Valentine’s Day is all about love, and love can get expensive. Learn how to spoil your sweetheart without spending a fortune with these 7 money-saving date ideas.

1. Make reservations early

While a dinner date at home will certainly save you money, you may still want to eat out. To ensure you get a reservation at your favorite restaurant (and table), reserve your place well ahead of time. Choose a BYOB restaurant to save money on drinks and check the restaurant’s website and social media for potential deals. You may also want to choose a night before or after Valentine’s Day to avoid the crowds and get a reservation for the restaurant you want.

2. Consider a picnic

If weather permits, you can create a sensual dining experience in the park. Find a private, romantic spot in the park and pack a beautiful picnic basket. Picnic basket necessities include napkins, plates, glasses, utensils, trash bags, bug spray, and a blanket to sit on. Don’t forget about the food and drink, and if required, a corkscrew or bottle opener. To really set the mood, you may want to bring flowers and candles. This is the perfect opportunity to put some thought into the experience without blowing the budget.

3. DIY cards and gifts

Think back to your favorite gifts and cards. The homemade ones probably stand out. Love doesn’t mean you have to buy something. Your time, thought, and kindness are the real gifts.

Write a love letter. Paint a picture. Make flowers out of paper or corn husks. Bake brownies. Trite as it is, it’s really the thought that counts.

4. Buy flowers early

Flowers, especially roses, are usually about double the price around Valentine’s Day. To save money and get the best selection, buy flowers a couple days early at your local grocery store. A florist may have better arrangements, but they’ll be a lot more expensive. You can design your own beautiful bouquet with the grocery store selection. Also, check out the Valentine’s Day flower sales at Costco and Sam’s Club.

If you are sending flowers, you can save money by delivering the flowers on the day before or after Valentine’s. If you can, deliver the flowers in person. And instead of flowers that wither and die, consider plants that will continue to grow as your love does.

5. Look for deals

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your Valentine a gift. Shop ahead of time to compare and shop for the best deals. Look for local deals and discounts on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Save even more money with these money-saving apps and browser extensions.

6. Don’t go overboard

It’s easy to want to add teddy bears, chocolates, huge cards, and other unnecessary items at the checkout line, but resist the urge to splurge. If you really do want to add these kinds of things, get them at the dollar store.

You know your Valentine best. Get creative and think of the meaningful gifts that will make them swoon. And resist the urge to splurge.

For personalized advice on saving money and getting out of debt, contact DebtBlue for your free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of certified debt specialists can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.