Oh no! Valentine’s Day is approaching and you totally spaced on making plans to celebrate your sweetie. Or you’ve had a change of heart and just decided you actually want to celebrate this year. Regardless of the “why,” it’s time to figure out the “what” in time for Valentine’s Day. Dinner reservations are hard to come by this late in the game, and the last thing you want is to bring home a dusty box of chocolates from the corner store, so it’s time to get creative. Here are 5 unconventional Valentine’s Day date ideas that won’t break the bank and won’t require a ton of advanced planning:

  1. Get Goofy with a Thrift Store Makeover

Trying to guess your significant other’s size and style just so you can get them the perfect dress or shirt for Valentine’s Day is so over. You’re in love and you’re comfortable being silly with each other, so rather than playing the guessing game and spending tons of money on something they may not like, go together to your favorite thrift store and turn each other into real-life dress-up dolls! 

Find the most outrageous, clashing, and out-there outfits you can, and see who can one-up the other. Bonus points if you’re brave enough to wear these outfits out to your “regular” Valentine’s Day dinner. And who knows, maybe you’ll find something you love so much it becomes part of your day-to-day wardrobe!

  1. Spice Up Your Game and Movie Night

For couples on a budget, there’s no more common advice than to enjoy an at-home board game or movie night. And there’s a reason this advice is so common: It’s genuinely fun, affordable, and easy! But Valentine’s Day is special, so instead of plopping down on the couch in front of the new Marvel movie you already planned to see, or dusting off the game that’s played so often that it didn’t even gather much dust, get creative!

Rather than watching in your living room, bring the TV into the bedroom and build a great big pillow fort to enjoy the movie in style and comfort! Or, rather than finding the top-rated new release, pick out a movie that’s so bad it’s funny (trust us, there are plenty of lists to help get you started). Or, go out and treat yourselves to a brand new board game–and make the purchase and play your gift to each other. 

  1. Great Cooks? Try Chopped At Home

Picture this: You’re standing around the water cooler on February 15th, talking about the night before. “Oh, your husband made Beef Wellington and you surprised him with a beautiful bottle of red? How sweet. So did everyone else’s,” you get to say. “My husband and I love Chopped, so we invented a whole new dish using chicken drumsticks, goat cheese, Ritz crackers, and Sweetarts candy hearts!”

Cooking for each other is a lovely gesture, but sometimes it feels like with Valentine’s Day, the pressure is on to do something fancy using expensive ingredients and cliched recipes. To which we say, try something new using everybody’s favorite cooking competition as a challenge! Maybe it didn’t taste quite as good, but we promise you’ll remember the night for years to come.

  1. Rediscover Your City with a Scavenger Hunt

Rather have a night out on the town? We get it. How about doing it in a way that lets you really discover your town, rather than just hitting up the same tired or trendy spots? Surprise your spouse with a scavenger hunt that brings the two of you criss-crossing across town finding art installations, historic landmarks, nature spots, and hidden gems that maybe the two of you have never stumbled upon. 

It’ll cost nothing more than gas money (and not even that if you challenge yourselves to get around by bike, foot, or public transit), and will open your eyes to everything that makes your town special and a great place to live. Now get out there and explore!

  1. Bring the Whole Family Together with Unique Craft Ideas

Got kids in the house? While Valentine’s Day can be an excuse to get some much-needed 1-on-1 time with just each other, it can also be a great opportunity to bring the whole family together and express your creativity and joy with each other. 

Whether it’s decorating the house for the holiday, creating hand-made and hand-written cards for those you love, or trying fun and adventurous arts and crafts projects, Valentine’s Day can be as good a day as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday to sit side-by-side and revel in each other’s love, affection, creativity, and company. 

Spotloan: A Smarter Way to Borrow

Brainstorming fun and cost-effective Valentine’s Day date ideas is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and to show your love for those you care about, but once the day has passed, it’s back to the real world–and sometimes that can mean needing some financial help. At Spotloan, our simple online application process can help you qualify for the money you need, even if you have bad credit or need a loan quickly. All you have to do is go fill out our application to see if you qualify, and you could receive a decision within minutes. Fill out our application now!