Happy Valentine’s Day! The day dedicated to celebrating love is one of the biggest holidays in America with an average spending of close to $20 billion around the nation, according to Bloomberg. (That comes out to about $143 per person per consumer!) If you’re saving for a down payment to become a homeowner, or putting aside money for other investment goals, lavish dinners and pricey gifts may not be in your budget this year. There are many creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your significant other while staying within a reasonable budget, and still making a meaningful impression, and creating a sweet memory.

Romantic Dinner Prep:

Making a reservation, and eating in a crowded restaurant may seem like the perfect idea, but what could be better than a private dinner at home with your favorite foods? Tasty, Delish, and a variety of other cooking sites offer a myriad of Valentine’s Day dinner ideas. Some of these easy DIY meals can be put together for less than $30. Explore menu options that feature your’s and your partner’s favorite dishes and decorate the table with candles, and add some low music in the background with a playlist of songs that are reminiscent of your relationship. To add a twist, after finishing up dinner consider going out for dessert to your favorite ice cream shop, or to a local restaurant that has that irresistible molten lava cake. If you rather not cook, order take-out from your favorite local restaurant that you know your partner love. To make it more special, surprise him or her with a slideshow on your TV with videos and pictures of some of your adventures you’ve had together, concluding with a picture at the restaurant you ordered from if you have a snapshot of that!

Couples Party:

Host a DIY paint night! Take a trip to Michaels and pick up canvas and paint to create your own unique paintings. Follow a YouTube tutorial or search Pinterest for inspiration. Leave a playlist on shuffle on speakers, and serve sweet and salty snacks and refreshments. Lead a salsa class by playing a salsa lesson video in your living room for each couple to follow, or maybe one of your friends knows how to teach the class!? Play party board games, watch a romantic comedy, or just simply all get together to hang out and have each couple choose a movie duo theme to dress up as and whichever couple has the best costume will win a prize. (Try your local dollar store for giveaways inspiration.)

Galentines:

Thinking of having a party just for the girls? Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack and their most comfortable attire for a girls night in!

Picnic:

Do you and your partner have time to do something during the day? Plan a picnic at your local park, beach, or even in your own backyard if you live in a warm weather city. After wrapping up, take advantage of your location and go for a walk to a coffee shop, or to your favorite bakery to enjoy a treat together. Is it too cold where you live for a picnic? How about a homemade brunch? Cook up a delicious breakfast and step out to watch a movie at the theater when you’re done to get out of the house for a bit.

Lunch Break:

If you both work on Valentine’s Day, try to plan a time to spend lunch together. Surprise your partner with a written love note, printed pictures of your favorite memories in an album or picture frames, or bring some chocolates in a new coffee tumbler. Choose a low key restaurant in a convenient location for each of you that has your favorite cuisine, while still being an affordable place. Later on, plan an activity for the evening at home like stargazing on the porch or backyard. Maybe even take a quick drive around your neighborhood to a stop at a nearby spot for stargazing.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day right from the comfort of your home, or in local areas that: A. stay within your budget and B. allow you to share new wonderful moments together. Take some time to review some of the ideas above, and think of different variations of how you can personalize an experience on February 14th that will be special to you as a couple, without hurting your wallet! Afterall, if you are thinking of settling down sooner than later, or you’re already engaged, or married, saving for a mortgage down payment will be much more meaningful in the long run!