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Valentine’s Day: Love on a student budget

Celebrating Valentine’s Day means different things to different people. Whether you simply exchange cards or go all out on a day of pure devotion, cost is going to be a factor. And if you’re a student in love, that budget is often minimal. To help keep your student romance alive, we’re looking at some of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a student budget.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 14 February 2023. 

Valentine’s gifts

Lots of people adore the classic gifts of chocolates and flowers, and we’re a big fan. However, let’s have a look at some more unusual gifts to show your loved one how much you care.


Books can make incredible gifts, especially for people who aren’t great at expressing their emotions. And remember, romance doesn’t have to be a bodice ripper. There’s a different type of love story out there for everyone, try The New Faber Book of Love Poems, the queer graphic novel Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (now a much-loved Netflix series) or you can go with a modern classic such as The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

100 date bucket list

What’s better than giving the gift of one date? Giving the gift of a hundred dates.

This 100 Dates Bucket List poster (other types are available) is the perfect way of keeping date night fresh and fun. Some of the ideas might not immediately appeal to everyone, but that’s half the fun. Get out there, try something new, have some laughs along the way and you might even find something new you love doing together.

Love letters

Whatever your opinion on Valentine’s Day, what it does provide is the perfect opportunity to tell that special someone how you really feel about them. Don’t worry about writing a Shakespearean sonnet, just do your best to get how you feel down on paper. Only you know your relationship and whether you should keep it fun, silly or romantic, but if you say how you really feel, you can’t go too far wrong.


Valentine’s experiences

Museums and galleries

You’d be surprised at just how many incredible museums and galleries across England are completely free to enter. You’ve got the obvious large city options such as the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, and the National Gallery in London. In Birmingham you have The Barber Institute of Fine Art, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Google your local area for quirkier options such as Brighton’s Booth Museum of Natural History (featuring lots of Victorian taxidermy), the National Football Museum in Manchester or London’s Cartoon Museum.

Cooking together

Quiet often it’s one person doing the cooking for a Valentine’s meal, but it’s far more fun to share the creative process. If you’re looking for budget recipes, check out Jack Monroe’s website Cooking on a Bootstrap, or if you’re looking for healthy but enjoyable options, you can try The Hairy Dieters recipes. But if you fancy going all out on a sweet tooth extravaganza, look no further than Jane’s Patisserie for some drool worthy treats. If her cakes look a bit intimidating, I’d highly recommend the tray bakes (especially the Rolo Blondies).

Treasure Trails

Treasure Trails are themed walks that are available in towns, cities and villages across the UK. Whether you fancy a walking adventure, learning about a new city or simply having fun with a loved one, these treasure trails are great budget entertainment.

Each trail also comes with details of the approximate time it should take, the walking distance, accessibility and if the route is dog friendly. These trails are especially useful if you’ve moved to a new area and want to get to grips with your surroundings.

Work together and see if you can beat the estimated time.


Discover more about the psychology of love by listening to our love languages podcast.