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How much we spend on Valentine's Day gifts can be pretty crazy. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend an average of $146.84 each, and a total of $19.7 billion.

It's not hard to see why. Too often we feel pressured to spend a bundle on fancy flowers and expensive restaurants to show our partner just how much we care. But keeping the love alive doesn't have to cost a small fortune. So how about going a DIY Valentine's Day gifts route? To help you stick to your budget, here are some ideas.

1. Make a Gift

Instead of throwing down for a flower bouquet that will just wilt within a week's time, you could make your own gift. Going the DIY Valentine's Day gift route will not only add a personal touch, but should also save you money. So get creative and write a song, shoot a video or jot down a love poem.

If you love to craft, you could decorate a mason jar and fill it with inexpensive wildflowers, create a paper mache lantern or build a bench or useful side table – things your significant other would love and can enjoy year-round. It doesn't have to be mushy and filled with red and pink hearts to show you care.

You also don't need to be the world's best artist to make your own gift. Try scouring Pinterest or Etsy for some ideas for beginners. Remember, it's really the thought that counts. The time and effort you put into making a present makes it that much more meaningful.

2. Go on an Outing

Plan a special outing that you both enjoy doing. If you're both shutterbugs, bring your cameras and shoot photographs at scenic spots throughout town, or revisit some of your favorite haunts. You can also go on a "mission date," where you plan your date with a certain goal in mind. For instance, to try find the best taco spot in town, or the bakery that offers the tastiest chocolate croissant. You can get some ideas for activities by scouring a daily deal site, and seeing if you can recreate them for a fraction of the cost.

3. Prepare a Meal Together

Another great option is to skip the overpriced, crowded restaurants on Valentine's Day by cooking a meal at home. By preparing your own romantic Valentine's Day dinner, you can focus on spending money on quality. Plus, in cooking together, there's the bonus of enjoying some serious bonding time.

To put a fresh twist on things, try a chaos cooking party for two, where you create your own concoction by throwing together ingredients you each pick out separately. It's actually not as scary as it sounds. You'll have a ball working together to come up with a meal plan and be amazed at the delicious eats you come up with on the fly. Duck a la banana, anyone?

4. Enjoy Lunch at Your Favorite Restaurant

If you're not sold on the idea of going full-out DIY, you can save cash by enjoying lunch with your partner. That way you can still enjoy fine dining at a fraction of the price. To make sure you don't overdo it, set a budget and carry cash.

You don't need to spend a small fortune to show your significant other that you care. Just a little time, effort and thought will go a long way this Valentine's Day.

Disclosures

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on www.Key.com, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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