I am the king of frugal! With 3 kiddos, there aren't a lot of date nights or much money left to do anything wild-n-crazy. Here are some cheap or free date ideas to make Valentine's more about your love than your wallet.
A themed date-night in
Staying in might seem like the obvious choice, but it doesn’t mean your date has to be typical or boring. Many women prefer just a nice home cooked meal and quality time. What's he favorite movie? Rent it or buy it, then theme out your night like the movie. Find a local bakery with housemade croissants and pick out a mid-priced champagne. She'll love the consideration you put in and how much you thought of her.
Set a ridiculously low budget
Creativity and a challenge can be fun in itself, plus you'll know each of you are thinking of each other all day trying to choose. Pick a really low number, like $5 each, then fashion a creative date you can accomplish without going over budget. It's unique and meaningful.
Do something unexpected
You're always so busy at work. You NEVER get to grab lunch together, so tell her to meet you at Piedmont Park (or one near you) at Noon, no other details. Grab a blanket, some take-out, and champagne or wine. Dress nicer than work clothes, show up with a single rose, and ask if she will accept this rose after you have a "one-on-one" date in the park
Skip the meal
Dinner is kind of cliche' and can be hard to find a good reservation, not to mention, expensive. There are always really cheap or sometimes free museums to stroll near you. Like the High Museum for instance, $12/per person and some good quality time. Or go to a local improv show. Typically only costs about $10. Then grab some coffee before or after and just chat.
Exchange handmade gifts
Again this is fun and creative. The good news is Pinterest has a million ideas. For guys, maybe a homemade beard wax with a custom scent. A friend of mine is super crafty, and her husband loves movies, so she’s been working on a cross-stitch of "The Godfather". For your lady, homemade body butter, homemade candles or a basic woodworking project. Even as simple as a cute handmade card like you would've made in grade school or Jr. High could be creative and adored. If you've got kiddos, do it all together for Mom.
Take the day off and pamper her
Wake her up with a little breakfast in bed. Then surprise her with the fact that you took the day off just to be with her. All too often work becomes so overbearing, that you forget the time investment in your love. If you've got daughter (or you feel skilled enough), get her nails painted and massage her feet. Take her out to a lunch at a spot you've never tried before, followed by some window shopping at her favorite place. Even if she doesn't buy anything, she'll love the fact that you are right there to tell her how great she looks in it!
Happy Valentine's Day!
I better pick one of these quick, because my wife is bound to read this, and then say "WHAT?! You couldn't do any of those things for me?"