Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank.  And showing your love to your spouse doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to a certain day or holiday.

50 Ways to Romance Your Sweetheart

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Here are 50 free or fairly inexpensive options to add a little love and romance on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year.   Go ahead, woo your sweetheart and make some new memories!

  1. Bring home a special treat that your significant other likes.
  2. Do a chore that’s normally your spouse’s (like taking out the trash, shoveling the driveway, etc.).
  3. Take a slow drive together.  Talk or listen to music.
  4. If you are fortunate enough to live a city with nice weather at this time of year, plan a picnic. Pack a picnic basket and make it as fancy and extravagant or as simple as you want.
  5. Cook a meal together, but first shop for the ingredients together.  Make it entirely out of things red in color.
  6. Create a scavenger hunt of love.  Scavenger hunts always end in a surprise or treasure – be creative.
  7. Scatter rose petals around your home and light candles.  Everything looks better in candlelight and rose petals. Sometimes you can get the petals for free from the local florist. Other times it may cost you a buck or two.  My suggestion is to call ahead to make sure they gather enough for you or have any on hand.
  8. Play a game of cards, dominoes or even a favorite childhood boardgame.  Candy Land counts! There are also lots of great couples games.
  9. Create redeemable love coupons. Be creative, romantic and/or practical.
  10. Hold hands.
  11. Barring any snow, ice or wind, spend time on the roof talking to one another.
  12. Offer to do your spouse’s most dreaded chore for a week or month.
  13. In front of your kids, tell your spouse the top 3 reasons that make him/her the best parent/spouse in the world.  [Prepare to have rolling eyes from the teenagers.]
  14. Make your room a hotel room for a night.  Candlelit baths, movies/TV, and room service.  You can even have a handmade menu of the things you are willing to make for your sweetheart to order up.
  15. Kiss at every red light until someone honks.
  16. Write and perform a love song for your spouse. Or leave the song on your love’s voicemail.
  17. Serenade your spouse from outside the bedroom window.  If you don’t or aren’t willing to sing, do it the Say Anything (80s movie) way with a boombox.
  18. If your spouse reads the paper, circle “love” words you find in red crayon before he/she wakes up. [Skip this idea if your spouse takes newspaper reading seriously.]
  19. Call a local radio station and dedicate a song to your spouse for the drive home.
  20. Make a playlist of all your spouse’s favorite songs.  [Other ideas: go with of all the #1 hits from the year of their birth or the year of your wedded bliss.]
  21. Make your own chocolate covered treats.
  22. Write a message for your spouse on your bathroom mirror.
  23. Gather some wild flowers (the flowers from your neighbor’s garden are not wild) and tie them with a pretty ribbon.  Lay them on the pillow if they smell sweet (be wary of bugs before doing this).  String some in your hair or tuck one behind your ear (tradition has it that a flower on the left ear means you’re taken and on the right means you’re free).
  24. Write a poem or love letter on scented paper.  Sound too daunting?  Try a top ten list of things you love about your sweetheart.
  25. Leave hidden love messages in places you know your spouse will find them throughout the day. [Coat pocket, wallet, lunch bag, car, briefcase, bathroom, favorite mug, fridge door, coffee grounds canister, etc.]
  26. Make each other Valentines day greeting cards, or go to the card section at the grocery store and read them to each other.  Consider sending an online greeting card for free.
  27. Go to a store like Target or Walmart with $5 (or $2) in hand for each of you. Separate to buy something thoughtful with those $5 and plan to meet at the front of the store in 15 minutes.  Put a twist on it by adding a rule or two.  For example, buying something that starts with the letter L for love, or something that reminds you of the first time you met.  Exchange gifts in the car or at a park.
  28. Dance.  Turn on music and dance in your living room in the dark, or turn on your car radio and dance in your driveway or in a parking lot.  Yes, in public.  Even if everyone is watching and it looks funny.
  29. Give an extra long kiss goodbye on your front door step beofre work and an extra long welcome home kiss. In red lipstick.
  30. Agree to watching a movie that you normally wouldn’t just for our spouse.
  31. Agree to inviting the dreaded friend (or fill-in-the-blank) to dinner, and be happy about it.
  32. Do something off the honey-do list that you’ve been dreading.
  33. Wash your spouse’s car.
  34. Ride a bike together.  Try to see if you can rent a tandem bike.
  35. Workout together.
  36. Instead of buying gifts, take a picture with your cell phone of something you’d buy each other if you had the means (diamond jewelry and fancy cars can be included in these).
  37. Whisper sweet nothings in your sweetheart’s ear at every chance you get.
  38. Give your spouse a day off to spend time doing whatever with whomever.
  39. Call up the in-laws and thank them for raising such a wonderful son/daughter.
  40. Make his/her favorite breakfast in bed.
  41. Take a stroll down memory lane.  Flip through and talk about pre-kid or pre-marriage photos.  Watch your wedding video, or take a walk in the park and reminisce about favorite dates when you were just dating.
  42. Make turns massaging each other.
  43. Make an extra special dinner at home, complete with dessert.  Eat by candlelight or firelight on the floor of your living room.
  44. Go ice skating.
  45. Play frisbee, basketball, soccer, catch or “tackle” football at the park.  Getting muddy or dirty earns you extra points.
  46. Flirt.  Openly and in public.  All day.  Like you used to when you were first dating.  Write text messages, email, call each other, bump into each other.  Tell a stranger (or say it out loud) that you think your spouse is hot.
  47. Get all dressed up just to eat ice cream at the local ice cream shop.
  48. Make dinner interesting by surprise ordering each course for each other.  Set a price cap first ($10, $15, or whatever is in your budget) and stay within those means.  See how closely you “read” each other’s minds.
  49. Sip coffee, hot chocolate or read your morning newspaper out on the front porch or porch swing.  If it’s cold, wrap yourselves up in a big, fluffy blanket.
  50. Take a nap together.

Valerie is a God-fearing coach’s wife and stay at home mom of five bright-eyed little ones.   She is the original founder of A Nation of Moms, a “one-stop shop” blog-azine of resources and advice for all moms who, like Valerie, just needed a little help.