13 Ways to Spend Less and Rev Up the Romance on Valentine’s Day

When it comes to selecting a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie, remember that recent research in the field of behavioral economics has revealed that experiences bring people more happiness than possessions.

Gifts of experiences — or simply adding a personal touch to affordable gifts — can have a great impact this Valentine’s Day. You’ll find something for your honey among these money-savings tips:

1. Give flowers on a budget

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Spend some effort selecting the blooms, because a wilted bouquet or cellophane-wrapped bundle from the grocery store can give the impression of a last-minute gift grabbed without thought.

A few tips for giving flowers on a budget:

  • Flowers must be kept cold to last well, so avoid roadside vendors.
  • Local florists are a good bet because you can see the quality of their flowers and arrangements.
  • Make a big impact with less-expensive flower varieties by selecting fresh blooms and presenting them well.

For more ideas read “8 Ways to Get the Best Value on Valentine’s Flowers.”

2. Make a puzzle of your love

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Order a customized jigsaw puzzle made from a photo of you and your honey ($29.99 at Shutterfly). Plan to spend a romantic evening assembling the puzzle together.

3. Cook a romantic dinner

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Splurge on fabulous ingredients and prepare them lovingly at home, serving them in a romantic setting. Before you go shopping at the grocery store, check out “25 Ways to Spend Less on Food.

4. Play games

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Create an evening of fun playing games with your primary loved one or with your entire family of loved ones. Looking for ideas? Some favorite games of yesteryear are among “The 51 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 Years.”

5. Stuff a bag with sweets

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Charm a loved one by putting together a bag of his or her favorite sweets to give with other Valentine’s Day gifts. Start with a small gift bag from the grocery store and load it with the sweets you know your honey craves most. Use homemade cookies, high-end chocolates and grocery store goodies. Tie a big red bow on or around the bag.

6. Create a memorable breakfast in bed

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Fill a basket with treats for a very special breakfast in bed. Include warm croissants, butter, homemade jam, fresh fruit and hot chocolate. Don’t forget a few fresh flowers and maybe a pitcher of freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice.

7. Listen up

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Forgo electronic communication for one day (or one hour) and communicate heart-to-heart with those you love. Open up. Share your feelings — keep them positive on this special day. When loved ones respond, listen with all your heart without interrupting. Nothing — absolutely nothing — is more sexy, loving or romantic.

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