Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a student budget

Assorted candy

When Valentine’s Day rolls around, we can put pressure on ourselves to show how much someone means to us with extravagant gestures. But the truth is, romance doesn’t have to break the bank.

Here’s just a few ideas for a fun and memorable date night that won’t leave you feeling anxious to check your bank balance.

Get your chef on

If your partner’s love language is acts of service, nothing will say ‘I love you’ more than a home-cooked, three-course meal. You’re probably wondering how on earth a three-courser is budget-friendly, but the good news is we’ve done all the planning for you!

For less than £22 (when purchased from Tesco), you can proudly present these delicious courses on your Valentine’s menu:

STARTER: Loaded Potato Skins

MAIN: Chicken Alfredo

DESSERT: TikTok Strawberry Chocolate Cups

To make your life easier, we’ve also created a shopping list for you – here you go! It’s a thoughtful, uncomplicated and affordable way to make your valentine feel special.

If you’re not 100% confident in your culinary skills, you can always opt for a supermarket dine-in deal – browse the best ones for 2024 here.

At-home movie night

This might sound no different to a regular weekend, but you can quite easily level up your movie night while spending little to no money.

Using what you’ve got at home, why not create a cosy atmosphere and elevate your viewing experience? Drape some fairy lights, spread out some comfy cushions, or even grab the duvet for the ultimate at-home date. Top it all off with some classic cinema snacks like ice cream or popcorn, and you’re bound to impress!

Lacking inspiration? Find a movie you’ll both enjoy with Netflix’s What to Watch on Date Night guide.

Gift a Valentine’s ‘Boo Basket’

When occasions like Valentine’s Day pop up, it can be really easy to overspend. After all, it’s understandable to want to show just how much you care.

The good news? Gifting doesn’t have to be expensive. ‘Boo baskets’ have been trending on TikTok for the last few months, and frankly, I’d be surprised if you haven’t received a few subtle hints for one already!

Now’s the perfect opportunity, so pull some inspiration from others and build a basket full of their favourite things. Bonus points if you can stick to a colour scheme!

Self-care is important for our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, and products under that category are fail-safe when it comes to gifting. Here’s a few ideas of what you could include:

  • Bubble bath
  • Bath fizzer or shower steamer
  • Face sheet mask
  • Micellar cleansing water
  • Body moisturiser
  • Hand cream
  • Sweets or chocolates
  • Their favourite drink

Make mocktails

More people are becoming sober curious, and mocktails are an inexpensive way to imitate the classic cocktail without compromising on taste. Plus, you can sleep well knowing you’ll wake up feeling fresh and hydrated!

With Amy’s blog on 9 delicious alcohol-free recipes you can enjoy at home, you can have a fun evening of mocktail making with your valentine. The virgin cosmo and watermelon mojito sound like real crowd-pleasers.

Hopefully this blog has sparked some Valentine’s inspiration for you, but remember, a £5 gift can mean a lot more to someone than a gift worth £50. Ultimately, it’s the thought and effort that’s gone in to making your loved one feel appreciated and cared for that matters most.

Author: Narelle

After graduating with a Marketing degree at Teesside, Narelle joined the University's Communications and Development team as a Social Media Coordinator.