Valentine in love

On February 14th, love fills the air. Everyone wants to have a special date with the one they love. We picture a romantic get-away with personal waiters serving our every whim, violins playing, waves lapping on the beach... Stop! Not too many of us can really afford that type of dream on Valentine's Day. So reality dictates that we use reason but our heart tells us we have to do something special for the one we love.

Using your imagination and having some creativity, you can have your own special Valentine date night while staying within your budget. With careful planning you will have a fun-filled day or evening and not break the bank.

First you need to determine what you and your date would enjoy doing. Plan something matching your own personalities and tastes.

Hiking and walking top the list for a low-budget date. Find somewhere new or different that you haven't been. Walk around the nicest neighborhood in town and pretend you are looking for a home to buy. Make plans on how you would decorate the house and landscape the yard. Walking paths get crowded so try walking around an airport. Pretend like you are just getting home from the best vacation ever and make up stories about the things you just experienced. Hold hands and enjoy each others company. Take some goodies to eat while you are walking.

Have a fun evening by cooking something together. Plan your meal around food that you both love to eat. Make sure you include chocolate! Strawberries dipped in chocolate are a great treat, fun to share and easy to make. Bake heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them. Make sure the cooks get plenty of kisses and complements! Turn off the television and turn on the stereo. Dancing music will add just the right touch.

Plan a scavenger hunt. Make a list of fun romantic items such as red lipstick, red nightie, pink shoes, chocolate truffles, red towels, big fake diamond ring, and anything else you can imagine. Go to a large discount store and see who can find the items the quickest. You can plan a small budget to purchase the items or just find them, put them in your basket and then have fun returning everything back to where you found them.

There's nothing more romantic than a true picnic. Pack your favorite lunch in a wicker basket and take a large blanket to a nice secluded spot for some quiet time together.

Have a game night together. Turn off the television and play your favorite card or board games. Have plenty of snacks to eat.

Put together a jigsaw puzzle. Eat fruit and cheese snacks.

Pop up some popcorn and snug together while you watch your favorite romantic movie.

Agree to exchange handmade gifts rather than purchasing something.

Your Valentine date night should be about spending time together and not spending money.