Frugal Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

Your anniversary is a big deal, but that doesn't mean you have to spend big bucks on a gift for your spouse. Check out these cheap—and meaningful—ways to celebrate another year together.

  • 01 of 07

    Restaurant Hop

    Couple Having Dinner at a Restaurant
    Couple Having Dinner at a Restaurant. Sporrer/Rupp/Cultura/Getty Images

    Like to go out to eat on your anniversary, but feel like the tradition has grown a bit stale? Try restaurant hopping. If you have drinks at one restaurant, appetizers at another and so on, until you finish with coffee and dessert, you won't spend any more than you normally would, but the evening will last a lot longer, and be a lot more memorable. If there are new places that your spouse has been dying to try, this is perfect opportunity to make it happen.

    Short on cash? Then, arrange a food truck hop. Just use an app to look up the current location of some food trucks in your area, and bounce around from one to another, until you're stuffed.

  • 02 of 07

    Relive Your Firsts

    Couple Watching Movie
    Couple Watching Movie. JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

    Make a list of the important firsts in your relationship:

    • Where did you go on your first date?
    • Where did you have your first kiss?
    • Where did you first say "I love you"? 
    • What was the first movie that you watched together?
    • Who was the first band that you saw in concert together?

    Once you've compiled your list, try to relive as many of your firsts on your anniversary as you can.

    If you no longer live in the same area, or the place where you went on your first date is no longer in business, just do your best to recreate as many of the details as you can. Maybe you could go to the same type of restaurant, or get someone who still lives in the area to snap pictures of your special places. Or maybe you already have pictures and memorabilia from your special places that you could use to construct a scrapbook.

  • 03 of 07

    Go on a New Adventure

    Woman Bungee Jumping
    Woman Bungee Jumping. Vitalalp/iStock/Getty Images Plus

    Is there something that you guys have always talked about doing "some day"? Make your anniversary the day you finally do it. Put all the plans in place now, so you can surprise your spouse with a new adventure. It doesn't have to be anything big or expensive; it just needs to be something new to shake up your routine and get you planning more adventures.

  • 04 of 07

    Tackle a Project Together

    Gazebo with Hanging Baskets
    Gazebo with Hanging Baskets. Zhanen Mo/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Have a home improvement project that you never seem to get around to? Work together to knock it out. It'll give you an excuse to spend quality time together, and you'll remember your anniversary every time you see the finished project.

    All caught up on projects? Then, find a volunteer project to help out with. Helping someone else will remind you how lucky you are as a couple.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Go in on a Combined Gift

    Couple Furniture Shopping
    Couple Furniture Shopping. Hero Images/Getty Images

    Instead of individual gifts, agree to buy one thing that you both really want. It'll be a better use of your money, and you'll get to enjoy picking the gift out together. Some things to consider: a special getaway, a new piece of furniture for your home or equipment for a shared hobby. Put some thought into what you choose, and it'll serve as a nice memory of your anniversary for many years to come.

  • 06 of 07

    Give a Collection of Favorites

    Assortment of Red Candies
    Assortment of Red Candies. Paper Boat Creative/DigitalVision/Getty Images

    Show your spouse how well you've come to know them over the years by giving them an assortment of his or her favorite things. This doesn't have to be anything expensive or elaborate. Treat them to their favorite candy, snacks, lip balm, magazine, coffee, tea, lunch. There are so many fun possibilities. Give everything at once, or spread the gifts out over the course of the day.

  • 07 of 07

    Plant a Tree

    Couple Planting a Tree
    Couple Planting a Tree. ZenShui/Frederic Cirou/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

    Settled into your forever home? Plant a tree in your yard, and take a photo of it every year on your anniversary. Then, frame the photos as a group, or place them in a scrapbook for a unique illustration of how long you've been together.

    Not yet in your forever home? Find a public park to donate a tree to. This will allow you to visit your tree year after year.