It’s the month of love. With Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle of the month, it seems like everywhere you look there are tips, suggestions and advertisements on the best ways to say, “I LOVE YOU.”

While most of these articles and ads would have you believe that the best way to say those three special words is with an expensive dinner or gift, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show someone you care.

Here are some of my favorite date ideas that won’t break the bank.

Drive-In Movie

Drive-ins are a classic date idea. Enjoy a movie from the privacy of your own vehicle. This can be especially enjoyable if you’ve just taken the leap with a Nicer, Newer® car.

Cook Dinner Together

A great dinner doesn’t have to come from a 5-star restaurant. You can make an award-winning meal in the comfort of your home with your honey by your side. Plan a menu in advance to make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand. Then spend time side-by-side in the kitchen cooking up treats for each other. Add a great bottle of wine and you’ve got an amazing date night right in front of you.

Go Out For Ice Cream

Do you remember the days when you would go down to the local soda shop for a milkshake? A lot of people probably don’t anymore, but dates like this are perfect in their simplicity. Pick up a sweet treat and take a stroll, just enjoying each other’s company.

Take A Hike

Dates don’t have to be all dinner and drinks. Feel free to go outside and get active together. A hike is one great idea. Plan a route with a picturesque end point, so you can snap some pictures and have a beautiful picnic before you make your way back home.

Ultimately it’s the time you spend with your loved one and not what you do or what you give them that make your relationship special. Feel free to bypass the chocolates, flowers and diamonds this year and put together a less expensive date that focuses more on your relationship. You’ll both be glad for the extra time you got to focus on one another.