No money? No problem. There are always other ways to please your other half on your special day that are close to cheap. Take a cue from our date ideas that cost under $100, but don't forget you're not exempted from giving a gift, even though some of these activities leave you with cute knick knacks you can keep. If you're in a pickle about what to choose, check out our Valentine's Day gift guide for guys and girls for some gift #inspiration. Happy Valentine's!
FOR THE ARTY COUPLE
#1 Internet Calligraphy lesson, <$70
You can plan a trip to Art Friend or any other major craft store with your bae and browse around before having your lesson; where you can bond over the latest state-of-the-art watercolour pigments and get your equipment. All you need is a quiet spot, calligraphy pens, paper and some wifi, so you can watch YouTube tutorials and master the art. At the end of the lesson and practice session, write each other a cute Valentine’s card that you’ll keep for a long time.
2 calligraphy pens: $12 - $24
Grid paper: $2
Pretty cards: $4
Grub at a pretty cafe: ~$30
Pro tip: Bring old knick knacks like buttons, ribbons and even crusty old yellowed notepads for an extra ‘this is a fancy activity’ touch. Burn the edges of the paper (before you write on it!) with a lighter for a super Insta-worthy calligraphy note.
#2 Mona Lisa museum exhibition, ~$70
Get dressed up and get fancy as you peruse through Da Vinci’s finest masterpiece, alongside his sketches from school – just don’t forget to do your homework the day before to impress your date!
Tickets: $20 per pax
Coffee and brunch nearby: about $35, depending on where you eat
Pro tip: Encourage your date to wear eyeglasses and speak like a posh character for some sarcastic fun.
FOR FOODIE COUPLES
#3 Dinner at home, ~$60
This three course meal tutorial from sortedfood is sure to have you sorted … the dishes are easy to make even for beginners and you can have fun cooking with or for your date. Be sure to cook and eat to a mixtape of you and your bae's songs for that extra ambient. The mixtape doubles as your Valentine's gift too! If you want to get a little funky, here’s a romantic prank tutorial for making a three course dish, all made out of hearts.
Room decor: $10
Handmade mixtape: Free
Pro tip: Visit your nearest wet market to get fresh ingredients at two thirds the price in supermarkets. When in doubt, get the bloodier slab of meat.
#4 Chomp chomp marathon, $50 - $100
Dedicate the whole day to your favourite hawker fare and do some ‘hawker hopping’ ‒ like cafe hopping but in a noisier and greasier way. Walking to the next stop will help you digest in between too! If it’s a little too gung-ho for you, you could just do a solid dinner date instead – check out affordable restaurants online and book ahead to skip the crazy V Day queues.
Sugarcane juice for two: $3
Zee Char dishes: $8 - $18 per dish
BBQ chicken wings: $1.50 per piece
Dinner for two in a good restaurant: ~$100
Pro tip: Bring some digestive pills and laxatives, just in case.
FOR THE SPORTY COUPLE
#5 Photowalk date Sister’s Islands Marine Park, <$60
Get outdoorsy and creative with this outing. Simply head out to the jetty after picking up a lomo camera rental (includes a roll of film, processing and scanning) It could be a hot day so remember to pack a drink and a snack.
Ferry fare: $18 per pax
Guided tour: Booking required, free of charge
Lomo-camera rental: $20 (requires $50 deposit)
Packed sandwiches and lemonade: $10
Pro-tip: If you’re really cheapo, pack your sandwiches and lemonade from home and use a lomo camera app on your phone instead of renting a camera. But at least make some effort to wear nice-nice lah. (Girls, check out our outfit ideas for all kinds of dates here!)
FOR THE FILM FANATIC COUPLE
#6 Private movie screening at Esplanade Library, $38
A cheaper alternative to Gold Class tickets. Movie buffs will be more than happy with this arrangement ‒ the Esplanade Library is dedicated to filmography and it is filled with an impeccable selection of film scripts, books and DVDs. Take your pick from classic black and white thrillers like Psycho to more indie prescripts like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and simply watch them in the private comfort of the screening rooms. Don’t get too handsy, though ‒ every room comes with a security cam, though you might be able to sneak in the occasional popcorn/smooch.
Booking fee: $5.50 per hour
Dinner in the library cafe: about $25
Pro-tip: You can do the same thing at home for less if you have white walls and a phone ‒ google how to turn your phone into a projector and craft away!