1. Make a card yourself

The trouble with Valentine's cards is that they are a bit impersonal. It's a lot to expect that a complete stranger's words or images will somehow magically sum-up your own feelings for your partner.

Making a card yourself is far more personal and fun - you can even get the kids involved (if you have them). You don't need to splash out loads on materials either as you can easily make your card by simply recycling household materials like card or even lettering cut from a newspaper or magazine.

There's lots of templates for Valentine's cards available online or you could always get creative with your MS clip art on your lunch break. You partner is bound to be impressed as it shows a lot more thought than simply walking into your nearest Clintons.

2. Flowers

These days a bouquet of red roses does not come cheap - especially around Valentine's day. But if you are determined to 'say it with flowers', then there are some cheaper alternatives available.

Why is more always considered 'more'? Surely placing a single rose on your loved one's pillow will speak greater volumes than a dozen wrapped up in plastic and delivered by an anonymous courier?

If your partner is particularly partial to a bouquet then why not make one yourself. You can buy single flowers from your local florist, but why not pick some flowers from your own garden? Daffodils should be in bloom around now and can look spectacular in a bouquet.

Something else to consider is that for the price of a dozen roses, you could buy your significant other a rose plant for the back garden - which could provide you with Valentine's flowers for years to come!

3. Bake a cake

It's always nice to give your sweetie something sweet for Valentine's, but it's not always necessary to splash out on an expensive box of choccies. A cake can be baked relatively cheaply and you can even add your own personalised message to your partner in icing on the top.

Don't worry if you are lacking in the culinary skills department - baking a cake is not as difficult as it might seem! There are loads of simple recipes available online and also a good 'cheat' is to buy a ready-made cake mix like Betty Crocker.

If baking a cake still seems a little daunting, why not try tackling something smaller like cookies or even chocolate brownies? Treats like cookies can still be personalised and could be used to spell out your special one's name. How about fruit dipped in melted chocolate? Or what about chocolate truffles which are surprisingly easy to make?

Once you start thinking about it, the alternatives to an expensive box of chocs is almost endless and - most importantly - something that shows you've put in some effort will always score you more brownie points with your partner.

4. Get creative in the kitchen

What could be more romantic (and cheaper) than a romantic night in for two? If it's your partner that normally does the cooking then why not surprise him or her by whipping up a delicious feast yourself?

Perhaps the biggest treat could be that neither of you has to go through all the hassle of cooking. If that is the case then the high street supermarkets tend to run special meal deals for two at this time of year. Also remember to add a little atmosphere by turning the lights down low, lighting some candles and putting on some Marvin Gaye.

5. Looking up at the stars

What could be more romantic than lying back and staring up at the night's sky together? For truly spectacular views, it is always best to stay away from the city as the sodium street lights tend to obscure the night's sky.

Seek out the darkness of the countryside or even a park for the best views. If you are lucky enough to live in a rural location then you might not even have to leave the comfort of your own back garden.

Even with the naked eye there's lots to see at this time of year: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Orion are all highly distinctive. There is also always a good chance of seeing a shooting star.

To help you and your partner get to grips with the celestial bodies, it is a good idea to take along a star map. These are available online, and can even be downloaded to handheld devices like the iPhone.

6. Get some fresh air

Valentine's Day may fall on a Thursday this year, but why not take the opportunity to go for a romantic evening stroll hand-in-hand with your significant other?

Whether you're in the country or the city, by the coast or up in the hills, there's bound to be a guided walk near you. You could even go at sunrise or sunset to really give it that rom-com feel!

7. Write a poem

You don't have to be a Lord Byron to encapsulate your true feelings for your loved one by putting pen to paper. As long as it's personal and from the heart, it can't fail to impress your significant other.

If you're struggling to get your creative juices flowing, try thinking about how you felt when you first laid eyes on each other or how sad and lost you would be without them or what makes your partner so special to you. Humour is always good, but try to avoid any variations of 'Roses are Red...'

For extra brownie points your partner is bound to be far more impressed with a hand written poem on a sheet of luxurious paper, rather than something printed off from MS Office. And if you are convinced that your poem is truly a masterpiece then why not frame it so your partner can keep it forever?

8. Dedicate a song on the radio

Whether it's by Stevie, Whitney or Dolly, it's easier than you think to get 'your song' dedicated to a loved one on the radio this Valentine's. Your odds will be greatly improved by choosing a local station over a national one and many local stations are dedicating their whole weekend schedules to Valentine's dedications.

You can usually send your dedications in via email, text or by filling in a form online and even specify the time that you would like your song played. Some stations will also be offering special Valentine's day prizes as incentives.

9. Serenade your partner

Technology has moved on a bit since the days of 'Rene & Renata' and there are now countless new ways to embarrass yourself while serenading your partner. But, trust us - they will absolutely love you for it!

It's easy to find the lyrics to your partner's favourite song on the internet and why not really get into the spirit of it by dressing up like the singer in question too.

If you're not a fan of Acapella and have access to a games console then why not make use of games like Guitar Hero or Karaoke Revolution to provide you with some musical accompaniment?

10. Give a relaxing massage

Sometimes we get so wrapped-up in the miniature our busy, everyday lives that we forget the importance that 'touch' plays in our relationships. So what could be a nicer Valentine's Day treat than reacquainting yourself with your partner's body and giving them a relaxing body massage?

You don't need a fancy massage table, just laying down some blankets and pillows on a bed or even the floor will suffice. Atmosphere again is important so set the mood with soft lighting, candles, hot oils and some appropriate music. Maybe you could even run a nice relaxing bath for your partner beforehand?

You don't need to be a Shiatsu Master to give a relaxing massage and most of us should already know a few basic techniques. It doesn't matter if you start at the toes and work up or at the head and work down - just use slow repetitive movements and try not to use too much pressure. Simply work on your partner's muscles by gently applying pressure with your thumbs and holding it for a few seconds. It's a great way to rid the body of tension and can also boost your energy levels.

And who knows? If you do a really good job your partner may be willing to return the favour!