Whether it be the beginning of a relationship, a wedding, or the birth of a child, it is important for a couple to commemorate the different milestones in their relationships. Celebrating anniversaries is important because it not only strengthens relationships, but creates new memories and reinforces the importance of the old ones.
The same celebration time after time can feel challenging, but planning an anniversary on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be easy, especially if know your partner’s love language and can communicate affection and appreciation in a personal, rather than a generic, way. Here are 11 thrifty anniversary ideas that can easily be accomplished on a budget.
The difference between eating in or eating out can come down to a couple’s wallet. While going to a restaurant can be fun, bringing romance to the kitchen at home can be better (and less spendy). Dining-in allows a couple to control what is being cooked and how it is prepared. These dinners under $10, along with lighting candles and fine china, can make for a romantic evening all in the comfort of home:
- Apple balsamic pork chops;
- Cheeseburger quiche;
- Chicken and broccoli with dill sauce;
- Fruit glazed pork chops;
- Garlic lemon shrimp;
- Pressure cooker rigatoni with sausage and peas;
- Teriyaki chicken thighs and rice;
- Zesty calzone.
2. Go Camping
A romantic camping trip might just be the budget-friendly anniversary getaway that you didn’t know you needed. Small details like a string of LED lights, a portable speaker, and stainless steel wine glasses, can turn the woods into a wonderland. Other tips for camping on a budget include:
- Borrow camping gear;
- Bring bedding from home;
- Bring your own firewood;
- Cook in bulk;
- Shop for supplies at thrift stores
- Use cookware from the kitchen.
3. Have A Small Anniversary Party
Throwing a small anniversary party is perfect for couples who love spending their milestones with their loved ones. It’s a thrifty anniversary idea that is often overlooked, but can easily be executed on a budget. Tips for throwing an anniversary party on a budget include:
- Getting creative with the decorations: Photocopying old pictures of you and your significant other to hang around the party is inexpensive, yet thoughtful. Shopping online or at second-hand stores for decorations that correspond with the theme is also a great way to stay within budget.
- Instead of telling guests to bring gifts, have them bring a side dish or drink: This prevents the couple from having to break the bank to provide food and drinks for everyone. Leave the gift-giving for you and your spouse only. This can include getting them a new scratch-resistant wedding band to replace the one that may have gotten beaten up over the years
- Replace going to a restaurant with a picnic: This saves the celebrating couple from having to make reservations and can allow for more freedom with the food selection
4. Recreate Your First Date
Unless it was an elaborate vacation, recreating the first date is an anniversary idea that will surely bring back the feeling of sweaty palms and racing heartbeats — without putting a hole in the wallet. Try to get as close to every detail as possible. For example, wear similar clothes, recreate the same hairstyle, and eat at the same place. When recreating your first date, avoid conversation about stressors like bills, kids, and mortgages. Instead, talk about hopes and dreams and learn more about each other all over again.
5. Make A Playlist
This is one of the best anniversary ideas for those on a budget because it’s free! Taking the time to listen to music of all genres and creating a list that is dedicated to the spouse is a gift idea that is meaningful and will be treasured time after time. When creating an anniversary playlist, consider these questions:
- What song was playing the night you first met?
- What song was playing during your first date?
- What song makes you think of your first few months of dating?
- Was there a song playing when you got engaged?
- What songs played at your wedding reception?
- Is there any song in particular that reminds you of your honeymoon?
- Are there any songs that reflect a difficult time during the relationship?
- Are there any songs that remind you of your children?
- What about songs that you sing to each other?
- Are there any songs that reflect an inside joke?
6. Have a Health and Wellness Day
Take “in sickness and in health” to a new level and spend the day doing couples oriented health and wellness activities. This can consist of physical activities like going on a run, indoor rock climbing, frisbee golf, and ice skating, or could even include more relaxing activities like a couple’s massage, yoga, or a cooking class.
7. Take Some Photos
What better way to capture the epitome of a relationship than with a couple’s photoshoot session? This can be a bit on the spendier side, so it’s important to do research on the photographer. Use social media to reach out — is there anyone that is trying to expand their portfolio that is offering free sessions? Are there any giveaways to enter?
8. Renew Your Vows
Renewing your wedding vows is a way to celebrate a marriage that can be done at any time. Some couples renew them decades down the road and some choose to do it every year. Since vow renewals aren’t legally binding ceremonies, anyone can officiate the ceremony. Typically, ceremonies are smaller and consist of close family and friends. There are no set rules for renewing vows, so it can be as simple or as elaborate as desired!
9. Buy Some Jewelry
Jewelry is a gift that can cost a little but still speak volumes. Taking into consideration your spouse’s desires is important. Tungsten rings for women make for a beautiful and affordable gift that strays away from the typical anniversary necklace. If your budget is smaller, consider making jewelry yourself! Look into craft nights that may be held at local craft stores or research different ways to make unique jewelry from home.
10. Watch Your Wedding Video
Watching a wedding video is an anniversary idea that can be combined with any of the above. After a night of dining in, relaxing in the living room with candles still lit, watching the wedding video, reminds couples of what they’re in for. It creates conversation about what they value most and what else they may want to come out of the relationship, the “What’s next?” conversation.
Inexpensive anniversary ideas aren’t any less sentimental than ones that are more expensive. In fact, they’re often times more sentimental. Thinking of a gift or date idea that comes from the heart and targets the spouse’s desires will be treasured forever.