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10 Money Saving Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

10 Money Saving Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary
Written by Oana Schneider

Whether you are celebrating your first anniversary as couple or your tenth anniversary as husband and wife, you should do something special on the date.

For most couples, an anniversary celebration involves dressing up to go for a fancy dinner in a romantic restaurant. For others, it’s staying overnight at a five-star hotel and using the amenities – or going on a romantic weekend getaway.

These are all perfectly nice activities to celebrate the occasion. But what if you don’t have enough funds to blow on hotel accommodations or even a five-course dinner somewhere fancy?

Even if your budget is tight, that does not mean that your anniversary should not be celebrated in an equally romantic fashion. There are plenty of ways for you to celebrate your anniversary as a couple without having to spend too much – which is what we will find more about here.

Top 10 Budget Anniversary Ideas

When celebrating an anniversary, the cost of whatever activity you do, the food that you eat, the wine you drink, or your accommodations should not be an issue at all. What’s important is for the two of you to spend some quality, fun, and romantic time together as a couple.

You can indulge in doing something spontaneous or spur-of-the-moment. Or, you can plan everything but still make sure that your anniversary celebration will not cost that much.

If you’re looking for ideas, take a look at our top ten list for budget anniversary celebrations:  

1. Recreate a part of your honeymoon, wedding, or a previous anniversary.

If you and your significant other have been together for a long time now, what’s your favorite anniversary celebration so far?

If it’s dinner and coffee at a quaint Italian restaurant, for example, you can cook at home and recreate the menu. Dim the lights and put on some mood music so that you can recreate the ambiance without having to spend too much.

If you honeymooned in Bali, decorate the kitchen with a beach theme and serve drinks complete with tiny umbrellas that you can sip while having a tropical-themed dinner menu. Anniversaries are the perfect time to reminisce and look back at what you have accomplished so far as a couple. 

2. Go on a picnic outdoors.

Scope out a cosy spot at a local park or an open field near where you live. Then, put together a picnic-appropriate meal which you can prepare from your own kitchen or even just pick up at a deli. Make sure to include a picnic basket, a bottle of wine, slices of cheese, and sliced fruit then you’re all set for a romantic picnic date!

3. Look for a free outdoor movie or concert event in your area.

Local communities usually put together free events like outdoor film showings or free concerts at the park. Scope out these events and if they coincide with your anniversary date, go there with your significant other to celebrate the occasion. If the event will be held at a park, you can also pack a picnic blanket, wine and some snacks.

4. Explore the outdoors.

When was the last time that you explored a new place as a couple? Married couples can certainly relate to the busyness of their schedules – especially if they’re both working while raising the kids. For a fun anniversary celebration option, take the time to explore the outdoors. Bring a map, food, and some outdoor essentials.

You can follow a local trail for a daytime hike, or go on a romantic evening stroll. Go online and look for routes available in your area. If you have kids, you can turn the event into a family outing or you can simply ask an in-law to babysit so that you can have some quality time together as a couple for your anniversary.

5. Turn your bedroom into a hotel honeymoon suite.

Even if couples have a perfectly suitable bedroom at home, why do you think they still prefer the ambiance lent by the honeymoons suites at hotels? It could have something to do with the way that the room is cosily decorated, where the sheets are crisp and clean, and even the bathrooms smell divine.

For your anniversary, you can simply turn your bedroom into a hotel honeymoon suite by changing the sheets, maybe lighting up some candles and scattering red rose petals on the bed. Have a bottle of wine or champagne nearby, and toast to your future as a couple to celebrate many more anniversaries to come.

10 Money Saving Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

A bottle of champagne and some rose petals won’t break the bank!

6. Go on a scenic drive.

If you only have budget for gas, why don’t you go on a scenic drive? Check which point in your city or town is the highest and pop a bottle of champagne once you reach that destination. On the way there, make sure that the drive has a scenic view.

If you grew up or fell in love in the same city, you can even make pit stops on the place where you had your first date, first kiss, where you first met, etc.

Again, anniversaries are the perfect time for you to reminisce your early days as a couple. This activity will make your bond as a couple stronger.

7. Be each other’s ‘slave’ for a day.

Another challenge faced by couples who have been together for a long time is a lack of interest or fire in their intimate life. To spice things up, you can be each other’s slave for your anniversary day – it could be in the bedroom or in the household.

For instance, the husband and wife could take turns telling each other what they want in the bedroom. Or, you can give your boyfriend a one-hour massage coupon, after which he should serve as your massage therapist. Be creative in coming up with commands so that you can heat things up in bed during your anniversary night. 

