swap finds with your date. Not only is finding everything on the list a blast, you’re guaranteed to get to know your date better in the process, too. 

Celebrating With Your Girl Tribe:

Celebrating with the girls is such a good idea that it even has its own holiday. Parks and Recreation's enthusiastic girlboss, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), dubbed Feb. 13th Galentine's Day. Ladies celebrating ladies, what could be better? 

  • Create DIY Galentines for each other. This is the time to pull up your long-abandoned Pinterest boards and figure out which crafts fit your skill level and budget, then head to the local craft store and stock up on supplies. At the end of the day, you’ll have a fabulous Galentine to swap with your BFF, or at the very least, a funny Pinterest fail post for Instagram. 
  • Do an old school photo shoot. Leave your iPhone at home, and go buy a few Polaroid cameras and several rolls of film (you could also go the disposable camera route). Find a cool mural in your city to pose in front of and get snapping. Not only will you have dozens of fun photos to remember the day by, you won’t even have to worry about which filter looks best.
  • Have a classic Netflix marathon. We’re all used to watching hours of Netflix alone in our rooms when we should be studying, but imagine how much more fun it would be with friends. Netflix has all the cult favorites you need for a rockin’ night in with the girls. I recommend starting with the Holy Trinity of chick flicks: Clueless, Legally Blonde and Mean Girls

Celebrating With Your Fabulous Self: 

If you're in need of some "me time," there is no shame in treating yourself this V-Day. Seek out some solitude and use this time to nurture yourself, without spending a fortune on a shopping spree.

  • Relax with an at-home spa day. The spring semester is in full swing, and you’ve no doubt pulled an all-nighter or two by now. Give yourself the TLC you deserve with a hot bubble bath, a snazzy fresh mani/pedi, and a rejuvenating face mask
  • Learn something new. It's often more enjoyable to explore the more cultural parts of town alone because it allows you to move at your own pace. Check out an art museum or cultural center in your town. Many museums are even “pay what you want,” so you only have to give as much as you’re able. 
  • Take yourself to a movie. Going to the theater alone is one of the most underrated ways to spend an evening. While going with your friends or your significant other is fun, it adds a level of complication that you can avoid by going on your own. You don’t have to negotiate what to see, and no one will hog the popcorn. For all the Rebel Wilson fans out there, How to Be Single is a great choice.

What do you think?

How are you celebrating this weekend? Are you more excited about Galentine's Day, Valentine's Day or Half-Price Candy Day?