Offer to make a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day. You can make a nice Italian meal like spaghetti and meatballs fairly easily, and to really put it over the top you can make some cookies or cake for dessert. Get a nice glass of wine and one red rose and your entire night is set! It sure beats the hell out of paying over a hundred dollars on a dozen roses, plus this idea is definitely more personable and less commercial.
Step 2Go for a short get-away. Spend the afternoon at the park with a picnic of sandwiches, salad, and wine. Make your girlfriend or boyfriend a card and just spend the day together. Again, it will be obvious you put more effort into it then just going to the local florist and ordering flowers to be delivered to the home at an unknown time.
Step 3Make something! The reason most people don't follow this step is that it is the most difficult. Ironically, it is also the most budget sensitive. Create your own poem, or if you sing and play an instrument -- create a song!
Step 4Avoid Valentine's Day packages from your local florist or online store. They will attempt to sell you a teddy bear, bouquet of roses and a box of 'no name' chocolate for twice the price of buying all those things separately. Also, do not fall for the gifts that deliver one thing to your sweetie for an entire week. Not only do you have to worry about someone being home for those amount of days, it can also get annoying after awhile.