Broke, Married and in College: Valentine's Day Edition

I know that growing up, I always imagined that Valentine's Day would be some magical splurging event with spur-of-the-moment trips, gifts and romantic dinners at really expensive restaurants once I was married. Fast forward to now—being married and still in college—I can honestly say that Valentine's Day hasn't changed much. I think we are both poorer now than we were in high school (yay, bills) so there isn't anything super extravagant that we do. This being our second Valentine's Day married, I figured I could offer some insight on what to do on Valentine's Day when you're broke and either married or really in any type of relationship.

1. Skip the gifts—eat the food!

My biggest tip is to skip the splurge on gifts and treat you and your S.O. to a nice dinner. This dinner in no way needs to be some ridiculously expensive restaurant. Go somewhere local and enjoy being out on this romantic night!

If you're looking to save even more money, split the entrée, and either split dessert as well or order separate desserts and split them amongst the two of you. This makes for a more romantic evening, plus dessert!

2. Find fun printables!

Over the course of the year we have been married, I have used The Dating Divas to find many fun at-home date ideas and really cute printables! One of my favorite things to use is the Printable Love Sticky Notes. They have a variety of options from Birthday to "Sexy." These sticky notes are a really great way to add in some extra fun!

They also have various printable games ranging from kid-friendly to very-adult. They are all really well made and designed, plus it's a great option for something quick and on a budget!

3. If you must buy a gift...

If you and your S.O. are dead set on buying each other something for Valentine's Day, the best way to do so on a budget is to discuss what you plan on getting and then buy a mutual gift for each other. This is easier said for couples that are already living together; my husband and I do this for almost all occasions as it allows us to buy things we need instead of things we think the other one wants. 

If this option doesn't work, another great option is Dollar Tree. If it's been a long week, or maybe it's a random holiday, my husband and I will both set a limit, typically around $5–10, and then a time limit, somewhere around 5–15, minutes and then buy each other the most random items. This option is a lot of fun, plus it's a quick and budget-friendly way to buy each other several gifts while making a game out of it. 

4. Rent a movie, buy some candy and pop some popcorn!

This is pretty self-explanatory, but still a very good option for couples on a budget! Go and pick up a rentable movie—or better yet, find something on an online streaming service—pick up some popcorn and a box of you and your S.O.'s favorite candy (or a box of chocolate for Valentine's Day!), then cuddle up and watch a movie. Even if it's a movie you have seen before, cuddling and watching a movie can be a great time to just have some one-on-one time with your S.O. and talk about things that maybe you haven't had time to talk about recently. 

My husband and I also do this with video games, as we will either take turns playing video games and talking or find a multiplayer and have some healthy competition. 

5. Cook dinner together!

This can either be very nerve-testing or a really romantic experience, but still, try it out! Pick your favorite meal together, buy the ingredients (bonus points if the ingredients are on sale) and get to cooking! I suggest splitting roles prior to starting so that you both aren't stepping over each other in the kitchen. If you don't think your relationship can handle a full meal of cooking, pick something smaller.

My husband and I have made chocolate covered strawberries* nearly every Valentine's Day since we have been together. It's simple, quick, relatively budget-friendly and delicious! Simply buy some chocolate chips, add in some butter or coconut oil and microwave until the chocolate is melted! Then just dip the strawberries and pop them in the fridge to harden.

Even if you and your S.O. are struggling budget-wise this Valentine's Day, don't let that prevent you from celebrating the day notoriously known for love! Happy Valentine's Day from one broke college student to another.  

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