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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Valentine’s on a budget

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Many people still enjoy listening to the soundtrack from the 1976 movie “Car Wash.”

One song on the soundtrack, “I Want to Get Next to You” by Rose Royce, has a verse that still resonates with folks who are in love and on a budget at the same time:

“Girl, my money is low, and I know, I can’t take you to the fancy places you like to go. Still, I want to get next to you.”

A decade later, in the 1985 love song “Coolin’ Out,” Dennis Edwards sang, “Come here baby, let’s have a sip of wine. I wish I had champagne, but I can’t afford it at this time.”

With unemployment, foreclosure and debt on the rise, extra money for a good time with your sweetheart is becoming harder to find. Many people simply cannot really afford expensive gifts or romantic trips this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Also, if you’re reading this article and don’t have a gift for your Valentine(s) yet, you’re in the danger zone. Here are a few affordable and quick ideas for Valentine’s Day:


This is always a great and affordable gift for Valentine’s Day. If a box of chocolates seems too cliché, throw her/his favorite candies in a basket and decorate the basket with your own style. If you don’t know what kind of candy your valentine likes, try not to just grab the first thing you see. Take a look at unique chocolates in elegant packaging with different flavor fillings.


Cards are easy to find and can easily articulate how you feel. They’re affordable and can sometimes strike people with emotion from their words. If you really want to make the day special, create your own card for that special someone. It would be nice to read words directly from your heart.

Nice dinner.

Treat her/him to a Valentine’s Day dinner. You can take them out to dinner and enjoy one of many Valentine’s Day specials offered by different restaurants, from the fancy joints to White Castle. You may also prepare your own candlelight dinner with your loved one, and cook either their favorite dish or a special surprise. Don’t forget the bottle of sparkling wine!


Flowers are affordable and can be easily picked up from flower shops, stores and vendors standing next to shady looking vans on street corners. Again, don’t just grab the first thing you see. Think about your sweetheart’s style and favorite colors when making the selection.


Balloons are a great, inexpensive way to send someone a Valentine’s Day message of how much you care.

Make your own gift.

If someone is really in love with you, no gift can beat one that is made by your own hands and from your own heart. Just be creative and develop something that represents what is special between you and your valentine. One popular custom gift is a handmade photo collage to remind the other person of the precious moments you spent together.

Quiet quality time.

Just escaping from the grind of work and letting someone else watch the kids for a while is enough of a treat for some couples. It’s always nice for busy couples to just take a quiet drive, enjoy dinner or catch a movie.


This is a great and reasonable gift if your valentine is a music lover. Buy a CD or two they wanted to get, and write a note telling them to listen to a particular song on that CD because you are dedicating it to them.

Spa Night.

The ultimate way to pamper that special person. When they get home, draw a hot bath filled with rose petals (since roses are expensive this time of year, ask a florist for a package of plain rose petals, short stemmed roses or for “seconds” – ones that are slightly bruised.) Have a glass of wine and candies ready at the side of the bathtub. Also prepare the bedroom with warm towels on the bed, a basin full of warm water near the bed, several washcloths and spa products, creams, etc. Then give your sweetie the massage of her/his dreams. Afterwards the two of you can have takeout in bed and watch a movie.

Valentines Day tips courtesy of Ehow.com, www.buzzle.com and Recorder staff.

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