You don't have to break the bank to show your loved one that you care this Valentine's Day.
Here are 10 creative and inexpensive gift ideas:
1. Make a card – or at least include one. The key to not overspending on gifts is to include the small touches that your loved one will appreciate. Write a note with heartfelt sentiments and couple it with your gift.
2. Put a twist on the plain old box of chocolate. Unwrap the box before you present it, and, beneath each chocolate, insert a slip of paper that says something you love about your partner (the more specific and detailed, the better.) You could also write down favorite memories or your hopes for your future together.
3. Eat in. Prepare a romantic dinner with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. Don't forget the mood music on the stereo and the fire in the fireplace.
4. Share a playlist of the songs that have been special to your courtship. Include your "song," songs from movies you've seen together, and songs with lyrics that are meaningful to your relationship.
5. Cozy up by the fire and play your favorite game of cards.
6. Write 100 things you love about your partner and slip it under her dinner plate. Or write down 100 of your favorite memories that you've spent together so far.
7. Save some money by planning a lunch out, instead of a dinner. You'll spend less on lunch and then you'll have the entire day to do something together. During the meal you spend together, make a special point to listen more than you talk. Ask questions. Make your partner feel engaged and truly heard.
8. Share a favorite recreational activity together. Do you both love to hike, bike, run, walk, or Nordic ski? Plan an outing that involves your favorite (free) and shared activity.
9. Make an inexpensive photo book that documents your relationship. Online photo processing sites make it a snap to create a nicely designed book. Or you can save money by purchasing an inexpensive photo book and filling it yourself. Another idea: frame a favorite photo of the two of you together.
10. If you have a little money to spare, look for online jewelry coupons. Some of the leading online jewelers have special coupon codes for the days leading up to Valentine's Day and many have deep discounts on "deals of the day." You can also easily find deals on other traditional Valentine's Day gifts, including roses and chocolates.
Combine several of the ideas above for a Valentine's Day your partner is sure to remember for years to come.