Valentine’s Day – 5 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off!

Valentine’s Day is one occasion when it is all too easy to go completely overboard in an effort to woo your sweetheart. Cleverly cashing in on all that frenzy, restaurants offer overpriced lunches and dinners, while the prices of flowers skyrocket. All in all, a stressful affair, and none too easy on the wallet!
But, there’s a way of getting around it. Here is a list of what not to on Valentine’s Day along with what you should do!

1. Valentine Flowers
Don’t:
Don’t buy that super expensive bouquet of long-stemmed roses. If there is one flower that suddenly costs a fortune on Valentine’s Day it has to be the red rose. Even if it cost you a week’s earnings, roses will ultimately wilt just like any other flower.

Do:
Since practically the whole world is exchanging red roses — and paying through the nose for the same — you have resolutely decided to be different. If Valentine’s Day falls during Spring where you are, when Nature is in full bloom, then why not make her a pretty bunch of wild flowers. They are colourful, attractive and refreshingly different. Or, get her a lovely potted evergreen plant — symbolising your undying devotion to her.

2.Valentine’s Cards
Don’t:
A store-bought card may be extravagantly worded but it is also expensive, not to mention impersonal. Well, the words are written by someone else while you just add your name underneath. Is it time to look for a more personal (and cheaper) alternative?

Dos
Create your own Valentine’s Day card instead. Make her a gigantic one, cover it with love notes and photographs of the two of you. Feel like a child on a school project as you use crayons, glitters, gold or silver ink — juts let the creativity flow. You will be surprised at much you enjoy yourself too!

3.Eating out
Don’t:
Give eating out a miss this Valentine’s Day. Everyone does it and you want to be different, right? In addition, the din and the overpriced menu just might take the romance right out of the quiet and intimate dinner that you had fondly planned at that fancy restaurant.

Do:
Plan a romantic ‘night in’ instead — right in your home. Don the chef’s apron and cook a special meal for her. Lay the table with some sparkling silverware and lit candles. Sprinkle the tablecloth with rose petals (you can be smart and buy the roses a couple of days in advance and store them in ice cold water) and have soft music playing in the background. Even if it is a simple fare, the fact that you took the trouble to present it so aesthetically will be enormously appreciated.

4.Pampering essentials
Don’t:
Tempting as it is to book her (or both of you in a spa), you will also end up paying a hefty price for all that impersonal massaging and pampering. Even as you are inhaling the fragrance of those aromatic candles, your mind is ticking away, wondering how big a dent it is going to make in your overstretched budget.

Do:
Bring the entire spa experience home! Stock up on some classy spa toiletries, draw the curtains and set the mood with scented candles and diffusers. Have the appropriate soothing music playing in the background. Take turns in giving each other a long and relaxing massage with aromatic oils. Run a bath and take naughty soak together!

5.Extravagant Valentine’s gifts
Don’t:
Don’t make the mistake of splurging on overly extravagant gifts, particularly if your budget is a tight one. A gift that cost a fortune does not necessarily translate into the ideal one.

Do:
Do get a little something romantic for her. A recently conducted survey threw up surprising facts. Of the nearly 200 respondents (men and women) who participated in the online survey, a whopping 58 percent of the women preferred romance over expensive gifts as a birthday present. For the average woman, a romantic weekend getaway with her man meant much more than a high-priced bauble.

Most men have a harrowing time cracking the mystery of romance. Just what is this elusive thing that women are so hung up on?! Tip: It isn’t something that you buy at the local greetings card store or at the florist.

A great romance always has an element of surprise in it — good ones, mind you. Like leaving a love note on her pillow — no occasion at all, but just because you wanted to. Or slipping a sweet and naughty note inside her bag as she leaves for work. Or, surprising her with dinner cooked by you when she crawls home from work after fighting that crazy traffic. Small things that tell her you were thinking about her.

Hot, passion is fine but romantic gestures make a woman feel that she is much more than just a desirable body. So, this Valentine’s Day do something different. Avoid going with the herd and sweep her off her feet with your romantic moves!

Daya is an experienced writer and journalist. She has spent much time researching Saint Valentine’s Day. Her articles are published mainly at http://www.4-valentines-gifts.co.uk/. She works in the UK gift retailing industry currently, writing for a major UK online retailer of gifts for women. Daya suggests her employer’s range — at http://www.pressies4princesses.co.uk/gifts-valentines-1.shtml — to men hunting for ‘different’ Valentine’s Day gifts for their girfriend, wife or secret love this year.

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