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Some people choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day because they have that special someone in their life that they want to spoil with gifts and actions. Or maybe you want to impress a person that you would like to get to know better. In any case, here are some ideas of various expenses that might lend some help.

No-cost ideas

Starting with a red and white theme, find things around your house in those colors and might help create a festive Valentine’s Day atmosphere. Look for candles, dried flowers, linens, paper napkins, throws or blankets, clothing, decorations, wrapped candies – basically anything that you would use to add to the mood you want to create. Then plan what you want to do: take a walk, watch a movie on TV or a DVD, or put on some romantic music. Next determine if you are going to want something to eat and drink. Perhaps you are good in the kitchen and can whip up something special and/or have a bottle of refreshment you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Now you’re almost ready, but still have a couple of things to take care of. Find a clean sheet of paper (red or white) and make your own card saying exactly what you want to say to your Valentine. Then all that’s left to do is to light the candles you have on hand and surprise your Valentine when they walk through the door.

Minimal-cost ideas

Perhaps you have a few dollars to spend on Valentine’s Day, so here are some items that won’t cost much if you shop prices and sales. If one thing you like to give is candy, decide how much you want to spend and look for sales from now until Valentine’s Day. There are pretty boxes with your favorite candy, or you can buy a box and fill it with special candy and create your own Valentine candy gift. Buy a stemmed bunch of flowers or artificial flowers (which make a forever bouquet) and wrap a pretty bow around them or buy a glass vase to give them in. Perhaps you could plan an evening out that you both like that includes an inexpensive eating place along with the candy and flowers. If you plan far enough ahead for all the items you want to give your Valentine for Valentine’s Day, you can buy things over time and spread out the expense.

Going all out

If Valentine’s Day is a big event for you, then you’ll need to have plenty of money saved to celebrate. Perhaps you’ve planned the weekend away at a romantic paradise (after all Valentine’s Day does fall on a Friday). Or maybe you’ve made reservations at your favorite restaurant in town and arranged for flowers and/or a bottle of wine or champagne waiting at the table. Don’t forget the beautiful gift you’ve chosen to give your Valentine – make sure it’s wrapped special with a perfect card. All of this lavish celebration sounds amazing and wonderful, but you will need to have budgeted well in advance since putting it all on a credit card will only leave a large expense to pay.

Whatever you want to plan and whatever your budget will afford, it is your way of expressing your affection and everlasting love for the most important person(s) in your life. Make sure what you give is from the heart. Sometimes the smallest things often impress the most. Even if love is all you have to give, then you are giving the greatest gift.

Smart savings with Eileen the savings queen

This locally written column by Eileen Harris is featured twice monthly. Eileen gives tips on getting the most out of the money you’re spending and saving time and energy. Do you have a question about how to save money? Have a tip to share? Email questions and ideas for future columns to with “Eileen the Savings Queen” in the subject line.