Americans are predicted to spend $18.2 billion surrounding this holiday, today.  The boxes of chocolate, flowers, and cute, stuffed animals add up pretty quick, and if you’re looking to avoid spending a Billion dollars, we have some tips to save some scratch.

Don’t think of it as being stingy with your cash, but being efficient with your gift giving.

Rather than purchase something expensive that every other girl in the world will receive, go homemade.  Instead of going out to eat at some fancy restaurant where the waiter promises you the best seat in the house when really you’re sitting by the bathroom and you’re pretty sure your seat is just an empty milk crate, cook a homemade meal.  Even for the most novices of chefs, the internet is your friend.  Millions of free, delicious recipes are at your disposal, ready for you to impress your date.  Also, rather than buy a card last-minute from the gas station down around the corner, make a homemade card.  Even if it looks like something a kindergarten student would get an “F” for, your partner will definitely appreciate the gesture.  Just be careful if you use glitter.  Gets everywhere.

Rather than go out Valentine’s evening, dine out during brunch.  The prices might not be as staggering, and you might get lucky and find that most people would rather go out and celebrate that night, leaving the best table in the house all for you.

If anything else, celebrate Valentine’s Day on a different day.  The restaurants won’t be as full and all the candy will be price marked heavily down.  Candy on February 14th tastes just as good when it’s consumed on February 17th!

Via Kiplinger

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