101 Frugal, Low-Cost and Romantic Ideas for Anniversary

I admit I never did enough on our anniversaries. We have spent 8 anniversaries together so far. SMB (my wife), like most girls, is attracted towards jewelries and clothing but, what she’s most interested in is spending time with me, on a vacation.

101 spectacular anniversary ideas


Although I do buy things for her, the gateways do not easily materialize, last time it did in 2008. I mostly look for frugal, low-cost and yet romantic ideas for our anniversary. I admit I often fail and resort to cutting down the celebration to cut cost. but there are so many great things you can get at very low cost that you cna’t imagine. Let me help you find few of those in this article.

We celebrate our anniversary in the month of July (8th July,  to be precise), which is still 10 months away. The last anniversary, 2 months back, was the dullest one we celebrated so far. We didn’t go out anywhere, we had a cake cutting at home with no one to cheer around us. If things go well, next anniversary is going to be very very special. So I started planning, and thus came this post idea.

Updated in 2014 – This was our 10th anniversary this year. But I just gifted her a watch and a perfume. We threw a party in a local restaurant, invited friends. I also gave her a special frugal gift. One of our pre-wedding pictures was sketched and framed. All by using Fiverr and paying only $5, tons of good stuff you can get it done there for $5. And the framing took another $20. In all for $25 we had a great memory which does look nice too.

(related - How to feel richer and happy with things that are free and abundant)

Here are some 101 examples of frugal and romantic ideas

This list contains research items, inspired items and some creative ideas coming out of my gray cells. Hope you find some thing that your partner will love!

