Valentine’s Day Gifts that won’t break the bank

What to get your Valentine? The answer doesn’t have to break the bank. If you didn’t splurge this weekend, don’t spend all your money on flowers. They’re a great accent to the holiday, but don’t waste $40-50 on them. It’s just not worth it. They only last a few days. Flowers are not the only way to that girl’s heart. There are other low budget items too.

To save money on flowers, skip the roses. They’re extremely expensive this time of year, and in my opinion they are overrated. Forget the carnations. They just look cheap. Lillies are a nice alternative. They’re unique, big, and fragrant for a more reasonable price.

Costco is my favorite place for flowers. Every bunch is unqiue and they’re often exotic looking for $15-20. These bouquets are often bursting with color and will put a smile on your loved one’s face without breaking the bank. Just don’t wait until 5 P.M. on Valentine’s Day or it might be slim pickings.

Want something that’s going to last longer? Buy an orchid or other exotic looking plant. You can find them for reasonable prices at big box home improvement stores or try your local greenhouse.

Skip the online floral shops. If you want to send flowers to someone out of town, call a local florist. You’ll pay fewer fees and get a better bargain especially if you have a relationship with that florist and go back time and time again.

Plus, when I ordered flowers from a national online floral retailer for a NewsChannel 5 test, my Inbox was loaded with emails for months afterward. Buy local and save yourself the headache.

Sweets for your sweetie
Have just $10 for a gift? No problem. How about cupcakes? They’re sure to bring a smile to your sweetie’s face.  Let’s be clear, though, I’m not talking about the cupcakes at the grocery store. Head to a bakery or cupcake shop. You’ll pay more, but you’ll get a more exotic cupcake. Again, arrive early. Most cupcake shops sell out early especially on holidays. I went to one last week, and the cupcakes were all gone by 2:30 during the week.

How about something homemade like chocolate covered strawberries. They’re on sale right now at the grocery stores in Ohio for $2 a pint. Or, head to the West Side Market in NE Ohio and you might find them even cheaper. It just depends on the inventory. At the grocery store, go to the baking aisle and buy the chocolate dipping tub. It’s the size of those microwaveable soup or Macaroni and Cheese containers. It’ll run you about $3 or $4. A cheaper option is to stop by a craft store and pick up the chocolate drops. You’ll get way more, but if you want to make one stop you can get everything you need for around $7 at the grocery store.

If you really want to splurge, get a $50-75 gift certificate for a spa treatment. Every woman likes a manicure, pedicure, or massage every once in awhile.

You don’t have to spend much — just spend your money wisely. It’s easy to get ripped off on this day of love.

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