Affordable Valentine’s Day hacks

Photo by: Tessa Walsh

By: Madison Wait

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. On Sunday, Feb. 14 the average person celebrating the holiday will spend about $142.31 on gifts, food and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation. For those already stretching their wallets, that number can seem overwhelming, especially for college students.

To help ease the financial burden of the romantic holiday, here’s a list of tried-and-true Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the bank.


Instead of reserving a table at a fancy restaurant, try being the chef.

Most high-end restaurants are packed on Feb. 14, which can really put a dent in the evening of romance, as well as the wallet. Instead of waiting out the lines, or making a reservation to eat a three course meal, cook a classic dinner of spaghetti for two.

If dinner isn’t an option, whip up some quick heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, or bake a tray full of red velvet cupcakes with that special someone.

Flying solo this Valentine’s Day? Bring some friends into the kitchen and test their cooking skills. Online sites, like Allrecipes and Food Network, have a wide variety of Valentine-themed recipes that are easy to replicate.

Alternatively, try going to less expensive restaurants. Places like Waffle House put out nice tablecloths and decorations for Valentine’s Day. It’s a great compromise of romantic setting and affordable food.


Go Out On a “Lowbrow” Date

Romantic candle-lit dinners are great, but they can also cost a pretty penny. This Valentine’s Day, aim for a more casual approach to celebrating the people you love. Pick out something fun and low-key to do, with your significant other or group of friends. Go bowling at the Big E, go out roller-skating, or go dancing. Not only are these things fun, but they’re also kind to your bank account.



Avoid the stress of going out and have a stay-at-home night. Rent a movie to watch from the comfort of your couch. Pop some popcorn and munch on your favorite themed snacks with your Valentine. Binge watch a Netflix series. Eat pie in bed.

You can even try celebrating Valentine’s Day late. Go out the day after, and get the romance at a reduced price. Either way, both options help save money.


DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts

Need a cute door dec for February, but don’t have the money to buy one? Make it yourself! Cut out hearts from colored construction paper or foam, and decorate them. Try your hand at origami and make multiple different hearts, all without ever having to reach for the scissors. Or if you’re feeling really crafty, make a Valentine’s Day wreath with red mesh and pipe cleaners.


Do you have your own Valentine’s Day ideas to share?  Contact us at and share them on social media with #GWUValentine.

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