Starting the new year off can be stressful without the added pressure of having to show your special one that you care. However, Valentine's Day does not have to involve jumping through hoops and spending bucket-loads of cash - especially after recovering from the hectic Christmas season. Instead, consider some of these low-budget (or free) alternatives to the expensive restaurant and jewelry.
The Kickstarter Method
Kickstarter is a website for entrepreneur hopefuls to sell their ideas to the world. Whilst some make millions, others offer much smaller projects which you can be part of this Valentine's Day. One such woman, named Joanne Arnett, is offering to handcraft and send cute, romantic cards signed from "A Secret Admirer" for as little as $5 which you can find here. Alternatively, Dev Anand is offering a special gift that you can give your lover that you won't be able to give to anybody else and his video explains it perfectly. You can find his video and more information here.
The Dinner Method
Perhaps you want to take your partner out to a romantic dinner, but your heart is a little too large for your wallet? Don't fret. Take that special someone out for a romantic picnic. Before the special evening organise a small salad, a few cold meats from the deli and maybe a bottle of wine and you will be well undercutting the price of a trip to a restaurant. Find a nice location, perhaps on Southbank or somewhere closer to home, and indulge in what the night has to offer. Alternatively, cook dinner at home and surprise your significant other.
The Ironic Method
Tell him or her you're taking her out somewhere special. Dress up in your suit or cocktail dress and go pick them up. Refuse to tell them where your going. And then, you arrive at McDonalds.
Alright, that may seem like a bit of an anticlimax but not necessarily. Valentine's is all about the two of you - take your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife out somewhere which holds a special significance to the two of you. The park where the two of you met, the coffee shop you had your first date, or the McDonalds the two of you shared your first kiss. (Surely, this would have happened to somebody.)
Presents don't have to be expensive. Unleash your childish nature. A plush toy can be just as surprising as a piece of expensive jewelry. In fact, there is less risk about your partner not absolutely loving it. It may be a little bit kooky - but that's why you guys love each other.