8. Come up with creative gifts to match the symbol of your anniversary year.

How many years have you been together as a couple? Depending on the number, you can come up with creative gifts for each other based on the symbol of your anniversary year.

Here are a few examples of the year, the traditional symbol, and the more modern anniversary symbols:

10 Money Saving Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

If it’s your third year together, for example, you can go with gifts that have the traditional leather symbolism – or you can go a bit more modern by looking for crystal or glass gifts.

As cliché as it may sound, it is the thought that counts so even if you have a very limited budget for the gift, as long as it has the symbol of your anniversary, your significant other is bound to appreciate it.

9. Have a no-gadgets night.

Yet another challenge that modern couples have to face is being so absorbed with work – and their gadgets – so much so that they forget to spend some real, face-to-face, quality time with each other.

If you don’t have the budget to eat somewhere fancy for your anniversary, you can simply spend a lot of quality time with each other. Make it a no-gadgets night where you would need to really talk and spend time with each other.

If you have kids, you can even let them join in. Pop a movie in the DVD player and watch a romantic comedy flick. Or, you can bring out the board games and cards and have a game night. You can even experiment in the kitchen. Have a competition as to which dish – cooked or baked – tastes the best.

10. Have a cheese fest!

Sure, you can include real cheese along with a bottle of cheap table wine for this – but anniversaries are the perfect excuse for you to go all cheesy and mushy towards each other.

Write each other love letters, compose a poem, or belt a super cheesy love song on the karaoke. Conspire with the kids to come up with questions similar to a dating game and have them act as hosts. Make new vows and new promises for each other, stuff that you can make come true prior to your next anniversary celebration.

There really is no need for you to spend a lot of money celebrating your anniversary as a couple. It is a special occasion but more than what you will spend for the celebration, it’s the spending time with each other that is more important.

Through each year that you celebrate your anniversary, you are making your bond as a couple stronger and before you know it, you would be on your way towards celebrating your silver, gold, or diamond anniversary.

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10 Money Saving Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

7 Comments

  • Most anniversaries me and my boyfriend would go to dinner and a movie or just dinner and a romantic night in. This year gone by though we cooked a meal together which was nice and taste tested as we cooked. Watched a show we both enjoy and played some games. There always is great cheap or even free ways to enjoy your time with someone.

    • I was so going to suggest cooking a meal together (dessert included). I think it’s pretty romantic, especially for couples who don’t usually cook together. You just have to buy the right ingredients and some wine and candies for the meantime. Last time me and my girlfriend did that, we couldn’t wait for dinner to be ready and go to the bedroom. So we didn’t. Ended up eating raw pizza and cookie dough, but it was a great night.

  • for me and my partner we are celebrating our anniversary simple yet romantic we will just prepare a simple dinner but to make it special we drink wine and add scented candles to make it a little bit intimate. It’s not that expensive and yet memorable because we are together for us that’s the most important factor in celebrating every anniversaries it doesn’t matter how expensive or where we celebrate it. The most important is that we have each other and we conquer every year together.

  • Time is one of the most valuable gifts that you can give to your partner, and this is something that many people underestimate because we’re all so wrapped up in life and technology that we don’t see what is right in front of our eyes sometimes. It is a shame, because time is absolutely free, and just taking that precious time to talk to your partner is a great thing to do, and it is sure to strengthen your relationship in the future.

  • These are all awesome ideas! I’m trying not to spend so much this year in order to pay off my loans quicker and avoid paying unnecessary interest, so it’s little things like this that help me plug along. Ideally a romantic no gadgets night, with lots of cheese, wine and a picnic on our bed surrounded by roses, followed by a scenic drive to the local beach for a walk up the coast sounds ideal and a lot more romantic than splurging sixty bucks on a dinner you enjoy for an hour or two. Especially considering that I’m extremely fussy and my tendency to feel guilty for spending money on food that I could make at home cheaper combine to make eating out less fun. I also love to cook so doing these will be right up my alley!

  • I’m definitely not the type of guy who really does something for anniversaries and I think that it doesn’t actually needs to be an “important” date to do something cute for your partner. And also, there are so many things in the cities such as museums, different activities, etc. that are interesting and almost for free, and an actual good idea for a date.
    Probably one of my favorite things on the list are picnics, I used to do them frequently with my ex boyfriend, good memories!
    Thanks for sharing, is a great list. 🙂

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