  1. Create the gift of your lifetime through Fiverr for just $5, I used it first and now by word of mouth many of our friends and colleagues are using Fiverr to create signature gifts. You can’t get another memorable gift anywhere so cheaply.
  2. You can videotape yourself singing a love song to your partner or record a video testimonial and post it on the Internet.
  3. Send a love letter that would commemorate and look forward to wonderful experiences.
  4. Do a voice recorded message about how you enjoyed his/her company through the years
  5. Compose a poem that would evoke emotions and feelings towards your partner
  6. For other alternatives to expensive jewelries. You can surprise her by ordering custom made jewelry and make up boxes. Click the link and answer a few questions on her taste and you’ll get a jewelry box with full sized products picked by pro makeup and jewelry artists that create an awesome look. Of course you have to pay but they’ll fit in your frugal budget.
  7. Invite some friends to serenade your woman. This should be a surprise party.
  8. Take your partner to the spot where you first met and propose her once again, this time a proposal not to go apart ever.
  9. Greet your spouse during a live radio broadcast and make sure she listens to it.
  10. Request that your anniversary be mentioned to your partners favorite TV show
  11. Make a music video commemorating your anniversary.
  12. Kiss your partner in a place where you two first met, take her to that place first.
  13. Plant your own flowers to give during your anniversary day.
    Send Holiday Flowers
  14. Learn how to make origami flowers and make an effort to that to your partner.
  15. Create 101 reasons why you love your partner. \
  16. Make a canister that includes daily messages of the number of months or years you were together.
  17. Participate in discounted yoga classes
  18. Give her a locket with a picture of you two together. Women can give a bracelet to the man. You can do this at CafePress
  19. Design your own anniversary card
  20. Customize a picture that shows couples happy growing old together. Again, You can do this at CafePress
  21. Create a playlist of the partner’s favorite songs.
  22. Offer services to charitable institutions during your anniversary
  23. Spend time watching your husband/wife favorite all time movies.
  24. Bake your own specially designed cake
  25. Make pastries or deserts that are preferred by your husband or wife.
  26. Participate in a one-day activity sponsored by a particular organization or group
  27. Go on the roof and enjoy the sight of stars in the night
  28. Make a candle-lit dinner for two.
  29. Read your partner a romantic and unique poem.
  30. Cuddle up on a blanket with hot chocolate.
  31. Enjoy a stroll around the park in the morning with formal attire and stand out among the crowd.
  32. If you are familiar with a music instrument, serenade your partner with the most romantic piece you can come up with.
  33. Create a song with romantic lyrics to your partner.
  34. Use different instruments to say I love you (e.g. mobile phone, email, text, and face-to-face).
  35. Write a letter to your partner to be opened a year from now and emphasize how the love just got stronger.
  36. Make a collage of symbols that depict your feelings to your partner and how it continues to evolve.
  37. Create numerous couple portraits and make a hodgepodge that would be framed and posted on the wall. I use Smile box for all my digital printing needs. You can also use SnapFish or any other tool you used in past.
  38. Leave a message to your partner’s voice mail equal to the number of years you had been together.
  39. Construct a map that requires specific task. The last task should be the one that leads to your ultimate surprise.
  40. Fill your partner’s vehicle with love letter post-its.
  41. Create a website for you and your wife, fill it with pictures and stories of your life till date. On anniversary day, casually open the site on her computer/smart phone and take the picture of her getting shocked! You can use BlueHost to create the website, this site is also hosted on BlueHost.
  42. Ask favors from ten people to follow your plan to surprise your partner during the anniversary
  43. Ask an artistic friend to make a caricature from your picture collection.
  44. Commission an inexpensive artist to create a portrait
  45. Enjoy a candle-lit date in a bathtub with champagne and strawberries
  46. Have a picnic date on a warm sunny day.
  47. Try out new cuisine as a couple using discount coupons.
  48. During a rainy day, rekindle your childhood and play with your partner in the rain.
  49. Whisper something sweet to your partner every hour during your anniversary date.
  50. Highlight different love passages in the Bible and put a special note that is written by you.
  51. Bake a heart-shaped cupcake to add a romantic feel.
  52. Prior to celebrating your anniversary, make a letter that depicts your story for preparing to this actual event.
  53. Place some glow-in-the-dark star stickers with messages on your partners ceiling and enjoy night watching while reading romantic letters.
  54. Take your partner on top of the highest landmark in the city and shout how much you love him/her.
  55. Buy some balloons and write down your positive wishes in the next few years and let the object fly in the air.
  56. While your partner is sleeping, use a marker and write down one to three liners that best describes your relationship.
  57. Create a game wherein you compose a love letter in each balloon and your partner has to burst them or you kiss him/her.
  58. Don’t spend too much on fancy restaurants
  59. Have a videotape and record messages from people close to your loved one.
  60. Familiarize with how to make simple necklaces or pendants to give during the anniversary
  61. Try to find cheap couples shirts.
  62. Kiss your partners hand every 30 minutes and whisper something romantic in his/her ear.
  63. Treat your partner to a discounted massage center
  64. Search for good gift vouchers that your partner can use in the future.
  65. Change your computer’s wallpaper to something sweet that your partner can see
  66. Make a sweet presentation disguised as a business lecture and let your partner watch in the process.
  67. Ask the department store a favor and page something sweet to your partner.
  68. Go to your favorite coffee shop and request the owner to post a greeting and a specialized message to your partner.
  69. Try to go on top of the highest building in the city. In the roof deck, play a music and slow dance to the tune.
  70. During your anniversary, make a customized shirt saying ‘lucky to have found the woman I love beside me’
  71. Have a bonfire together and eat marshmallows and hotdog.
  72. Look for cheap camping trips and experience nature.
  73. Give your partner a mouse pad as a gift to always look at you when times seem to be tough and challenging.
  74. While waiting for your partner to arrive, wear a sign saying ‘I’m lost without you’. Remove it only when your spouse arrives and gives you a kiss.
  75. Try taking your partner to a Ferris wheel and hug when in the top.
  76. Find a carnival where couples can enjoy different games and rides.
  77. Try to go bowling together and wear couple shirts.
  78. Read to your partner wonderful passages that invoke a romantic feel in the situation.
  79. Make a delectable breakfast in bed
  80. Try to watch independent films with popcorn and the intention to cuddle in the process.
  81. Make a way to learn how to massage and give your partner a good one on the back.
  82. Learn some foreign language (French or Spanish) and say romantic things to your partner using this lingo.
  83. Pamper your partner by giving her your own version of manicure or pedicure.
  84. Pretend you forgot the anniversary and ask your friend to invite her to a place especially catered to make her feel very special.
  85. Choose an inexpensive yet memorable present to commemorate the event.
  86. Plant a tree together during your anniversary and watch it grow through the years.
  87. Gift her your pictures. Edit different couple photos and make it into a multimedia clip. Last year I used I used smile box to create a table calendar, which had pictures from our earlier anniversaries, it’s a free app, worth looking at.
  88. Play in the garden and roll around the grass.
  89. Try to make a love letter and place them on every course during the anniversary dinner.
  90. Talk to your partner in the webcam and write down sweet notes.
  91. Leave a voice recorded message stating reasons why you fell in love with your partner and this should be commensurate to the number of years or months together.
  92. In the morning of the anniversary, ask your partner what she wants to do or the first thing that pops in his/her head and then do it.
  93. Make your partner a magazine and write some articles on important features that made you fall for him/her.
  94. Try to have a good laugh during your anniversary either by playing around or watching something funny.
  95. By 12:00 AM of your anniversary, surprise your partner by giving him/her something she doesn’t expect.
  96. Surprise your partner by taking a day-off from work and spending it all helping him/her accomplish specific tasks.
  97. Give simple gifts commensurate to the number of months or years together.
  98. Make a cardboard mask and decorate it. Give it to your partner and act like you were the characters of the Phantom of the Opera.
  99. Try to help your partner conquer his/her fear by being there when it happens.
  100. During this special day, treat your partner like a prince or princess.
  101. Buy a fish bowl and place different inspirational messages that your partner can read until your next anniversary.

