Valentine Gifts on a Budget

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Cupid’s coming! How can you surprise your favorite someone with a special gift—and still stay within your budget?

Here are thrifty ideas.

Go Online

National chains and franchises offer dollars-off web coupons and discounts for meals, wine, flowers, DVD’s, books, and toy furry critters. Tip: If you think whipping out a coupon at a restaurant makes you look cheap, not thrifty, use it at the pick-up window instead and serve your romantic meal at home.

Read the Newspaper

Local businesses might not have a web presence—but they often put flyers or color supplements in newspapers on holidays. Specialty stores offering food or fruit baskets may feature free wrapping or discounts on deliveries.

Visit Dollar Stores

Candy, scented candles, bubble bath and frilly personal care items make great gifts. You can find them all, along with ribbons, cards and fancy sweetheart-themed bows, bags, and baskets to present them in. They’re so inexpensive, you can splurge—or at least look like you did.

Make the Gift Yourself

Do you like to bake? Heart-shaped cookies, candies and cupcakes are tasty, thoughtful treats. Or start a new tradition by pulling out your cookbook and rustling up a delicious dinner. Are you crafty? Hand-designed love notes are always a hit, especially if you include a personalized voucher for a favorite time-together activity, such as a foot massage. Not so crafty? Look online for free card and coupon templates.

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