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Money Tight? Some Inexpensive Valentine's Day Ideas

Have a lotta love in your heart, but not a lot of loot to back it up? Not to worry -- the most romantic Valentine's Day gifts require imagination, not money. "Think back on the most treasured gifts you've received," says Laura Shanahan, a New York consumer-tips columnist. "Chances are they were the most thoughtful, not the most costly." Here are her top 10 tips for Valentine's gifts that show the most caring, not the most cash:

  1. An appointment book with one date filled in -- that of a romantic getaway for the two of you. It doesn't have to be a Caribbean cruise. A day of "playing hooky" together at an out-of-the-way park and a back table at a dim bistro are perfect for creating that loving feeling.
  2. A gift certificate for your honey's choice of pampering treatments performed by you. A massage, shampoo, and a bubble bath with room service -- their wish is your command.
  3. A heart-shaped box from card or novelty store. Place a handwritten note inside: "Contains 365 blown kisses just for you -- take one a day."
  4. Pajamas for the two of you. He wears the pants, she wears the top.
  5. A cozy picnic. Never mind the snow. Lay out a blanket on the living room floor and serve up finger foods you can hand-feed each other. Don't forget the candles.
  6. Sweep your sweetie off his or her feet with tickets to a ballroom dancing class so you can stay cheek to cheek all year round.
  7. Indoor "sky writing" is a great way to say I love you to that special someone. Simply make a poster with a declaration of your devotion and tape it to the ceiling right over the bed. It will be the first thing your sweetheart will see upon wakening Valentine's Day -- and your final, sweet-dreams message.
  8. A fortune -- or more. Get a handful of fortune cookies from a specialty market or your local Chinese restaurant. Compose your own personal messages.
  9. A dozen red balloons. Before you blow them up, insert tiny trinkets or love notes. Give the blowup, treasurer filled results to your beloved for a popping good time.
  10. A blank journal you'll head "Reasons I Love You." Every reason will have it's own page.

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