One of the commenters suggested these ideas, which I thought are very cute and useful

102. Give her puppy and name it “anny”, short for anniversary.
103. Take a picture of the moon and say Ill bring you the moon, I’ll circle the stars and bring you back.
104. Tell her you love her in Spanish then take her to a discounted taco truck.

I am not sure which of the ideas I would implement but few hours of brain storming and searching on the net produced the above low-cost and romantic anniversary ideas. Now it’s the time to put one of the ideas in practice.

Here, at this blog, we grow richer in monetary, spiritual and social life One Cent at a Time. There’s no over night success, it’s also true that even if you do something great on your anniversary and fail to show your love the other 364 days, any of these ideas wouldn’t amend your relationship. Only your true love towards him/her can keep you together. Give a big surprise on your anniversary but, also remember to give love year around.

Readers, do you want to share your experience about spending a romantic anniversary together? Do you always go for costlier and pricier options to make the day memorable or you look to cut cost?

is a husband and working as a software professional for a Fortune 100 corporation in Florida. Thanks for visiting the blog.

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  1. Nancy says

    This is a very helpful list with something for everyone. I will save it for future reference. My husband is the one who usually brings in the mail, so one year I mailed him a letter every day for the two weeks leading up to our anniversary. Each letter gave one reason why I love him. Long ago we agreed not to buy gifts, but we do dress up and go out for dinner.

  2. Edward Antrobus says

    Most of these wouldn’t appeal to my wife. She’s not really the romantic type, I guess. Our three anniversaries have pretty much been identical except for the exact location. Spend the night at modest-priced motel out of town with no computers or internet for distractions.

    • says

      My wife would love this type of celebration very much. And if this’s not the romantic anniversary then, what exactly is a romantic anniversary celebration?

  3. says

    Nice list, and one that should make clear that one doesn’t have to break the bank to celebrate an anniversary. At least, in the case of most people, right?

    Side note: spouse first, blogging second. Good rule of thumb for any blogger!

  4. says

    I think it’s important to consider the recipient – although your list has lots of great ideas, stuff like loves notes or balloons would not really suit my personality type, for example (INTJ, in case you’re wondering!) I think that things like making dinner or breakfast in bed are universally loved though :)

    • says

      If you can find at least 10 ideas to try out. I’ll feel like achieving something in this article. All thee are not for everyone, off-course.

  5. says

    Thanks for the tips! My boyfriend and I will be celebrating two years in a few months, so we need some romantic frugal ideas for sure so that we do not break the bank for this. I wouldn’t say we normally go costlier, but I spend more than on a regular day. I am not really a $100/plate dinner person, so it’s usually a pretty good deal if we go out.

  6. says

    This list is cheesy and extremely stupid, why does everything have to be discounted, get her and eye patch and play pirate. Give her puppy and name it anny short for anniversary. Take a picture of the moon and say Ill bring you the moon, I’ll circle the stars and bring you back. Tell her you love her in Spanish then take her to a discounted taco truck.

  7. CJ says

    I appreciate you taking the time to write this list. My anniversary is next week and my husband and I are doing the hotel/dinner this weekend but I’d like to do something on that day. I think I will do the sticky notes in the car. He will get a kick out of that. I would never have thought of that one.

  8. jill says

    im sorry but trying to spend as little as possible on an important anniversary dinner is kindof a romance buzzkill! if i were your wife i would think that alot of these proposed frugal ideas were almost a sarcastic attack against me exxpecting a little more from you. you basically mocked the idea of jewelry… i do not have an agenda here be aware.. Most of these ideas are pretty generic and all of these video idea are ill-explained and you know, neither you or anyone else is going to BUY a flute and play their bf or gf a goofy song. your miserable, i dont like you and neither does your wife.

    • says

      I am very interested to know you idea of a perfect anniversary. Nothing to make fun of you, I am not that type, and I admire you coming over here and leaving your true opinion behind. Please write-up something that you like your husband to do on your anniversary.

  9. Tink says

    Geeze ppl.The list is just to give you ideas, they are not commands. You should be able to take a few of the ideas and use your own creativity to adjust them to suit your own lifestyle. And I might add, it is not okay to verbally attack an innocent person online or otherwise. You are adults. Act like it! If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Better yet..leave the page.

