Whether you are a hopeless romantic, or not, it’s hard to ignore the influx of hearts, cards, roses and chocolates that appear this time every year. Often, we think about lavish meals, huge bouquets of flowers or expensive mini breaks, but it doesn’t need to break the bank. After all, Valentine’s Day is about thoughtful gestures to remind your partner how much you care about them.

If you are a student living in Leeds and want to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2022 in style, but on a low budget, then here we have some inventive student hacks to give you romantic inspiration…


Plan a treasure trail around Leeds

This might take a bit of planning, but if you are set on making this Valentine’s Day one to remember, then it will definitely be worth the effort (weather pending!).

The idea is to navigate your partner through Leeds, leaving notes or riddles for them to find.

Take them on a tour of your previous dates, or places that mean something to you both. The scope is as broad as you have the effort to make it.

Inside jokes and clever clues will then lead them to a destination like a café, bench, museum or bar – perhaps the place where you first met. Then you could surprise them here with a home-made picnic, a bottle of prosecco or by reciting a thoughtful poem that you have written just for them!


Prepare a gourmet dinner at home

Food is the way into many people’s hearts, and home-cooked food is especially sentimental.

Preparing dinner at home is a much cheaper option than eating out, but it can also be more romantic – you can customise everything and include foods you know you both love. Plus, many of the supermarkets have special Valentine’s Day offers, so you can whip up a 3-course-meal with wine, without overspending.

Be sure to give your student home a good clean and tidy earlier in the day to ensure it looks luxurious and welcoming. Light some candles to set a relaxed atmosphere and create a playlist of the songs that remind you of each other to play in the background.

Just be sure that you make a deal with your flatmates to be out for the night, if possible, to give you some space and time alone without any disturbances!


Have a desert only date

If you really have your heart set on going out for a Valentine’s treat, but can’t afford a full meal, then why not skip the starter and main course and opt for desert only!

A shared ice cream sundae, crepe au Chantilly or a crème brûlée can go a long way and will certainly cost a lot less than a whole meal. Try Haute Dolci in The Light for a posh fondue, or Crepe Affaire in The Trinity Centre for a more informal alternative.


Re-create the cinema in your living room 

Going to the movies can be an expensive evening out. The transport, the tickets, the popcorn, the wine…it all adds up and soon you could be spending your entire week’s student budget in one night! So, instead, why not bring the cinema to your student home.

Make the room cosy with rugs, blankets and pillows so you can snuggle up together when the move starts. You might want to place candles around the room for an extra-romantic atmosphere.

Popcorn and sweets don’t have to be the only food choice either, you could prepare some nibbles such as crudités and dips, sushi or home-made pizza, followed by fresh strawberries, or gelato.

Be sure to choose the film well too – maybe something to make you laugh, cry, or cuddle up together to in suspense! In need of some inspiration, take a look at this list of the best movies to watch on a date.


Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day – we hope you have a great time!