This article is for the men because it is mostly considered their responsibility to organize the Valentine outing. However, at approximately N300 to a $1, many of us are humble this season. Despite this, expectations are running high, and you hardworking, yet loving men are wondering how to achieve the daunting task of pleasing bae this Valentine.

Well, never fear, it is possible to enjoy Valentine’s Day without spending exorbitant amounts of money and below are a couple of ways to do so:

Take her to where you first met her or where you realized you were in love with her – this suggestion is a tricky one, so treat it with care. For example, if you first met her at a party at your house, taking her to your house is not particularly romantic; especially considering that she is probably at your home every other day or so. Also, if you met her in say, South Africa and you take her there, she may think you are going to propose…The point of this particular exercise is to express to her how memorable meeting her was.

Express your talent – Many of us are blessed with talents. And men who can sing, play an instrument, write, draw/paint are particularly lucky because you can use this gift to melt her heart. Write her a song, sing to her, make a drawing of her. In many ways these are more special than buying gifts because thought, as well as time must have gone into it. However, if you have done these things before, or for different females, this exercise will not feel special to her.

Make her a meal – There is nothing like a homemade meal made by your bae, whilst you sit back (probably for the first time ever) and enjoy. Even if your cooking skills are not great, she will appreciate that you took the time to learn a recipe and execute. But heads up, instant noodles will not impress anyone, even if you boil eggs as well. Why don’t you try a stir fry, bbq chicken and don’t forget about dessert?

Beach Date – The beach is an all-time favourite because the romantic ocean and the mood-enhancing sand is free. So pack yourself a picnic from the food in your house. Don’t forget to purchase your drinks, tell your bae to dress lightly and take her to the beach. Throw your mats on the ground, relax, and enjoy the view and each other’s company.

Scavenger Hunt – This is for the man who wants to keep his girl occupied that day. Try a scavenger/treasure hunt. Buy her a gift, it doesn’t have to be wildly expensive, but get her something she will like. Then hide it. Then write notes that lead to the location of other notes, which will eventually lead to the gift. The notes should contain little romantic clues. And you could use the opportunity to tell her just how much you love her.

The Gift – None of the above is meant to be a way out of buying a gift, if you have the means. But even if you don’t, bouquets can be expensive and so can jewellery. But why don’t you focus less on the typical Val’s Day gifts and more of the individual tastes of the woman you are with? If she likes to read, buy her romance novels; if she loves watching movies, buy her, her all-time favourite movie.

If you have any other ideas on how to have a romantic Valentine on a budget, please drop a comment below.



Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self published work. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam.


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