The Star’s guide to planning the perfect Valentines weekend, without breaking the bank...

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WITH Valentines Day landing on a Tuesday this year, many of us will be getting our romantic heads on this weekend to celebrate with the one we love instead.

But are diamond necklaces a little out of your price range? Can’t afford to splash out on a dozen red roses? Are all the fancy restaurants booked up? Have no fear, Valentines is the one holiday of the year when it truly is the thought that counts. Nothing says I love you like a gift that shows you’ve put some thought into it - no matter what it cost.

Follow our guide to creating the perfect Valentines weekend without breaking the bank...

1. Don’t think the amount you spend shows the amount you love

Yes it sounds obvious but this is a gentle reminder not to get bogged down in the buying frenzy that too often surrounds Valentine’s Day. Does your girlfriend really need another fluffy bear holding a big red heart? Will he ever actually drink his coffee out of that ‘you’re too hot to handle’ mug? Does that big box of expensive chocolates really taste better than a bar of Dairy Milk? No. Don’t buy for the sake of it. If you really want to go down the traditional Valentines route, minimise it a little! A single red rose is still beautiful and a bar of Galaxy tied with a red ribbon will still win your ladies heart.

2. Make a Valentines card

Yes you could head down to a card shop and pick up a giant 3D card for a tenner...or you could pick up a little coloured paper and pencils and go to town! Save old birthday cards and cut out things like hearts, smiling bears or people, then take some glue and ‘hey presto!’ Chuck on any cute thing you find around the house - you could even cut pictures out of magazines - and make your own personalised card which will show the way you feel much better than something you bought during your lunch break. The clincher? Write a really nice verse inside, something from the heart. If being soppy isn’t your thing, you can take the opportunity to write a funny message, but remember - it IS Valentines Day - so throw a little soppy into the mix if possible!

3. Use your talents as a gift

Are you a great cook? Cook a great meal! Like to bake? Create some Valentine cookies! Keen gardener? Do something great in the garden in time for summer.

4. Promise Vouchers

These are another great and completely inexpensive gift idea. Buy a little notebook and create your own book of ‘vouchers’ that can range from the practical to the sexy. You could give vouchers that guarantee:

- one week of dish-washing

- one season of their favorite TV show to be shared

- one loving foot massage

- one week of full dibs on the remote control

5. Gifts from the heart

Some of the best Valentines gifts don’t come from a shop, but rather from the only person that can possibly give them - you!

Why not pick a really great picture of the two of you together. Maybe have it blown up a little, or printed in black and white for a romantic old movie look - this can be done for just a few pence. Put it in a frame and you have the perfect Valentine gift.

You could go a step further and pick several photos of the two of you, buy a nice book or photo album and make your own ‘relationship’ scrapbook. If you have a cinema ticket from your first date or plane tickets from your first holiday together, etc, even better!

6. Spend time together

If your lives are usually nothing but work, dealing with the kids, paying bills and running errands, time out to spend together can sometimes be the best gift of all. And you don’t have to make a restaurant booking to do it. Get a babysitter for the kids, cook dinner together at home with a bottle of wine and rent a movie you’ve both been wanting to see for ages. If you’re not a big cook, a ‘picnic’ with food you can bang in the oven, cheese and crackers, pate and bread, will be just as good. Put your phone away, don’t look at your computer and make it an evening of ‘being together.’ Make an effort to say all those things you always mean to say but don’t because you feel silly. Listen to one another’s stories and remember all the things that you love about each other that have got you to where you’re at now. If you’re feeling really soppy, write down some things you love about him/her beforehand and let them open the notes throughout the night.

Make it the perfect evening by keeping a bar of chocolate or a bowl of strawberries chilling in the fridge!

7. Be spontaneous and show you care

Make an effort to do the unexpected and thrill your beloved. Maybe do somethinig you wouldn’t normally do, like take her out dancing, or return to the scene of your first date. Why not get the photo albums out so that you can settle down after dinner with a glass of wine and look back over your life together so far. Take one together that night to add to the collection.

8. Say I love you - obvious, but possibly the best advice of all.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s weekend!