10 Fun, Budget-Friendly Valentines Day Ideas On A Weekday

Punitive tax and austerity measures have impacted heavily on Kenyans' salaries and very few would be willing to go out of their way financially as of now to impress their significant other.

10 Fun, Budget-Friendly Valentines Day Ideas On A Weekday
A couple enjoying Valentine's day at home. /PERRY HOMES

Let us be honest with ourselves, do you want to spend more than 80 per cent of your hard-earned money this Valentine's Day (February 14) on a date with someone who will most likely pay more attention to the food or drinks than to you?

With Kenyans set to mark Valentine's Day on Wednesday, gone are the days when couples used to save up for days and months to splurge on lavish dinner and lunch dates as well as luxury getaways as the current state of the country's economy is forcing couples to go back to basics.

Punitive tax and austerity measures have impacted heavily on Kenyans' salaries and very few would be willing to go out of their way financially as of now to impress their significant other.

On the bright side, budget-friendly ideas to mark the day of lovers have emerged...in a month of lovers. Some don't require excessive expenditure while others can be achieved literally for free; the goal is to create and maintain lasting connections between the couples themselves.

Image of a box of chocolates. /PIXABAY

Given that this year's Valentine's happens to fall on a working day, Viral Tea takes a look at some fun and budget-friendly ideas for you to consider:

Breakfast in Bed

Couples who live with each other can start the day off on a sweet note by surprising themselves with breakfast in bed. They prepare their favourite breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles, or scrambled eggs, along with a cup of coffee or tea.

This is also an option for couples who might have off days on Valentine's Day and spend the night with each other on the eve of the 14th.

Love Notes

Many of us used to leave small love notes for our partners to find throughout the day. Hiding them in their pockets, wallets, or lunch bags brightens their day and reminds them of our love.

While married couples might still do this, the world has gone digital, and all it takes is a love note sent to your significant other or casual partner through WhatsApp and social media platforms such as Instagram.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Lunch Date

Instead of going out for lunch, pack a homemade lunch for both of you and have a picnic in a nearby park or even at your workplace. N.B: not your office, in this case, an office block.

It is a romantic and budget-friendly way to spend some quality time together during the day. Alternatively, you can arrange for a lunch date at your favourite kibanda (small restaurant) with friendly costs compared to high-end restaurants.

After-Work Happy Hour

Skip the expensive dinner reservations as well as expensive drinks at a luxurious bar and opt for a relaxed happy hour at home.

You can shop for your favourite drinks at the supermarket after work and make some cocktails or mocktails at home. Put on some music, and unwind together after a long day.

A couple having cocktails at a bar. /COLUMBIA DISTRIBUTING

Cook Together

Again, steer clear of the expensive dinner dates and plan to cook dinner together in the evening.

Choose a simple and delicious recipe that you can prepare together in the kitchen. Cooking together can be a fun and romantic bonding activity.

Movie Night

Create a cosy movie night at home with your favourite romantic films or TV shows through streaming platforms such as Netflix. You may not need a TV for this one as both of you can watch via your laptop or phone with a pair of earphones/Bluetooth speaker and through whichever of you has an active subscription.

Bring out some snacks, cuddle on the couch or bed, and enjoy a relaxing evening together without spending a fortune.

Homemade Dessert

Create a homemade dessert together as a sweet ending to your Valentine's Day celebrations.

Whether it is baking cakes, making fruit salad, or indulging in bars of chocolates, the process of creating something delicious together can be a fun and intimate experience.

Plan a Future Date

Spend some time together planning a future date or adventure. Remember, Valentine's is on a weekend and not recognised as an official holiday even though it is celebrated by billions worldwide through the exchange of gifts and spending time together.

Whether it is a weekend getaway, a day trip to a nearby town, or trying out a new activity together, discussing and planning future experiences can be exciting and build anticipation for more quality time together.

Exchange Personalized Gifts

Instead of buying expensive gifts, exchange personalized and meaningful gifts that won't interfere adversely with your budget.

It could be a handmade card, a photo album of your favourite memories together, or a playlist of songs that remind you of each other, all of which can also be made possible digitally through photo editing platforms and your phone's gallery.

End the Day with Gratitude

Before going to bed, take a moment to express gratitude for each other and the time you spent together. Reflect on the highlights of the day and reaffirm your love and commitment to each other.

Bonus tip: End the day with lovemaking and intense bedroom activity; remember to use protection.

Remember, Valentine's Day is about celebrating love and connection, and you don't need to spend a lot of money to create meaningful memories with your partner.

Focus on spending quality time together and showing appreciation for each other's presence in your life.

Miscellaneous: Valentine's Day On Ash Wednesday

Like in 2018 and 1945, Valentine's Day 2024 happens to fall on the same day as the beginning of Lent, popularly referred to as Ash Wednesday. For either or both couples who are Roman Catholic faithfuls, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans who observe the Lenten season, this presents a challenge over whether to mark Valentine's or the holy day.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of 40 days of fasting, penitence and abstinence in the run-up to Good Friday.

Believers are encouraged to take a break from festivities and observe a solemn period of contemplation and repentance. The observance also includes cutting off most meats from the diet as believers ponder the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness and faced temptations from the Devil.

By consensus, priests advise faithfuls to forgo Valentine's and to give prominence to Ash Wednesday. This means attending mass to have the ashes applied to their forehead and spending most of the day in prayer and fasting...another possible date idea in the event either or both of you belong to the aforementioned faithfuls.

Luckily, there are recommendations for navigating this rare occurrence:

  1. Postpone Valentine's Day: Given the diet restrictions and significance of Ash Wednesday, you can opt to celebrate the one you love on February 13th or some other day post-February 14th without having to compromise Ash Wednesday.
  2. Ignore Valentine's Day completely: It is also an option to skip Valentine's this year. Since the coincidence is quite rare, it wouldn't hurt to give prominence to Ash Wednesday instead.
  3. Let Valentine's Day take on a new meaning: February 14 is often also commemorated as the day Saint Valentine - the patron saint of lovers, epileptics, and beekeepers - died as a martyr. His death and that of Christ are hailed as the ultimate act of love. Valentine's this year can be dedicated to being grateful for the gift of divine love.

This article was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model and edited by the author.

A man and woman as a couple. /HIVISASA.COM