If you’re looking for romantic ways to celebrate your anniversary but you’re also strapped for cash, then you’ve landed on the right page.
Let’s be honest – anniversaries, whether during dating or marriage, are always associated with expensive celebrations. However, throwing hundreds and thousands of dollars every year for your special day isn’t reasonable, especially if you have bills to pay and big goals to save up for.
Check out these 10 unforgettable ways to celebrate your anniversary without breaking the bank.
1. Redefine your “intimate romantic dinner for two”
Since you’re on a budget, splurging on an expensive candlelit dinner over a rack of lamb and a fine bottle of wine probably isn’t something you’re going for. However, you can get the same warm, romantic vibe sans the exorbitant prices.
Here are great ideas:
- Buy a bottle of liquor and your favorite meals and have a picnic in a picturesque location
- Find a good rooftop where you can set up a nice table for two while looking at the cityscapes
- Have a road trip to the countryside or even within the city and hunt for good dining places to try for the first time
- Plan a camping getaway and have dinner under the stars
- Create a romantic ambiance at home with flowers, candles, and your favorite songs, then prepare your own anniversary-worthy dinner.
2. Sip and paint
Why pay for an expensive 3-hour sip and paint session for your anniversary when you can do it in your comfortable home? Buy a bottle of wine and some inexpensive paint materials, and do art. The good thing is, since you are stocked up with materials, you can do this relaxing activity anytime.
3. Surprise your partner
Are you planning to meet up for your date night after work? Make it sweeter by showing up unexpected. You can leave earlier to visit your spouse at work, with a bunch of cheap supermarket flowers. If you’re a lady, surprising your man, you can show up with his favorite meal. A little effort can go a long way.
4. Tour a local art gallery/museum
Do you enjoy seeing different art pieces from different timelines? How about discovering something new about the world’s natural resources and the distant past? You might want to spend your special day touring a local art gallery and/or museum. The best thing is that they’re often free of charge. You just need to time your visit wisely to avoid long queues and big crowds.
5. Go out for brunch + coffee
Let’s face it – restaurant dinners are expensive. If you want to do something cheaper for your anniversary without losing the romantic feel of eating out, going out for breakfast/brunch is always a great idea.
Who doesn’t love hearty meals, great coffee, relaxing music, warm ambiance, and meaningful conversations? Spend the rest of the day doing cheap yet romantic activities, like going to the museum or park, sightseeing, or watching a free movie.
6. Opt for smaller cinemas for a more intimate (and cheaper) movie date
Movie watching is always a good choice. Yes, you can always stream your favorite movies on Netflix, but nothing beats dressing up, sitting inside a cinema with your beloved, and immersing yourselves in the story that plays on a big screen.
Skip the mall cinemas, which are often expensive (not to mention, filled with rowdy kids and unapologetic, noisy, spoiler-dropping moviegoers). Instead, opt for smaller cinemas with better movie lineups, cheaper rates, and a more intimate setting.
7. Celebrate your anniversary from dusk to dawn
Let’s say you can’t celebrate the whole day due to your day jobs. Well, use that to your advantage: things get even more romantic after dark.
You can watch a good outdoor movie in the park or listen to great music brought to you by talented street musicians. If you’re lucky, you can watch a free outdoor concert.
You can also visit a bustling nightlife district filled with diners serving til 3 am, pubs and jazz clubs. No need to buy expensive drinks – just get the cheapest drink and enjoy each other’s company, listening to the band or DJ. Hang out under the stars until the sky starts to brighten up.
8. Give thoughtful gifts
Skip the expensive flowers and sweets. Instead, give your spouse something thoughtful and personalized.
Write a piece of poetry about your beau and frame it. Make a scrapbook with your pictures together. You may also fill a box with a few items that show how much you care for your partner, like a box of medicines, a comfy neck pillow, colorful socks, and other favorite things.
9. Write love letters
Yes, this may sound overly cheesy, but it never fails to make hearts melt. In today’s digital era, where the messages are easily delivered via SMS or online, expressing your admiration on paper is something your spouse can never forget.
Write a love letter or create a personalized card, with a heartfelt message for your spouse. Seal it in an envelope, with a kiss mark of course.
10. Travel back in time
Spice up your long-term relationship by visiting the places that have been significant to you and your spouse. It can be the theme park you often hang out as teenagers, the school where you first met, the restaurant where you had your first date or the church where you got married. You can also recreate the menu on your wedding day.
Spend a portion of your day, doing things that’ll make you remember your earlier moments together – and will make you even more excited about your future ahead of you.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Relationship Room Couples Counseling, a couples psychology institution specializing in marriage counseling and therapies for couples and families. She may be hopeless romantic but she’s got some straightforward pieces of advice about love, dating, and relationships.