How much do you spend on your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Over £100 for a romantic meal in a fancy restaurant? £50 on flowers and choccies? The cost of treating your partner can add up to a small fortune.

As the first post-Christmas commercial fad, the craziness of Valentine’s Day is apparent from as early as mid-January!

Year after year in the lead up to February 14th, couples come under financial, and emotional, pressure to spend a lot of money on that special person in their life, just to impress them. Just when you’ve had enough of spending cash at Christmas time, you’re hit with another seasonal event which can make your heart, and bank balance sink.

But don’t panic! There are ways around spending a fortune this Valentine’s Day without the worry of disappointing your other half!

Ready, Steady…Cook!

Fancy yourself as a top chef? Seen Jamie Oliver on the tele and thought ‘That looks pretty simple!’ Well, the chances are, it probably is – it doesn’t take a naked food minded genius to cook up a tasty, gourmet storm – unless you’re that way inclined of course?

Even if you’re not that confident in the kitchen, it’s at least worth having a go, fully dressed that is – your partner will appreciate the effort in the long term, even if they do end up in A&E with food poisoning.

All it takes is a simple Google search for ‘easy Valentine’s Day recipes’ and you’ll be presented with a wealth of simple to follow home recipes which you don’t need a Michelin star for.

You can get a wide variety of ingredients from around the world at your local supermarket. Fancy a succulent steak perhaps? Ask the butcher for a few tips on what to buy and how to cook it to perfection. Combine that with an easy to make peppercorn sauce, a few triple cooked spuds and a bottle of red and you’re on to a winner – all for a fraction of the price of the restaurant down the road.

Vouch for a code

If you really don’t fancy yourself as a kitchen whizz – going out for a tasty meal might be the best option for you, however you do not have to spend loads!

Keep checking for discounts and offers on voucher sites such as Groupon, you may find the perfect meal deal at a local restaurant – and the best thing is, your partner may never need to know about how much you actually paid.

Top tip. No deals available on Valentine’s Day? Try going a day or two earlier or later and you’ll surely find a tasty dish or two.

Stick to a budget

If you and your partner are feeling the effects of spending money this Valentine’s Day, a good idea is talking to each other about setting a specific budget so that you don’t both go overboard on each other. Even sticking to just £10 each can get you some lovely and acceptable Valentine’s Day gifts such chocolates, wine and a card.

Top Tip. Don’t go searching online for flowers.. after all the packaging and delivery costs added, they can end up costing loads. Head to your local shop or supermarket – you’ll surely find a beautiful bloomy bargain which your other half will adore.

Get Artsy!

Ever baulked at the price of a Valentine’s day card these days? Well, there’s no need to succumb to the pressure to buy a lavish, heart-filled A3 sized piece of card with a generic love poem included which will probably end up in the bin come 17th Feb.

Grab hold of your creative self and save a few pounds by making your own Valentine’s Day card. All it takes is a sprinkle of imagination, a touch of creativity and a quick search for any old card or photos lying around the house and you’re on the way.

Fill the card with personalised words of undying love, maybe in the style of a poem if you’re feeling up to it, and you’ve got yourself a personalised love ticket to your partner’s heart. They’ll be more likely to keep the card forever more, so you’ll know it’s appreciated.

Spend time, not money

Whatever you end up doing with your other half this Valentine’s Day, make sure it doesn’t end up costing you a lot of money – after all, spending time with your special person is priceless, whether it be going for a romantic stroll along the beach or cuddling up with a good film (you’ve probably recorded loads over the Christmas period).

Fancy taking in some more money saving tips? Keep checking the 118118 Money blog – it’s full of helpful hints and tips which can go a long way to easing financial pressures.