Valentine's Day: Budget Friendly Date Recommendations

by Brock Clark February 14, 2020 3 min read

It’s that time of the year again Gauchos <3!!! The air smells just a tad fresher, the flowers are mid bloom, and there might just be a little more pep in your step. It’s Valentine’s Day! Now, what is to be expected from Valentine’s Day? Time after time it’s usually a movie, perhaps a little dinner and drink? That sounds about right but I think it’s safe to say it’s difficult to go all out on a college budget. Valentine’s Day in IV can be tough but it doesn’t have to be. For your viewing consideration here are several ways we found to treat your SO to a little Valentine’s Day magic without breaking the piggy bank.


  • Volunteer 
  • Price: Volunteer Fee (Varies but most should be free) = $0

    Now I know what you’re thinking; “That’s a fantastic idea, why have I not thought of this?” It’s not as glamorized as it could be, but volunteering at almost any kind of shelter or program is, dare I say, cute AF. Altruism is honestly one of the best new mating calls of our generation and I’d have to say if you’re not practicing it already, this might be just the occasion to start. Not to mention, if you go to an animal shelter you get to hang with the animals we know they’re all downright adorable.


  • A Picnic on the Beach/Bluffs 
  • Price: Food ($30) + Killer Views ($0) + Tunes ($0) = $30

    Picnics are severely underrated. Pilling up some of your favorite food, snacks, and drinks and taking someone special to somewhere scenic? Game changer. The bluffs or the beach right before sunset are not to be missed thanks to the b-e-a-utiful purple hue that we’re fortunate enough to have almost nightly now. If it were me personally, I’d probably get a little charcuterie, some chocolate, and a small bottle of wine to split. It’s also definitely still considered a picnic if you get some take out and go watch it at either of these locations.Don’t forget to grab a blanket, and I’d also recommend a playlist for this as well as it just adds that much more to the moment. 


  • Take a Drive
  • Price Estimate: Gas ($20 - $30) + Snacks ($10)  = $30 - $40

    While purchasing a large present or a bunch of small presents might break the bank, a drive almost certainly will not. We happen to be nestled in prime real estate, with LA and San Diego to the South and the remaining cities of the Central Coast to the North. All you need are some wheels, a few free hours, and a hankering to get lost. Personal recommendations include hitting up the Pismo dunes or touring around Solvang (Pro-Tip, Solvang has the ostrich farm that only costs $5 to get into). Also, crafting a playlist with some of your and your SO’s favorite tunes is a big win. Belt out some tunes and serenade each other.


  • Cook A Lovely Meal Together 
  • Price Estimate: Candle ($8.00) + Food/Ingredients ($30.00) + Tunes ($0) = $38.00

    Might be a little more on the basic side but it doesn’t have to be. Cooking a meal together is much more than just trying to save money. Picture this: you’ve both had a long day with class or work and all you want to do is spend a little time together and maybe, just maybe have a laugh or two. Cooking a meal together is guaranteed to produce said laugh. Secondly, you can most definitely make an atmosphere for the meal. A candle here, perhaps a dim light or two there, and did I forget to mention maybe a little Elton John somewhere in the background? 


    Brock Clark is not a relationships expert but he does know how to have a great time while on a budget. 

    Brock Clark
    Brock Clark

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