Valentine's Day on a dime


Just like any other holiday or special occasion Valentine’s Day can get expensive – if you let it! Luckily a Life on a Dime is here for you with the ultimate list of ways to do Valentine’s Day on a Dime!

While the jewelry store ads and florists might want you to believe it’s necessary to spend a lot of money, it is entirely possible to celebrate the spirit of the holiday and show those closest to you how much you love them without breaking the bank. Here are dozens of ideas for you to choose from! Everything from frugal gift ideas to a date night that won’t break the bank.

The best part is, most of these items are from Amazon or Target! Simply use your Prime membership (or use this free trial here) or order online and choose the pick-up or drive up option from Target and save yourself the time of aimlessly wandering through store after store looking for the perfect gift!

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It doesn’t take a lot (and as a minimalist, I am not really up for a lot!) to make the kids feel special. One special treat is usually enough. My kids love activities as well, which can be a great way to prevent clutter! Here are several activities and gift ideas to choose from, some being free (if you have the supplies on hand) and all being under $15! Kids are actually pretty easy to do Valentine’s Day on a dime with.

  • Bake and decorate Valentine’s cookies together
  • Give your tween some cute items for her room such as this faux fur heart pillow or tabletop squishy lip.
  • For the toddler in your life a cute board book such as Guess How Much I Love You or Llama Llama I Love You make great choices. They’re also favorites in our house with the littles!
  • How about a craft? A kit such as this color-your-own mug or woven heart kit would also go over well.
  • Get out the construction paper, safety scissors, and pom-pons and make Valentines with the kids for school! This is a fun quality time project. Since they’re probably going to be exchanging them with the whole class why not make them unique?
  • Get your screen-tee loving boy a fun dinosaur or love sign shirt. They’re fun and can be worn year-round.
  • I know a lot of little girls who would love this bangle bracelet set.
  • If gift-giving isn’t your style (or you’re on a no-spend month with me) why not make a special breakfast with pancakes shaped like hearts or spring for a donut? The small gesture will still make the kiddos feel loved.


Set up a scavenger hunt with clues around the house and make them find their own goodies. It could be something as simple as a few treats or an actual gift. The fun will be in the game!

Just keep it simple and fun. Look for ways to get the littler kids off the screen and immersed in a sensory activity. Engage with older kids and let them know you care about what they have to say. If you have a teenager a coffee date might be in order.


Is it just me or do men typically seem hard to shop for? Maybe just expensive. I know my husband’s tastes and interests pretty well, I just typically can’t afford them! Here are some great ideas, all under $30 that will be sure to please that cover a variety of interests!

  • Protect the investment of his beloved air pods in this personalized vegan leather case with protective cover.
  • Why not give him a place to park his keys, wallet, and change when he walks in the door? This leather valet tray can be very helpful if your man is always looking for his keys on the way out the door.
  • For a more light-hearted approach, try these novelty pizza socks.
  • Give him the gift that keeps on giving with a starter kit from Harry’s. I got my husband a kit for Christmas and am considering switching over myself. The prices and quality are that good.
  • A comfy pair of memory foam house slippers with a hard sole make a great, practical gift as well.
  • Claim your territory with a novelty tee that says he already has an awesome girlfriend or even that this beard is taken. There are lots of fun shirts available for $20 or less.


It’s not that hard to find great gifts to do Valentine’s Day on a dime for the ladies either! Here are several suggestions ranging from sweets to handmade jewelry. And they’re all under $30!

  • If you want to get sweets for your sweet and chocolates are a favorite, these Ghiradelli strawberry bark squares with layered milk and white chocolate should be a hit!
  • These vegan bath bombs would make a great treat to leave her feeling pampered.
  • If you have the time and a few pretty glass jars or canisters you can make a spa kit for your Galentine or teen in your life. All it takes to make a luxurious bath salt is some all-natural Epsom salt and a few drops of lavender essential oil. A sugar scrub can be made with just sugar, peppermint essential oil, and for bonus points a little green food coloring to set it off.
  • A personalized set of stacking rings would make a great impression! Have them engraved with your anniversary, the kids’ names… There are lots of possibilities here.
  • A unique, handmade pair of earrings such as these burnt copper hearts or these genuine leather leaf earrings would be very thoughtful.
  • This jade roller set. Jade is great for reducing puffiness and dark spots without chemicals! It’s also very popular in skincare right now. If your lady loves an all-natural approach to beauty this is a great gift.
  • I’m going to mention a great pair of house slippers for the ladies as well. This is one of those items that is worth the investment, but we’re rarely willing to make it for ourselves. I am guilty of buying a cheap two-pack of slippers and then lamenting when they fall apart too soon only to buy another cheap two-pack. No more!
Valentine's Day on a dime


My husband and I have a pretty simple Valentine’s Day tradition. It works well for us as Valentine’s weekend is always a busy one and we are on a smaller budget. We have a long-standing tradition of eating pizza and sharing a bottle of wine at home. It just so happens that this year Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, which is typically pizza night at our house!

We may switch our tradition to Saturday if we are able to get a sitter. Romantic meals at home are a little bit more romantic when the kids aren’t there!

You can find ways to go out for Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank or waiting in a long line for a table. You just have to be more creative. In the past, we have gone out to eat on a different night. You get in faster and prices aren’t inflated for a special menu.


  • Pick up a meal at your favorite street vendor and take it to a local hangout for a drink. Locally we have a cider house that does not serve food but allows you to bring your own in. Occasionally they even have a food truck on the premises. We have loved going there on date nights in the past. They even have games to play at the tables and now host a comedy night.
  • Plan a romantic lunch date, maybe even surprise your honey by showing up at their office to take them out to one of your favorite spots. Day dates can be romantic too!
  • Treat them to breakfast in bed! This may be easier to do on the weekend, but the effort is sure to be appreciated!
  • Prepare a special meal together. Working in the kitchen together can also be a good way to catch up and reconnect. Set a fun, romantic atmosphere with the music and get cooking!
  • Find a deal on a half-price gift card site for one of your favorite places to eat.
  • Make a photo book of memories together and look at it over a quiet dinner at home.
  • Weather permitting have a picnic at the park (or on the living room floor).
  • Even playing a game such as Let’s Chat or The Ultimate Game for Couples can be a fun way to reconnect. There is even this Date Night Box Set with three games.


Get creative and think outside the box! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to consist of a dozen overpriced roses and an expensive dinner date. Put more thought and effort into it and the amount of money spent isn’t as big of a consideration.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions of your own? How do you try to keep it in budget? Let me know if you try any of my ideas! I’d love to hear how it turns out! A Life on a Dime wishes every one of you a terrific and frugal Valentine’s Day!

Stay tuned for more no-spend February tips and tricks coming your way! If you’d like to join the challenge be sure to hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on the additional information as well as the weekly newsletter and meal plan! Until next time my frugal friends!