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Feb 022013
 February 2, 2013  Posted by  Valentine's Day

I’m a chocoholic, which makes life easy for my husband on Valentine’s Day. A card and a big box of Russell Stover assorted creams, and I’m over the moon. But not all women (or men, for that matter) are so easy to please. Here are some gift ideas that will put a smile on your Valentine’s face without leaving a huge dent in your wallet.

Valentine’s Day gifts for women

Flowers and candy. It seems so cliché, but there’s a reason people still buy flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day. It’s because women like flowers and candy. Before you go shopping, check our Daily Deals site (and also your local Living on the Cheap site) for discounts from FTDProFlowers, 1800Flowers, Teleflora, etc. The national flower delivery sites often run deals just before Valentine’s Day that can save you up to 50%. Even without a discount, FTD has some nice Valentine’s Day bouquets starting around $20, which will leave you plenty of money for those chocolates.

Valentine's Day gift ideas for $50 or lessSpa Certificates. A word of caution on the spa certificates. Don’t buy one unless you know your Valentine well enough to be sure she’ll use it. Not all women are comfortable going to the spa (if my husband is reading, this, please ignore my earlier comment and continue reading). Spa deals can be found year-round on your local Living on the Cheap Daily Deals page, and they’re even more popular around Valentine’s Day. The deals change day-to-day, but today I found deals on the Kansas City on the Cheap site for a facial (from $20), a mani-pedi (from $25), and a massage (from $42). Although it’s OK to buy Valentine’s Day gifts from daily deal sites, your Valentine doesn’t need to know you got a discount. Call the spa before you buy and ask if you can trade in the discount certificate for an actual spa gift certificate. The spa certificate will be much more impressive.

Photos on Canvas. Find a photo you love of you and your sweetie and have it made into a canvas print. You can upload your photo and order online at Walmart, Walgreens or CVS. Prices start at $19.96 for an 11×14 canvas (Walmart is the least expensive).

Valentine’s Day gifts for men:

Movie night. Pick up a copy of his favorite movie or a Blockbuster gift card and wrap it with some theater-style popcorn (you can also buy that at Blockbuster) and his favorite movie candies. You can add some hot cocoa or an inexpensive bottle of wine.

Beer-making kit. What guy doesn’t like beer? OK, I’m sure some of them don’t, but I’m guessing they’re in the minority. In any case, making beer seems like a good guy project, so I’m adding the beer-making kit to my list. You can buy one for as little as $39.99 from HomeBrewers Outpost or for $39.95 at (the Amazon kit qualifies for free shipping).

Tickets to sporting events or concerts. With ScoreBig, you can get tickets to concerts, NBA basketball, Major League Baseball (including spring training), NHL hockey, and also college sports at discounts of 10% to 60%. ScoreBig is a little like the “Name Your Own Price” option on Priceline, but it’s for entertainment and sports tickets.

Get Creative

Pick up a nice basket ($5-$10 at Walmart) and fill it with your Valentine’s favorite sweet treats. Bake his favorite cookies and decorate them with pink frosting, sprinkles, or Valentine’s Day M&Ms. Buy a pound of her favorite Starbucks coffee and add a nice mug, some shortbread cookies, flavored stirrers, and foil-wrapped chocolate hearts.

What ideas do you have for cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts? Share your comments below.

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Julie Henry

Julie Henry, RN, MPA, is a freelance writer, editor, and project manager who loves the thrill of scoring a good deal. She writes a bi-weekly "On the Cheap" column for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach. In addition to writing about deals and discounts, Julie is an established medical writer. She has done work for a number of national health care organizations, including The Joint Commission, The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine. Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, she now lives in Myrtle Beach. Julie owns and operates Kansas City on the Cheap, Myrtle Beach on the Cheap, and Charleston on the Cheap.

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