How not to break the bank for Valentine’s Day

Ten sweet ways to treat your sweetheart for under $10.


Cherri Yoon/THE CHIMES

Jenna Kubiak, Writer

Want to show your special someone that you care without spending too much money? With a dozen long-stemmed red roses, giant teddy bears and large boxes of chocolates as your usual choices, it can be difficult to shop for your valentine without emptying your wallet. However, a nice Valentine’s Day gift can also be inexpensive. Here are ten different ways to treat your date to something unique and sweet at a low cost.

1. Lanyard

Many students carry their room or house keys on a lanyard to avoid losing them. Lanyards come in various patterns and colors, so you have many options to choose from. You can find personalized lanyards on Etsy for $10 and under and pick out your sweetheart’s favorite colors and patterns to carry their keys.

2. Go swing dancing

Many swing dance venues offer open swing nights for low cost. Memories in Whittier offers open swing dance nights on Mondays from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for $5. For even more fun, create a group date, dress up and dance the night away to upbeat swing music.

3. View a movie at the dollar theatre

Enjoy a movie night with your date for a few bucks at the dollar theatre and watch an action-packed thriller or romantic flick. With the theatre located just up the street from campus, you and your date can enjoy a nice walk and perhaps visit one of the many restaurants in the area beforehand. Admission costs $2 before 6 p.m., $3 after 6 p.m. and 3D films cost $4 all day.

4. Mug

Does your valentine love to enjoy tea, coffee or cocoa? Buy them a mug they can fill up while they enjoy their favorite book. Easy instructions can be found on Pinterest, or you can customize photo mugs using Shutterfly.

5. Go ice skating

Winter is the perfect time for skating around an ice rink. East West Ice Skating Palace in Artesia offers discounted admission after 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission costs $7 and skate rentals cost $3, or you can bring your own skates.

6. Take a walk on the beach

Take a walk on the beach and enjoy the soft grains of sand that brush across your feet. Go early in the evening to view the gorgeous red and orange hues of a sunset. You can make even more memories with a beach photo shoot. Huntington Beach is a 40 minute drive from campus and offers other attractions such as the International Surfing Museum and the Huntington Beach Art Center.

7. Buy chocolate bars instead of boxes

Chocolate bars are cheaper than a box of chocolate. Buying chocolate bars also allows you to buy different varieties of chocolate, a perfect gift for a valentine who enjoys both white and dark chocolate, or other types such as cookies-and-cream, cherry-filled or almond chocolate. Some brands of chocolate such as Ghirardelli, Hershey’s and Dove also offer different assortments of chocolate squares.

8. Make a Spotify playlist or mix CD

Create a personalized Spotify playlist composed of songs from your favorite movie soundtracks or artists to play when doing homework, hanging out or during fun weekend activities. You can also make a mixed CD to keep in the car for those weekend trips to the beach or mountains.

9. Have a coffee date at a cafe

Have a conversation with your date over a delicious latte at a cozy cafe such as Cream and Sugar Cafe, a short walk from campus. Further away from school offers places like Intelligentsia and Night Owl. Much like its name, the Night Owl in Fullerton works best for a valentine who loves to stay up late. The Night Owl also plays live music, perfect for music lovers.

10. Have a picnic in the park

Escape the busyness of life and enjoy a picnic lunch outdoors. Head to the grocery store or a farmer’s market to pick out your favorite foods before finding the perfect picnic spot at a local park. After you finish eating, you can take a walk around the park and admire the beautiful nature, or you can do other fun activities such as playing frisbee.


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