  10. cielo says

    Thanks for the ideas… been helpful. Now I have thought of mixing some of your ideas to mine.. everywhere I go, I take a picture that might somehow be useful in the video prrsentation I’m goin to make… I sketched on tree our names, thought its prohibited, I was able to do it without anyone noticing.. I arranged dried leaves that have just fallen on the grass to make a big heart-shape figure, etc… things those… it didn’t cost me a cent…but i find it all becoming romantic…

  11. says

    Don’t give surprise pets as gifts. Pets should be discussed and agreed upon beforehand, otherwise it’s much more likely they’ll be neglected or abandoned.

  12. Cari says

    Roof top Candle lit dinner blankets pillows, Now, to get everything up there without the neighbors noticing me climbing up & down. Should of done it in the middle of the night huh? oh well no time to spare, gotta get a move on before he gets home from work, I deal with the neighbors as they come. lol

  13. Ella says

    Anniversaries happen once a year. What’s with low-cost celebrations? It doesn’t have to be expensive, but doesn’t have to be pathetic either. This list is good for those with empty pockets though.

    • says

      I kow here you are coming from. Believe me there are thousand others in this country who would love to save money even on anniversary. Thanks for your kind comment any way.

  14. Quasar777 says

    So annoyed when people use ACRONYMS and do not first state what the hell they are talking about!!!! I do not know what SMB means and you refer to it multiple times. Then went on to google to do a search and found the websites “internet slang” and “urban dictionary” that say the meaning of that (SMB) is “Suck My Balls.” Since I’m sure you’re not referring to your wife as “Suck My Balls” would you kindly in future STATE FIRST what the hell you are talking about?! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. anniversary gifts for men says

    Thank you for sharing this very nice post, please keep continue the sharing of this types of information. Here we are waiting for more

  16. Samantha says

    Last year in July for our one year anniversary, I took my boyfriend horseback riding. It cost me 30$, and we took a your along the river during sunset. It was the most romantic thing I have ever done. Our two ear is coming up and i have no idea how I’m going to beat that first year! Haha

  17. Lyndsay says

    I really enjoyed this post. I appreciate being able to have a romantic adventure, but also not having to spend some of our savings to do it. Living beyond our means is a recipe for disaster. Thank you for the ideas of little things to do to make our day more special.

    You have such grace with the negative comments. I will never understand why people feel the need to insult ideas.

  18. shaii says

    i understand times are ruff, but really is one cent really what your wife is worth? As i have heared a wise man say “show me your check book and ill show you what is important to you”. Its not always about money but your cheapening the worth of a spouse. It sounds like your saying what is the least effort and money and time i can spend to accomplish the task of having to celebrate my anniversary! you can spend 13 days working all your life but can’t work hard on celebrating the one person you choose to spend the rest of your life with? not to knock you or say this is who you are just what you sound like.

  19. Kat says

    Hi! My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our first anniversary together next week. I was so lost until now! Thanks so much for your ideas! I’ve decided to string some of them together in my plan! Hope it turns out well. :-D

  20. Dave says

    What I like about this list is that you can do the fancy and expensive meal, or the jewelry gift, or whatever, and then also add in a couple of these ideas to make the day special. It’s not about trying to not spend a cent, it’s about ideas to make your spouse feel loved and important. Many of these ideas can be tailored or adjusted to do just that, so the poem can be read at home after the dinner out, or the list of things you love about him/her can be included with the gift. I appreciate the ideas that help me flesh out my personal plan to celebrate my wife on our anniversary (love the Bible verses idea – Song of Solomon), along with spending some money on her (which I love to do anyways). You only get one go around in this life – best to make it count where it’s most important.

  21. Brent says

    Congrats on your 10th Anniversary! This is a pretty impressive list of first anniversary gifts and I would love to add MyDayRegistry.com . It’s a wonderful first anniversary gift that combines the traditional (Paper) and Modern (Clock) ideas, but more importantly is pretty cheap and packs a lot of bang for its buck in terms of sentiment and originality :)

    Here’s a link to the site: http://mydayregistry.com/

    “MyDayRegistry is an exclusive online registry where you can dedicate and register a specific date by month, day, and year in honor of a special event or person in your life.”

  22. Ishita says

    Hi, I mixed and matched many of your ideas and came up with a list to do for my hubby.. its our 4th marriage anniversary and 8th date anniversary.. We planned together to go to an orphanage and donate some food or money there by the amount we would have spent for gifting each other.. and for dinner, go to small restaurant like taco bell and dine something cheap as we love that place.. also, i want to make it all the more special by making a 3d greeting card by diy project and send some flowers to him at his office as a surprise :) Thanks SB, you indeed are a very thoughtful husband.. your wife is surely lucky!!

  23. Grant says

    Great list, I like the one about taking her to the same place I first proposed and doing it again. It’s our 25th anniversary this year and I think she would really like that!

    • says

      We can’t believe, this year, on Valentines day we visited the same place where we spent our first valentine day. 15 years ago! It felt so nice to recall those moments, of shyness and new found love :)

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