Photo: Flickr/Scott Thompson
Last month, a survey conducted by Money Talks News revealed the No. 1 most-wanted gift for Valentine’s Day isn’t chocolates or flowers. It’s a romantic date.According to another recent survey by CreditDonkey, males plan to spend an average of $85 on their Valentine’s dates this year, while women plan on spending less than $50.
But spending time with your significant other doesn’t have to come with a high price.
Here are 14 ideas to make your love life richer without making yourself poorer.
Nothing like a little friendly competition. Crack open Monopoly, Scrabble (not the kind on your phone), or a deck of cards and compete with your significant other.
Of course, a few friendly wagers -- let your imagination run wild -- will add to the fun.
Shopping is always fun, unless you're short on cash. Thrifting, however, isn't just shopping, it's about finding that diamond in the rough.
Look for antiques, early-edition books, knick-knacks, or quaint furniture. Who knows? Maybe you'll even find a fur coat like Macklemore's.
Set a small budget and impress your date with your treasure-hunting skills, or have a competition for tackiest gift.
Weather permitting, stop by a lake, venture into a forest, or hike your way to a romantic meal. Include a variety of tasty foods and a decent bottle of wine.
Check out 8 Tips to Find Good Wine for Less Than $10.
If board or card games aren't your idea of competition, head out to show off your skills.
Throw some darts at a local pub, bowl a few frames, or check out a local arcade, family fun centre, or pool hall and let the games begin.
This one is good for the kids too. Transform your living room into a fort, grab some popcorn and s'mores, and watch your favourite movie, classic or contemporary.
For extra fun, create a theme for the night and wear costumes and make snacks to match. Why wait until Halloween to dress up?
Skip the crowded restaurants and stay in, cozy up, and make a meal. If you're dating someone new and want to break the ice, invite a few friends and ask everyone to bring a dish for a potluck.
At Money Talks News headquarters in South Florida, we have to go inside to go ice skating. Wherever you live, grab some skates and head to an indoor or, if weather permits, an outdoor rink.
Learn the ways of the world's wines with a tasting at a local wine bar. Many restaurants and wine bars do tastings.
If you can't find any, shoot for a bar with an extensive wine menu to try a few different options. Even better, if you can, visit a local winery.
Pedicures aren't just for the ladies anymore. Men can use a day of pampering too. Make a date to hit the pedi-chair together. Your feet will thank you.
While many couples are out and about at restaurants, have dinner at home and head out for dessert at your favourite ice cream parlor.
If you don't have a good one locally, opt for making ultimate hot fudge sundaes at home. The creation is almost as fun as the consumption!
You don't need a week-long vacation for a quick retreat.
Drive a few hours and get away, whether it's to visit a family member, an ocean, or a landmark you've been meaning to visit. Grab your significant other and hit the road!
Support your local community and spend time with your sweetie at the same time! If you know your date's taste, opt for an artistic evening out.
Local shows are less expensive than their big-city production counterparts. Nothing good around you? Look for a movie you've been meaning to see at the drive-in.
Remember romance isn't about money -- it's about the time you spend with each other and the imagination you employ to let your lover know how special they are.