It all depends on how long you've been together because if it hasn't been long, put asking her to marry her on hold until you save up for whatever ring you can afford. The reason that tradition is still held is because it represents that you love the woman you want to marry, would do anything for her, and can offer her financial stability in a marriage. So re-think dumping the ring idea...
You dont have to rush into it and marry her . Take it slow, be sure that thats the decision you want to make. Is she ready to make that leap? You have to make sure shes the one whos going to pick you up when you fall vice versa , Its not the material things that matter. be yourself
Not all girls even want an engagement ring. Are you sure you want to get married right now? Maybe you should consider waiting until you are better of finically. Not for the ring but so you can live easier.
If you really want to ask her to marry you right now, them how about even going on a picnic with Chinese take out. You could have a fortune put in a cookie that says something like, "The man of your dreams is before you." Then ask her to marry you. If You contact a Chinese restraint sometimes they will put the message in the cookie for you. Or fortune cookies are very easy to make yourself.
Give her Surprise !! most of the girls Love it !!! make her realise she is important for You !!! M sure She Would realise it !!! what are u waiting?.. just get married Soon?.. what if later changed her Mind !!!! Good Luck !!!