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Valentines Gifts And Ideas That Are Cheap Or Free

First Posted: 02/11/2012 11:47 am   Updated: 02/11/2012 2:05 pm

Remember when Valentine's Day consisted of red and pink paper rectangles with cutesy text and a small heart-shaped box of candy? Neither can we. According to the National Retail Foundation (NRF), Americans are expected to shell out an estimated $17.6 billion this Valentine's Day. Whether you're short on funds or just don't feel like forking over all of your cash to cupid, here are a few ways you can celebrate the 14th without going broke.

Photo courtesy of uberculture

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  • Be Your Own Chef

    Get in the kitchen and whip up some delicious eats for your sweetie. Surprise your love with <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_14024_celebrate-valentines-day.html" target="_hplink">breakfast in bed or a picnic lunch</a>. Even better, cook a gourmet dinner together.

  • Be Flexible With Flowers

    Last-minute flower arrangements and roses, the Valentine's Day flower of choice, can get expensive. Instead,<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-still-show-love-on-valentine-s-day" target="_hplink"> opt for other flowers</a> in your sweetie's favorite color or the traditional pink or red. Choosing <a href="http://www.ehow.com/about_5439674_flowers-season-february.html" target="_hplink">flowers that are in season in February</a> can also help to avoid a hefty bill if you're on a tight budget.

  • Give The Gift Of Quality Time

    Go for a long walk on the beach or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year" target="_hplink">go for a hike </a>on your favorite trail. Take the opportunity to block out daily distractions and focus on conversation and one-on-one time.

  • Add Bubbles

    Indulge in <a href="http://chicgalleria.com/2012/02/diy-valentines-day-bubble-bath-erika-katz/" target="_hplink">a special Valentine's bath together</a>. Light candles and reach for your favorite scented oil to set the mood.

  • Reschedule

    Consider celebrating on an earlier or later date, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-clock-with-frugal-and-simple-valentines-day-ideas" target="_hplink">the weekend following the 14th</a>. Restaurants may be less crowded, you won't have to worry about going to work the next day and Valentine's chocolates and gifts will be on sale.

  • DIY Sweets

    Instead of shelling out the big bucks for sweets, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-covered-strawberries/" target="_hplink">make your own chocolate-covered strawberries</a> at home.

  • Love Notes

    Channel the grade school days of crushes, and let the <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_14024_celebrate-valentines-day.html" target="_hplink">love notes</a> flow. Stick them in unexpected places or arrange them so they lead to you.

  • Make Your Own Soundtrack

    Comb through your music library, and compile a playlist of love songs to set the mood for the night.

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Filed by Erica Smith  |