Valentine’s Day on a student budget

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and for those of you who are finding yourselves in the position of being both a significant other and a university student who is strapped for cash, V-Day can often leave you in a pickle. To help you out, we’ve decided to share our nuggets of wisdom with you in order to solve possible money problems on Cupid’s favourite day of the year. 

Handwritten and handmade 

If you’re really, seriously strapped for cash this Valentine’s, a simple way to your other half’s heart could be through something handcrafted. Avoid large, OTT cards from high street shops as these can often cost upwards of £4. Instead, choose to make a card yourself; or if you’re not the arty type, simply put pen to paper and write an old-fashioned letter. Although they may seem small gestures, they’re often the most appreciated as it takes time and thoughts and feelings from the heart, as opposed to simply buying something off a department store shelf. 

3 course meals on a budget

You don’t have to wine and dine at the most expensive restaurant in town to show someone that you love them this Valentine’s Day. Check out high street supermarkets’ dine-in meal deals here, as you can often find some seriously high quality meals for bargain prices. For example, Marks & Spencer’s meal deal for 2019 Valentine’s includes 3 courses, a side, and a mini box of chocolates for just £20. Serve this to your SO after sparking a few candles and you’ve got a romantic meal for two almost instantly. 

Shop around for the best deals and experiences

Want to actually do something with your partner instead of just buying material gifts? Make sure to always check voucher websites such as Wowcher or Groupon before booking anything. It seems obvious but you’d be surprised how often people just book days out or experiences at face value, when you can get massive discounts just by booking them elsewhere first. The beauty of gifts like these is that you can make memories on the experiences together, and they don’t have to be done actually on Valentine’s Day either. You can book them in advance as a mid-year getaway or treat for the both of you, and it still counts as a V-Day present. 

Free days out 

Aiming at spending next to nothing on Valentine’s? We’ve got you covered. Check for your nearest museums or art galleries for days when they have free entry for students, or visit stately homes/grounds for an exploration day together. Save your pennies even more by simply going on a long country walk and taking a picnic too. Again, this may seem too simplistic for some, but your partner will probably appreciate that you’ve put the thought into a day out to make memories together, as it ensures that you’ll be talking to each other in a relaxed environment without any distractions such as phones or work emails. 


Gift giving for less

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean expensive jewellery, massive bouquets of flowers or designer labels. Well-thought out gifts can be far more sentimental, not mention a fair bit cheaper. Buy a picture frame from a local interior or gift shop, and simply print off your favourite photo of the both of you so that they can have it to keep around their house. Or alternatively, buy a deeper picture frame and fill it with ticket stubs, pressed flowers, small examples of their favourite food wrappers (clean of course!), and mini photos of the pair of you and both of your families. This creates a mini abstract collage of all their fave things/memories, and you can keep adding to it over the years. Hang it around the house for an edgy, abstract look with true meaning behind it. 

Planning ahead

Deciding on where to go for a weekly or fortnightly ‘date night’ is often one of the biggest sources of frustration/passive aggression/actual aggression for a vast majority of couples. One simple Valentine’s gift to solve this is a handmade ‘date night’ jar. Grab a cute mason jar and some old revision cards that you have laying around (let’s be honest, you’re not actually going to use them for revision notes) and write out a different date night scenario on each piece. Shake up the jar and take turns picking from the jar – no returns, the jar has the final word even if you don’t like what’s written!

Valentine’s bake-off                                                                                                                        

If you and your partner aren’t the outdoorsy types, why not indulge your competitive sides at home? Buy loads of baking materials and do you-vs-them competition to create the best tasting and looking cookies, cakes or pastries. Not only do you get to find out who’s the master chef of the house, but you’ll end up with some (hopefully) immense sweet treats so that you won’t actually have to buy Valentine’s chocolates. Remember, loser does the washing up…

Go on a night out together

You’re students, right? Why not just do what you’re famed for? Start off with a couple of cheap bar drinks, then go for cocktails and get tickets for your favourite club night event. It may seem a bit *cringe* to some but it’s a great way to actually have fun together and enjoy each others’ more energetic sides. And even if the night out turns out to be cringier than expected, you can always sack it off early, grab a takeaway and head home to your sofa. 

Duvet day

Often happens the day after the above mentioned night-out. Duvet days are possibly the greatest days known to humankind; no responsibilities, no outside human interaction, no need for normal clothes. Lounging around with your partner binge watching your favourite series in your PJs whilst eating ice cream straight out of the tub…literally nothing sounds better, and it’s completely free. 



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Molly Hare

Molly Hare // Ex Magazine Editor // PR and Journalism student at Leeds Beckett // Book worm, cocktail connoisseur, gherkin fanatic //

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