Valentine’s Guide for the Budget Conscious

Love is in the air – with the anticipation of celebrating your true and mushy love together with your partner finally sinking in, Cheap Date Ideas has your back in helping you plan a budget conscious, creative and fun Valentine’s Day!

The Valentine’s Guide for the Budget Conscious is primarily focused on staying in, having fun and saving a bundle. The evening should be one that engages all five of your senses in amplifying your attraction for each other and setting the stage for intimate vibe shared between the you two to knock the socks off of each other.


First and foremost, it would be a good idea who is going to be setting up the plans. If you’re an egalitarian couple and always do things together, things are a bit easier, but it might take away from the element of surprise.IMMERSE YOUR FIVE SENSES:


Even when staying in for a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, I’m really big on dressing to impress – doing so and insisting your partner do so says a lot of how important this occasion to each other when you put in the effort to look fantastic for each other.valentines-day-ideas

However, in terms of pleasing your eyes it doesn’t stop there. As cliché as it sounds, having a candlelit dinner is a must in creating an intimate vibe. You can drop by your local Ikea, Homesense or (insert any major department store) to pick up inexpensive candles or tea-lights.

Further, having a tidy environment and some mementos of the fun times shared by each other strewn about aide in your fun evening and eventually seduction of each other.


Besides the whirr of oven fans blowing, chopping of vegetables, plunking of ingredients into pans and pots and sizzling of meats, having great music in the background definitely helps in creating an intimate vibe for the evening.

While ‘great music’ is subjective, having ambient ‘chill-out’ music (like Zero 7) or Classical music from the Romantic era (Rachmaninoff) are great choices. Throwing in personal favourites between the two of you in your playlist would be a good idea as well.Smell

While preparing a delicious meal together with the aromas swirling around in the kitchen, having your own distinctive scents that are pleasing to one another is one of the cornerstones in seducing each other through the senses.

While you’re aiming for delighting each other’s sense of smell, it wouldn’t be the time to start experimenting with colognes or perfumes.   Go with a scent that’s tried and true.


There is nothing quite like seeing the fruits of your labour in your final product after everything is ready to be served and plated. Before you get to that point though, you might want to try out these easy recipes that you can cook and share together.Oysters on the Half-Shell with Tomato and Cucumber Relish and Lemon Oil – it’s a myth that oysters are aphrodisiacs, but they still make for a great appetizer and are something out of the ordinary for you and your partner to enjoy for this special occasion. Here’s a great recipe by Chef Rob Feenie.Mushroom Risotto with Peas – Risotto is often called the “food of love” because it requires time, attention and well – love! I’ve tried this awesome risotto recipe by Giada DiLaurentiis and it never fails to please the taste buds.Prosciutto wrapped Halibut– this is an easy recipe by Anthony Sedlak of “The Main”. My friend had introduced to me a little while ago and needless to say it would blow your tastebuds away as it did mine.Cardamom Marinated Lambchops – from Food Network Canada’s “Everyday Exotic” featuring Roger Mooking, this is an easy to follow recipe that would be a surefire way to wow your partner and your tastebuds.Dessert:  this can be anything from sharing a gourmet cupcake or having gelato.  Nothing too heavy that might way you down for later on during the evening…Recommended wines: Light and refreshing white wines the lighter fare (like the Halibut) such as a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay be a good pairing. As for more richer and heavier fare, a full-bodied Merlot or Shiraz would complement your meal quite nicely.Feeling lazy? Despite all this, if you’re feeling particularly lazy to pull off a full culinary production, you can always opt of ordering take out.  It’s more budget-friendly than dining out and gives you more time to connect with your partner.


Touch plays an important role in setting an intimate vibe that is fun, comfortable and playful. This can be in the form of bum slaps/pinches, hugs, embraces, secret handshakes, kisses and the like.  Whatever is fun and feels comfortable do it – and don’t hold back! (unless you’re beginning to see each other, then I’d say keep it light and playful)

Nearing the end of the evening, when you know “It’s On!”, having massage oils on hand would be an awesome idea in pampering each other and setting the stage for something a little more intimate than just massaging if you catch my drift

If that’s not your thing, drawing a bubble bath would be another option to enhance your evening near the end.

For massage oils and bubble baths you might want to consider checking out Bath & Body Works, Fruits & Passion or The Body Shop.Other ideas and options:

There is never a clear cut way you should celebrate your love and affection for each other. Perhaps you’ve already done everything I’ve written about and you want to add a little more variety to the mix.

Valentine’s Day with friends and other couples – Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be only about celebrating the two of you, but friendships and relationships in genera and is a great excuse to throw an intimate get together with friends. Having a good selection of wines where every couple or friend would bring in their favourite would be a plus in stimulating great conversation.

Write a letter or a poem – okay so this is cheesy. If you’re already a playful couple, I suggest REALLY cheesy like Cheez Whiz – lay it on thick!  The more emotion and “real” you are expressing yourself in the poem – the more effective it will be.

White linen table cloth – if you have any of these on hand or if you can borrow them, paying attention to this small yet subtle detail makes a big difference in showing how much you care through the extra effort put in to duplicate the dining experience.

Flowers – another option. We all know that roses are ridiculously expensive around Valentine’s Day – try just buying two long stem roses and putting them in a clear vase on your dinner table.


Whatever stage you’re in for your relationship, I’m a strong believer in celebrating once every so often about how much you appreciate and love each other. It doesn’t have to be just Valentine’s Day that you do something like this. Remember, you can do this anytime of the year as a welcome surprise to your partner Let us know what your thoughts or ideas on Valentine’s Day in the comments!

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