Big on love but short on cash? Showing your crush you care doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  All it takes is a little effort and creativity to make this Valentine’s Day one of the warmest holidays yet. Here’s 5 unique date ideas sure to melt your loved one’s heart – without draining your budget.

#1 Plan a sunrise hike

This year, nurture your love with a little nature.  First, set the alarm and hike your way over to a gorgeous location near you.  Next, climb to the top of a mountain, stroll along your favorite beach, or explore a woodsy lake trail.  Lastly, pack a breakfast picnic with a few morning goodies like bagels and spread or perhaps a blueberry muffin to share with your sugar muffin. Then, snuggle up and wait it out for just the right moment to catch the sunrise together.

#2 Bring the getaway home

Daydreaming about your honeymoon?  What about a romantic destination yet to be explored?  Why break the bank on expensive airfare when you can create a similar feel in your own home? For example, light tropical scented candles and cook traditional Hawaiian food like ahi nachos for a fun island feel.  More of a mainlander? String twinkle lights and sip wine over tarts for a romantic French themed date.

#3 Check out the arts…locally 

Big name hits like, Phantom of The Opera and West Side Story are known for making romantic waves on Broadway.  However, if high-priced seats and a trip to New York City isn’t in your February 14th budget, see if a similar experience is available in your hometown. Local theaters, colleges and even high schools may have some great play options at a fraction of the price.  So grab a few tickets, dress up and bring Broadway to you!

#4 Little acts of love

More often than not, it’s the little things we do that truly demonstrate our love. So instead of buying another pricey piece of jewelry, try giving a little more of your time to show just how much you care.  If cleaning out the garage or reorganizing the junk drawers are still on your honey’s revolving errand list, this Valentine’s Day… do it!  You might be surprised to see just how much of an impact a car wash and uncluttered cabinets can have without costing you a dime.

#5 Cook with your crush

Traditional cooking classes are a nice way to connect and create delicious dishes together.  But if you want to avoid those expensive enrollment fees, why not create your own class and cuisine with your loved ones?  Ask the best cook in the batch to lead to the group in creating a unique dish.  Try whipping up Nanny’s enchiladas, your Aunt’s brisket, or even your best friend’s famous chilli.  As a result, your Valentine’s Day can be fun, and social. Furthermore, if you split the cost, it can be a very affordable way to spread the love.