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Celebrating Valentine’s Day inexpensively

By JANET SOWLE, Editor

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Flowers, candy, dinner out, entertainment — it can be hard to decide what to do?  On top of that, it can be expensive … really expensive. And as a college student, you’re on a budget.You don’t need to be overwhelmed and you don’t need to blow your budget. There are lots of options available if you are willing to put in a little work and pre-planning.

FOOD: How about going out for dessert? You also have the option of making a home-cooked meal. You can serve it by setting a fancy table with candlelight, a picnic on the floor of the living room or breakfast in bed. If you aren’t a great cook, a nice presentation will make it better.
SWEETS:There is a wide range of sweet treats available today. Choose from the ever-popular conversation hearts or make a personalized label and wrap it around a favorite candy bar. Pick something expensive like the melt-in-your-mouth Lindor Truffles and purchase it in a small size or buy a larger size Hershey’s Kiss (approximately 2” size). Consider baking a new or favorite dessert. The extra effort will be appreciated.

FLOWERS: How about one single red rose. Add a little greenery and babies breath and you’ve got a beautiful presentation. Don’t wait until the last minute to get this. You’re better off ordering early so you know they don’t run out. If you really want a bouquet, ask the florist if they have a less expensive option.

CARD: Almost every store has a selection of 99 cent cards. They’re not as large or fancy, but it’s better than not having one. Another option is a little more time consuming but might get a great reaction. Make a card. Do more than just fold a piece of paper in half. You can draw a picture, cut out hearts and/or flowers or put stickers on the front. Don’t forget the sentiment inside.

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Depending on your location, you have several options. One is to rent a favorite movie and watch it at home … but that isn’t your only option. Clare and Beaverton both have historic one-screen theaters and the multiplex in Mt. Pleasant offers several options.

  • CLARE: Admission to the Ideal Theater located across from the Doherty Hotel is only $4 per person. Find out their movie at www.idealtheatre.com.
  • BEAVERTON: Admission to the Gem Theater located at M-18 and Knox Road is $5 per person. Find out what movie they’re playing at www.beavertongemtheater.com
  • MT. PLEASANT: If you’re celebrating on a Sunday, catch the WCFX movie that is only $3.95 admission and a medium pop and popcorn for just $4.50. Celebration Cinema has a coupon available at its website, http://www.celebrationcinema.com, that gets you into any movie any day of the week before 1 p.m. for just $6.

HIGH-TECH OPTIONS: Today’s world is filled with online options. Here are just a couple of suggestions.

  • Take a favorite photo and add a border and/or text to it and put it in a frame for your significant other.
  • Do a slide show of your favorite photos, music and Valentine wishes.

Facebook friends gave us the answers to the following question:
What inexpensive Valentine gift ideas do you have?

  • Lisa McGonegal Smith, Shepherd: Staying single.
  • Susan MacLeod Bonstelle: Candlelight dinner at home.
  • Barbara J. Stone, Weidman: Hugs and kisses.
  • Samm Hanley, MMCC student, Mt. Pleasant: I’m making Tom a book: “52 reasons why I love you” each put on a different playing card, and bound together.
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