Saving this Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! This is a hard holiday for those whom are frugal.  You don't want your loved ones thinking you couldn't loosen the wallet strings for one day but you don't want to spend your entire paycheck to express your feelings for them.  This year save money while you celebrate Valentine's Day.

Food

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am a foodie. To me, nothing says "I love you" like the happy full feeling you get after a good meal. My favorite site to send people for recipes is The Food Network.  There is a mount of different recipes at different skills levels with reviews written by people whom have tried the recipe before.   If you don't want to cook then take a look at Restaurants.com where you can purchase discounted gift cards to pay for your dinner at a lower price.  If you want to go out for dinner, then have a yummy homemade dessert!  I've made this red velvet cake several times and is always eaten up.

Flowers

Almost every woman likes getting flowers on Valentine's Day. I'm a bit spoiled; my dad has given me some type of flowers on Valentine's Day since I can remember. As I got older I noticed that my mom and I would get similar flowers so I finally called him out on it. He goes the grocery store and purchases loose flowers then arranges them. This way he ensures that the flowers are in good shape and saves money by arranging them himself.

If you're not the type to arrange your own flowers there's still hope for your wallet. Even though it is a busy time of year for florists you can still get a good deal. 1-800-Flowers has idiot proofed Valentine flower giving in their Valentine gift center with different categories' for the different loves in your life. FTD.com is a personal favorite of mine for online floral gifts. Along with the Valentine's promotions, AAA members can save up to an extra 25% off their order.  Be sure to take a look at this guide to flower meanings to make sure your sending the right message with your flowers.

Gifts

After seeing  a receipt from last year (hide your receipts better dear), I put a realistic budget on Valentine's Day after finding out about the hubby's splurge last year.  There is no need to spend a lot to show you care a lot.  Gifts that you made yourself may not be the most glamorous or flashy but nothing says I love you like something that comes from the heart.  Get creative and have some inexpensive fun.  Take a look at Valentine's Day on a budget, DIY Gifts for Him, and my personal favorite Martha Stewart's Valentines Guide for some inspiration.

If you don't have the patience to make something start your shopping now before gift prices get jacked up a week before the holiday.  Plus you don't want to have to deal with the mall or any rush order shipping fees.  Save money and frustration by getting your gifts now.

If your loved one is a traveler take a look at this article from Travel Gear blog about gift ideas. Try taking a looking Travel Enthusiast gift site. For jewelry and watches try  Szul, Zales and Gordon's Jewelers; these stores will give to you the biggest jewelry bang for your buck.  For random gadgets try  Best Buy, Buy.com and Shop4Tech.  For home goods check out Pacific Coast Feathers, the Great Indoors and Overstock.com.

If you love loves wine Winebasket.com has gift baskets already put together. The Wine Enthusiast sells a great select of wine accessories.  For those who like everything organic try Organic Vintners' or   The Organic Wine Company both sells organic wines that come from around the world.

Hopefully this brainstorming helped you get started on your Valentine's Day plans.  Now I am even more confused on what to get my husband this year.  Anyone have any suggestions for something not too mushy for a guy's guy whom already has everything he needs?

Photo courtesy of daveograve@'s

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