Cost-effective Valentine’s date ideas

Expressing your love this February need not break the bank

Clever marketing campaigns costing companies millions of rands are launched every February, enticing you to splash out on champagne, exorbitantly priced flowers, and expensive jewellery. While many are scornful of Valentine’s Day, dismissing it as a purely commercial gimmick, opting not to give in to peer and societal pressure and boycotting the day altogether, is not an option however…unless you like sleeping on the couch! If a tight budget is a deterrent, there are several cost-effective options to wow your beloved that will be just as appreciated.

Samantha Pillay, Director of ekko and an expert in guiding Millennials on how to live a luxury lifestyle for less, offers this advice. “It’s a tricky balancing act to ensure that you’re able to spoil your significant other without having to spend a fortune – but rest assured that your efforts to surprise will be rewarded. Here are a few favourite Valentine’s ideas that are sure to impress, for a whole lot less!” 

 1. Dinner and a movie: Old school is still cool, so why not treat your date to a traditional dinner and movie? This is an affordable option if you’re a member of a loyalty programme that offers discounted movie tickets – like Discovery Vitality or First Loyalty Plus – with ekko shareholders scoring a whopping 50% off dinner and movies.

2. Picnic under the stars: Grab your picnic blanket and comfy cushions and set up a candle-lit spot on your lawn, patio, balcony or even in your lounge if outdoors is not an option. The venue is free, and a gourmet picnic, complete with champagne or your Valentine’s favourite tipple that you have taken the time to plan and pack, is bound to titillate.

3. Spa spoil: Set up a spa station at home and treat your partner to a sensual full-body massage. Make sure to invest in some delicious-smelling essential oils and candles, with some R&B tunes in the background to set the mood. Google offers helpful “how to” tutorials on massage if you need some inspiration. If your budget is able to stretch that far, a couple’s massage at your local spa will allow you both to relax at the same time, delivering a pleasurable experience for two. Better yet, if you are an ekko shareholder, you will score a 20% discount on unlimited spa treatments at any of the La Vita spas countrywide.

4. Do the unexpected: Grab a takeaway coffee and muffin from your Valentine’s favourite coffee shop, then pop in to deliver it to their place of work. This spur-of-the-moment gesture will be a thoughtful surprise and a welcome distraction.

5. A duo of bubbles and a night in: Don’t underestimate the magic of a steamy bubble bath sprinkled with rose petals for your partner to relax in, while sipping a glass of chilled bubbly. Making their favourite meal to enjoy before or after the bath will score you big brownie points too.

6. Ultimate splurge: If your budget allows, booking a romantic night away will tick all the right boxes. Did you know that you can unlock next-level luxury living simply by visiting to cash in on massively discounted luxury holidays, restaurants, movies, spas, and travel?

“Grandiose gestures should not be the criteria for celebrating your love on the most romantic day of the year.  What is important to most people is that their partner has made an effort and put some real thought into expressing their love, no matter how simple or extravagant the spoil. All it takes is a little creativity and some planning,” concludes Samantha.

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