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Valentine’s gifts don’t need to cost a lot

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 12:30 p.m. CST

With Valentine’s Day coming up, last-minute gifts are often a topic of controversy. Money can be tight, and holiday spending can be hard for some budgets, but there are options.

Flowers are always a good, but one alternative can be making paper roses. The process can take some time, but the payout can be worth it. Origami flowers are easy to make, and provide a unique twist on the typical flowers and chocolates.

Flowers aren’t a bad option, but remember these money-saving tips to allow for maximum life:

• Bleach — adding 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per liter of vase water keeps the water clean;

• Aspirin and a penny — aspirin increases the acidity of water, which helps it move up the stem more easily, and a copper penny (pennies minted after 1982 are made largely of zinc with a thin copper coating) prevents fungus growth on plant stems;

• Soda — a few drops of soda can help the blossoms last longer;

• Sugar — many cut flowers can have a prolonged life by adding four level teaspoons of sugar into one quart of water (daffodils, marguerite daisies and tulips will not benefit from sugar, but snapdragons and balloon flowers will); and

• Hair spray — a quick spritz of hairspray can help preserve flowers because it has a lacquer base that will prevent them from falling apart.

Also, keep in mind if you’re sending flowers, be sure to have them delivered to the workplace. No one likes to be the one at work who does not receive flowers.

If chocolates are what a loved one wants, rather than purchasing the typical heart shaped box, why not try some imported chocolates?

Kinder chocolates are imported from Germany, and provide a unique taste. The boxes may be more expressive than the typical chocolate, but the taste is a lot better than most American chocolates.

Rather than going out to eat, making dinner together can provide a nice romantic evening. one easy recipe is chicken piccata. An easy recipe is listed at http://www.recipe.com/classic-chicken-piccata/.

Another easy recipe to make is chocolate-covered strawberries. They are simple, easy, and taste great.

Another alternative Valentine’s Day gift is a clean house. It not only saves money, but it shows a loved one that your willing to work for them. No one likes to come home to a dirty house.

A different approach, depending on if the significant other likes stars, is to name a star after them. There are literally countless stars, and naming one after him or her can touch someone who is into science. They can be purchased at http://www.starnamer.net/.

Spa passes are also a very popular gift, but rather than just a single, make it a double. Messages are a great way to relieve tension and stress for both men and women.

It is true that the thought is more important than the gift, but it is always nice to know when a good valentine’s day gift is received.

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