14 No-Spend Ways To Celebrate Valentine's Day

If one of your 2024 goals is to save money, then tune in. Below are 14 ideas for how to celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending a dime.

By Caitlin Shaw4 min read

With the start of the new year, many of us sit down and reflect on the previous year and what we can do to better ourselves in the next one. And if your resolution is to save more money in 2024, you’re far from alone. In fact, reports show that saving money was the most common New Year’s resolution among American adults under 30 years of age. 

The phrase “no-spend weekend” or “no-spend January” is taking social media by storm. But unlike many of TikTok’s other meaningless movements, taking part in the no-spend trend is both productive and financially responsible. A “no-spend weekend” (or week, or month) is a way of striving not to spend a single cent in a given allotment of time in an attempt to save money. Influencers and social media figures are vlogging their no-spend weekends to give followers ideas for how to still have fun without breaking the bank. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we're giving this trend a go and offering up some of our best ideas as to how you can express love without having to burden your wallet.

Movie Marathon

There are dozens of movies that are perfect for getting in the Valentine’s Day spirit, so whether you’re spending February 14 with a significant other, with a group of friends, or by yourself, grab a bag of popcorn and throw on one of these classics.

  • Valentine’s Day – This 2010 rom-com starring Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, and Bradley Cooper will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. Like the name suggests, this is a perfect movie choice for the day of love.

  • Dirty Dancing – This 1987 romance continues to be one of the most popular forbidden love stories of this generation and last.

  • Pretty Woman – Another timeless throwback that centers around the unlikely love story between a prostitute and a businessman.

  • Sleepless in Seattle – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will make you believe in love like you never have before in this classic romantic comedy. 

  • When Harry Met Sally – From strangers to enemies to “friends” and (possibly) finally lovers, When Harry Met Sally will put you in the Valentine’s Day mood whether you’re single or in a relationship.  

  • Friends With Benefits – This early-2000s romantic comedy starring Mila Cunis and Justin Timberlake is an authentic encapsulation of how being hookup buddies just doesn’t work. 

  • The Proposal – Fake it ‘til you make it takes on an entirely new meaning in this 2009 romantic comedy as Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds pretend to be lovers. 

Go for a Walk

Technically, window shopping still falls under the no-spend category. Take a stroll around your town, neighborhood, or local park, and breathe in the beauty around you. Staying active while getting fresh air is a great way to practice self-gratitude and get in the spirit of love.

Have an At-Home Spa Day

Valentine’s Day is just as much about self-love as it is about romantic or platonic love. Treat yourself to an at-home spa night by painting your nails, doing a face mask, or taking a bubble bath.

Read a New Book

One of the best parts about winter is curling up in front of a fireplace with a good book (even if that fireplace happens to be on your TV). If you’re spending Valentine’s Day decompressing by yourself, reading could be your ideal activity. In case you need a few ideas, some of the most beloved classic romance novels include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night. 

Prepare a Home-Cooked Meal

Nothing says love like a home-cooked meal! Spoil your loved ones – friends, family, your man, or all – with a multi-course meal to show your utmost affection. Take a look at what's already in your pantry or freezer and get creative! Cooking is not only a great way to express your love, but sharing a meal is a wonderful way to enjoy each other’s company.  

Host an Appetizer Party with Your Girlfriends

Throwing an appetizer get-together is a financially savvy but still fun way to spend Valentine’s Day. (Just make sure to go to the grocery store before Valentine’s Day so you don’t break the no-spend rule!) Looking for ideas? Visit Taste of Home for lots of festive inspiration.

Break Out the Board Games

Grab your favorite board game, deck of cards, or puzzle (and a few of your favorite people) to celebrate Valentine’s Day free of charge.  

Volunteer at Your Local Soup Kitchen or Animal Shelter

Volunteering is one of the best ways to spread love and stay in a festive mood this Valentine’s Day. While we typically think of February 14 as a day to spend doting on your man or cherishing your girlfriends, it’s about more than just these types of love.

Create a Playlist and Have a Dance Party

Making a new playlist is one of my favorite ways to get in the mood for an upcoming holiday. Whether doing so alone, with friends, or with your man, dancing to love songs is a perfect way to ring in Valentine’s Day. You and your man can even search “ballroom dancing lessons” on YouTube and teach yourselves a new skill! 

Bake a Sweet Treat

There’s no need to buy an overpriced box of gourmet chocolates when you can bake your own sweet treat in the comfort of your own kitchen. From cookie bars to cheesecake and festive cake pops, Sally’s Baking Recipes has all the sugary Valentine’s Day recipes you could need. 

Watch the Sunset or Sunrise with Your Favorite Beverage

Whether you’re enjoying the sunrise over a cup of coffee or the sunset over a glass of red wine, taking in the beauty of our planet is one of the most romantic ways to celebrate this day of love. 


If you’re in the mood to be crafty, don’t think it means you have to spend $100 at Michael’s. There are plenty of ways to DIY scrapbooking in the comfort of your home for no added cost. Whether you’re making a scrapbook for your man, for a friend, or for yourself, a homemade book will feel more meaningful and unique.  

Plan Your Next Getaway

Participating in no-spend Valentine’s Day will allow you to spend money later on something you really want to do. Use this day to do some research on where your next adventure can be! If you’re looking for inspiration, follow Travel and Leisure Magazine on Instagram or TikTok for ideas for solo travels, girls’ trips, or romantic getaways.

Write a Love Note to Someone in Your Life

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to tell someone how much you love them? Don’t waste your money on a Hallmark card; instead, grab some markers and colorful paper and DIY your love note. The effort you put into it will prove your adoration for the recipient just that much more.

Closing Thoughts

However you plan to spend Valentine’s Day – whether with a group of girlfriends, with your man, or by yourself – know that you don’t have to spend money to show your love.

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