You can plan a romantic Valentine's Day at home and have it be just as treasured a memory as any weekend away or evening out. Whether you are staying in to cut costs, because you don't have a sitter or simply because you want a bit more privacy, these romantic ideas can work for any couple on any budget.
Creating a romantic and relaxed atmosphere is key to a beautiful Valentine celebration. Candles are a good start and can be purchased quite inexpensively. Choose unscented candles for the table and dining area and group candles for the most impact. Although classic roses can be expensive, especially around Valentine's Day, consider placing a row of small vases with a single bloom of a less-expensive flower down the center of your table. They will be just as pretty. You can serve your dinner at the usual table, in front of the fireplace or even on the bed if you prefer, but adding romantic lighting and flowers will make the meal stand out from everyday dinners.
If you love to cook, spending the day making an amazing meal is certainly an option but does leave dishes. Take-out from a favorite restaurant is one Valentine's Day possibility that skips the stress and the mess. If money is tight or you simply prefer your own cooking, consider choosing recipes that can be made ahead and tucked into the freezer so you simply thaw and heat on Valentine's Day. An easy buffet spread of good bread, cheese, fruit and dip is an option that also requires very little effort or cleanup. Add a simple but luscious dessert, such as chocolate-covered strawberries, and your meal is ready.
Consider your partner's likes and dislikes when planning gifts and activities for a romantic Valentine evening at home. Fresh fluffy towels and a candlelit bath can be a good choice, but so can dance music and a new Twister game. You might consider a board or card game designed for couples. (They can be purchased in lingerie shops or online.) Although some amount of giggling is sure to result, you will both be entertained. A favorite romantic movie, popcorn and theater-style candy will delight the movie fan in your life.