When you’re a student, learning how to budget your money is a very important skill. With special occasions like Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s normal to worry about impressing your significant other whilst not breaking the bank at the same time. Fortunately, I’ve come up with some affordable ideas for the loving occasion that you can enjoy with your partner or with your friends.


Visit an art gallery

Perhaps a more traditional choice, visiting an art gallery can be a date with a difference. Wandering round taking in the array of paintings and artistic pieces can be a charming experience, as well giving you something to talk about. Many galleries are free or low in price to enter, with different exhibitions going on all the time. Manchester and Salford boast a list of art galleries, including Whitworth Art Gallery on Oxford Road, Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street, The Lowry Galleries at Salford Quays and Salford Museum and Art Gallery right here on our Peel Park campus.


Have an indoor picnic

A slight cliché maybe, but having an indoor picnic could be the answer here. Clear a space on the floor of your room or student flat, dim the lights and put out a rug or blanket, along with a few nice smelling candles. A true picnic involves making your own sandwiches, which is in true keeping with our money saving theme. Go wild with the food you choose, stick on some music and have a wonderful evening.


Spend time in the great outdoors

It’s not actually as boring as it sounds because both Manchester and Salford are home to several attractive parks and open spaces. You could enjoy a leisurely stroll hand in hand in the fresh air, weather permitting of course, and appreciate each other’s company. Heaton Park, the Botanical Gardens, Whitworth Park, Peel Park and Buile Hill Park are all options if you want a slice of greenery.


Make home-made cocktails

Going out for a cheeky cocktail is up there with good date ideas, but it can often be pricey. So the next best thing is making your own version of your favourite drink in the comfort of your own home. There are hundreds of recipes out there and this one is even a fun activity to do with a group of friends, and much cheaper than drinking out.


Have a games night

There’s nothing better than a night of board games. Whether it be Monopoly, Cluedo, Pictionary or Articulate, a bit of healthy competition is always good fun and whoever loses the game has to cook the dinner. This idea can also be paired with the home-made cocktails.


Happy Valentine’s Day!