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can't buy me love valentine's day on a budget by Patricia Virella | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

Of course, there’s no reason that you have to do chocolate on Valentine’s Day just because everyone else in the world seems to think it the quintessence of romance.  Any dessert that makes you and your partner drool in the mere anticipation of its taste is the perfect candidate for a Valentine’s Day sweet. For Valentine’s Day at my house, tradition takes a backseat: it’s all about what I know my fiancé would like to have as an extra special Valentine’s Day treat. For him, that means pumpkin muffins.  I jazz them up in red paper muffin holders for an extra little notion of love. On many holidays, bakeries and restaurants use their ability to make special treats, but at your cost.  Making your sweet treats at home is a great budget saver.  A Valentine’s Day cupcake may cost $3-$4 a cupcake.  Why not make a dozen for $2 more? And you can decorate them yourself!

put down the phone
I have to admit: I love flowers sent to me at my office, and apparently so do many people.  It makes us feel special.  The problem with this request? It costs way too much on Valentine’s Day.  You can expect to end up spending at least $100.00  (including delivery) on a dozen red roses that may not be guaranteed fresh.  Instead, up the adorable factor by hand-delivering flowers yourself.  If you have a little time that day and want to impress, swing by and drop off a dozen roses.  They’ll still be more expensive than usual, but not nearly as pricey as if you’d sent them through a florist or flower deliver service.  If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, or something just a tad less cliché, look for a bouquet, or put together one yourself.  Lilies, tulips and numerous other types of flowers can be just as romantic as the rose. 

gifts galore
The box of chocolates, a trip to my fave masseuse – these are all gifts I adore on this love-inspired day, but is it worth compromising paying your phone bill over? NO! So as with dinner, go the do-it-yourself route.  You can create the same effect of luxury, pampering and indulgence with some careful planning.

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