10 Valentine's Day date ideas that won't cost you anything

With new research showing 25% of us are bowing out of present buying this year, we’ve got a few ideas on how to make that romantic gesture absolutely free of charge.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, thoughts of loved-up couples all over the country will be turning to romantic gestures. Will it be flowers this year? Perhaps dinner at our favourite restaurant? Or, if the results of a new survey are anything to go by, maybe nothing at all?

HotUKDeals surveyed over 2,300 people – and a quarter said that, come February 14, they wouldn’t be exchanging gifts.

[Read more: 4 quirky places to go for Valentine’s Day]

Revealed: What your Valentine's Day flowers really mean]

What’s more, only 12% said they’d be spending over £50.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few ideas of how to declare your love without, you know, declaring yourself bankrupt.

1. Make a mixtape

We know. It’s possibly the most retro gift on the face of the earth, but bear with us. A compilation of all the musical milestones in your relationship can be a surprisingly thoughtful gift. So, turn up the volume and reminisce about the good times together.

2. Recreate the first date


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So, depending on what you did, maybe this one isn’t technically free. But going back to where it all began? Oh so romantic.

3. Impose a no-tech rule

It sounds simple, but shutting off your technology for the night can go a long way. No phones, no laptops, no tablets. Hit that off button, sit down and actually talk to each other. Remember talking? That thing we did before the internet?

4. Pull a sickie

For the record, we’d never normally advocate putting on your best fake ill voice and making the old “I don’t think I can make it in today” call, but staying at home all day with your loved one, feeling like teenagers who’ve bunked off school can make for one great Valentine’s Day.

5. Watch a sunset together


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I know it. You know it. The writer of every rom-com/romantic novel/love poem in the history of time knows it. Sunsets are ridiculously romantic. The best part? We’re treated to them every single evening. And they’re totally free.

[Read more: 11 of the most romantic views in the UK]

6. Have a game night

Trivial Pursuit. Twister. Cluedo. Why not crack out the classics and dedicate a night to some old-fashioned board game fun. Although, it’s probably best to steer clear of this one if you’re the competitive type. Monopoly has torn couples apart before, and it’ll do it again - nothing kills romance like screaming that your other half owes you £1,500 for landing on your Park Lane hotel.

7. Plan a scavenger hunt


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No matter how old they get, everybody loves a treasure hunt. If you say you don’t, you’re only lying to yourself. Try upping the romance factor by involving clues specific to your relationship.

8. Make a collage

Similar to the mix tape, we know it’s a bit secondary school, but looking through all your old pictures and creating a visual walk down memory lane is actually really fun. Well, once you can overlook the years of bad haircuts and dodgy fashion. Otherwise known as the 80s.

9. Do your chores

So, washing up gloves and hovering may not be the stuff of great romance, but the appreciation on your partner’s face when they arrive home to a clean house, or find you’ve finally got round to tackling that odd job you’ve been putting off forever? Worth it.

10. Write a love letter

Your other half will probably already have a fairly clear idea of how you feel about them – marriage, kids and long-term relationships are usually a pretty solid indicator that somebody likes you. But there’s nothing wrong with reminding them of exactly what you love about them every once in a while. And if you can’t say it on Valentine’s Day, when can you?

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