You want to impress that special someone this Valentine's Day, but your pockets are empty and your card is maxed out. Don't worry: Your romance isn't dead. Aim one of Cupid's arrows at these low-cost Valentine's Day ideas:
Declare your love online. If your Valentine is always on Twitter, declare your love in a tweet. And encourage everyone to retweet it!
Fingerpainting for adults. Who knew a bottle of red fingerpaint could be romantic? If you paint hearts on his windshield, he'll know you're thinking of him.
More than a picnic. Anyone can put a picnic basket together. However, the true romantic will scout out a deserted, scenic, romantic place to enjoy with his Valentine. And he'll also hide a small gift to be found later.
A digital memory book. You and your Valentine have photos on Facebook, Pinterest, your cell phone, and dozens of other places. Collect the most romantic ones in a digital memory book. Write a paragraph or two about the times you've felt extremely close. Add some favorite background music to make it even more romantic.
Start early. Treat your Valentine to breakfast in bed. Heart-shaped pancakes or toast are easy to make. Add some OJ and strawberries for your sweetie.
Partner swap. Well, not really. Instead, swap houses with a friend for the evening. Their patio or fireplace will seem miles away from the one you have at home. And the meal, music, or wine will be much more romantic.
A memory keepsake. What's the most romantic memory you share with your Valentine? Collect photos, music, or anything else that will remind her of that memory. Present them in a heart-shaped box.
Looking for love... Find a place where the people-watching is good. Try to identify couples who are really in love or have been in love for the longest. Hold hands while you watch.
Moonlight, vino, and you. What's more romantic than sharing a bottle of wine under the stars? Too cold outside? Replace the moonlight with a fireplace and you're still in the land of romance.
Let the whole world see. Supersize your Valentine's day card on a poster board and place it in your front yard. Your mate and your neighbors will know exactly who your Valentine is.
You're my treasure. Everyone loves a treasure hunt. Hide a series of love notes for your Valentine. Each one should contain a clue on where to find the next. Will the last one lead to a box of fancy chocolates or a scented bubble bath? You decide!
Give dozens of Valentine's. Draw or cut out hearts on note paper. On each, express a different reason you love your Valentine. Put them where they'll be found one at a time throughout their day.
Time travel. Surprise your Valentine by celebrating on the 13th. She'll love being the only one to get flowers at the office that day.
Time travel, part two. Agree with your Valentine to celebrate on February 16th. Not only will you find candy and flowers at a discount on the 15th, but it will be much easier to get into a restaurant on Saturday
Share the love. Take a box of chocolates and some children's Valentine's cards together to a local nursing home or hospital. Share your love with a stranger who would be alone if it weren't for you and your significant other.
Not just a day. Instead of giving your Valentine a dozen roses in one bouquet, deliver them one at a time during the next two days by placing them where they'll be found at an unexpected time. Add a love note to each rose for extra credit.
You're my favorite. How well do you know your Valentine? Get her favorite candy bar, her favorite flower, her favorite drink--See how many of her favorites you know. And, finally, remember a loving relationship isn't built on one day a year. In healthy relationships, it grows a little bit each day.
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner who founded TheDollarStretcher.com. The site features thousands of articles on how to save your valuable time and money including these ideas for Valentine's Day.
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