Do these make you want to vomit? Yeah, me too. Photo courtesy of daveparker. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.Valentine’s Day. The holiday that somehow morphed from celebrating a martyred saint to decorating everything in sight with red and pink, chocolate, roses, hearts, butt-naked cupids, and those horrible sweet heart-shaped candies that taste like chalk.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for college students. We’ve got way too much going on in our lives to bother with some stupid Hallmark holiday tradition. However, there is something positive that Valentine’s can offer us. In the midst of all of the chaos of work, it can serve as a day to just take a break from projects, papers, and other school related things and to just have a day of relaxing and togetherness, whether it’s with your boyfriend or girfriend or with your best friends. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be something huge or elaborate. It should just be a day for small reminders of why you’re with your significant other. There are some inexpensive ways to celebrate the 14th and to make the most of this obnoxiously pink-heart-infested holiday.

Eat Your Hearts Out

Food is the key to every good relationship. So this Valentine’s mix food into your plans. Most people think that a dinner date on Valentine’s has to be some big expensive, lavish. Not true. It could be the pizzaria down the road or even just the local Chili’s. It honestly doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you’re spending quality time together. In fact, sometimes the more informal you are, the more fun you can have. Last Valentine’s, my boyfriend and I had a pizza “picnic” on the floor of his dorm room. 
If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even try cooking a full-fledge meal together. Because, guys, there is absolutely nothing sexier than a man who can cook. Does it matter if you can cook well? Does it matter if you end up horribly burning everything? No, of course not. The goal here isn’t the resulting food– it’s the time you spend together making it.
Splurge and bake some cupcakes with some cupcake mix from the grocery. They’re delicious and super cheap. If you live in a dorm and don’t have the fridge for the spare eggs and oil you’ll have to buy for the cupcakes, try the Coke method. That’s right you can make perfectly good and totally not-freaky-weird cupcakes by just mixing one can of Coke with the cupcake mix of your choice. I tried it this weekend and I will say that they were quite good.

 

Give Something Small but Sweet

Valentine’s doesn’t have to be about the big diamond necklaces or expensive gifts. The smallest things can be the ones that we treasure most. You might even try making something. Try your hand at writing a poem. I know, I know. I can hear some of you groaning now. Sure, it’s cheesy. But, you know what, that’s the fun part of it. As serious as poems can be, you can also write silly ones about inside jokes you share. It doesn’t have to be anything long. Writing your feelings down is just a sweet sentiment. Girls love it, and guys (as much as they will deny it) are usually pushovers who secretly enjoy them.
Burn them a CD with your favorite songs. Put together a sweets bag with their favorite kinds of candies. Again, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’ve taken some time and put some thought into it, your gift will be meaningful. If you run into a problem of your significant other throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get a “good enough” gift, you may want to reevaluate your relationship. That’s a definite red flag.

 

If You’re Single…

Valentine’s is always geared towards those who are in relationships, and usually that pretty much sucks. But here’s the deal. There is nothing wrong with being single. You’re in college and it’s effing awesome. So, sure, you can stay in and eat a pint (or gallon) of ice cream and watch sad movies. Sometimes we need that once in awhile. You could also gather up a bunch of your friends and have a girls’/guys’ night. But Valentine’s is ultimately about spending time with the people you love and choose to surround yourself with. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have that “someone.” If you’ve got your friends, you’ve got people who love you. And that’s what the 14th of February is about.

 

Do you have any tips for cheap dates for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments!