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Valentine’s ideas that won’t break your budget

Before you invest in an expensive arrangement, consider cutting costs by arranging a few blooms yourself.
Before you invest in an expensive arrangement, consider cutting costs by arranging a few blooms yourself. File photo

In case you’ve missed the hearts, chocolates and bears — or you just need a last-minute reminder — Valentine’s Day is next week. Here are a few ideas on gifts and gestures that can make a big impact on your date, without leaving a dent in your budget.

Homemade gifts

For some people, homemade gifts have a stigma of being cheap or a last-ditch effort. However, it can actually be the opposite. Instead of a coupon book, take some time to make something uniquely special. Photo albums of treasured moments are always a winning idea.

Screen-free night in

Especially when kids are involved, a night out may just not be an option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your evening special. Put away your phones and turn off the TV. Light a few candles, make a homemade meal, and enjoy some time together. It will cost virtually nothing but you may be surprised how long it’s been since you enjoyed some quiet time in your own home, without the chaos of screens and noise.

Flowers and chocolates

This is the classic Valentine’s combo. It can be tempting to fall for the big bouquets at flower shops, but don’t underestimate the power of the gesture. It’s less about the display and more about the thought. Consider buying only a few blooms and arranging them yourself. With chocolates, if you want to go decadent, opt for a smaller box. This is one time where the thought really does count.

Here’s the best Valentine’s tip: wait until the day after for discounts on gifts and candy. Call it an extended holiday and make your partner’s new favorite quality about you your thriftiness.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.

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