10 affordable ways to celebrate this Valentine’s Day

Chloe Williams, Web and Social Editor

1. Dinner and a movie ~ $20-$30

Elevate this date night classic with a home-cooked meal and movie night. Find budget-friendly meal ideas here, including easy homemade pizza. If cooking is not your forte, purchase one of H-E-B’s meal simple dinners, with elevated options including steak and salmon, each ranging from $8 to $11. Top the night off with flowers, a love letter and a movie.

2. Picnic and painting ~ $15

Regardless of your painting skills, this date idea is a sure winner. Head to Five Below and purchase a canvas pack for $3.25, a paintbrush pack for $5 and a paint set for $5. While you are there, grab some snacks and drinks. With a high of 71 degrees on Valentine’s day, it is the perfect weather to set up your spread in one of San Antonio’s many parks

3. Art museum — Free

Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Tuesday, which happens to be the day the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) has free admission for Bexar County residents from 4 to 7 p.m. Take your date to the museum and enjoy the evening looking at their various collections. Another free museum in San Antonio is Artpace which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artpace, currently featuring two exhibitions, is free all day.

4. Go for a hike — Free

Spend your Valentine’s Day embracing nature at one of San Antonio’s many hiking destinations. One of my favorites and closest to campus is Friedrich Wilderness Park. There are trail options for all skill levels. 

5. Be a tourist for the day — Price will vary

San Antonio welcomes around 34 million tourists annually. Spend the day exploring the city in a new way with new eyes. Visit all the tourist attractions and San Antonio staples. A full list of San Antonio’s most visited attractions can be found here.

6. Plan a surprise — Price will vary

Surprise your partner with a festive setup. Ideas can include a rose-covered room complete with love notes and pictures. Another option is to decorate your apartment balcony with flowers, balloons and festive decor for dinner or an activity. 

7. Create a scrapbook ~ $20

Print pictures of you and your partner at any drugstore and purchase a scrapbook. The dollar store also has many stickers and decor options available. Take time and make a scrapbook or adventure book with your partner. Attach the photos and caption the pages with memories and notes for each other. This activity is sure to be something memorable to look back on. 

8. Recreate your first date — Price will vary

Make this Valentine’s one to remember by recreating your first date with your partner. This will be sure to highlight your attention to detail and memory. Depending on the destination, this date could be more expensive than other options.

9. Write your partner a PaisanoGram — Free

Write your partner a love note to be published in The Paisano on Valentine’s Day. This note can be submitted here. Submissions are due at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12. This note can be paired with flowers, paper and classic chocolates.

10. Curate a partner-specific gift — Price will vary

Listen to your partner’s love language and use what you know about their interests and hobbies to create a specific and budget-friendly gift. It can be as simple as a surprise coffee or as extravagant as a fancy dinner in the Pearl. 

The most important part of holidays like Valentine’s Day is the expression of appreciation for your partner and their needs. So, whatever you decide to do for your partner this Valentine’s Day, remember that making it memorable does not have to mean making it expensive.