by Tawra Kellam
Using a little imagination, you can make your Valentine's day a little more fun and a lot less expensive. If you want to add a little personalized romance or if you don't have the time or money to buy all the pre-made things in the store, here are some ideas from livingonadime.com to help you make the day special.
For the Kids: My mom always made a great but inexpensive Valentine's Day treat for us. She would take construction paper and cut a big heart out of it. (About 8x10 inches) then she would staple the edges together and write our names and an I love you on the outside. Then she would fill the heart with candy, purchased on clearance after Christmas. It was very inexpensive but we loved it!
Do a Valentine's treasure hunt. Leave little notes around with the last one leading back to the kitchen table with heart full of candy.
For Lunches: Make heart shaped Valentine's cookies, cut the kids (or hubby's) sandwiches with a heart shaped cookie cutter to make a heart sandwich. Add a few Valentine's chocolates and put a note in red with a big heart on their napkin.
Serve anything red for the day. Serve red Jell-o, red pudding, red apples, toast with strawberry jelly, tomato soup, red applesauce, red Kool-aid, strawberry milk, or red frosted cookies. Use powered food coloring from the cake store to get the deepest shade of red. Leave sticks of red gum in their Valentine's Day cards.
Make red heart shaped cupcakes. Make cupcakes as usual but place a marble down the side of the muffin tin between the muffin tin and each cupcake cup. This will make heart shaped cupcakes.
Make hearts out of chocolate chips in each of your pancakes.
Mail your pre-addressed and stamped Valentines to Loveland, Colorado and they will postmark them and mail them for you. Send them to: Postmaster, Attn: Valentines, Loveland, CO 80537
Make a treasure hunt for your spouse. Start by mailing or e-mailing him the first clue. Then leave clues all over the house, yard, car or his office telling him where to find the next clue. End the hunt by making a picnic in the back yard or going to a park for a picnic. Use your imagination and have fun. The simple things are the ones people remember.
Things to do with or for your honey:
Go to a bookstore and enjoy the silence and browse. Get a cup of coffee and make a date of it.
Celebrate Valentine's day AFTER Valentine's day. Everything is half off.
Mail a love letter to your hubby's work.
Send your spouse a sexy email message.
Leave "Why I love you" message all over the house. Buy a package of the cheap Valentines. Leave a message on each one and hide them all over the house for your honey. They will get to enjoy the gift for months!
Use lipstick to make hearts and love notes on the rear view mirror, car windows, bathroom mirror or windows of the house. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner.
Make a bunch of hearts out of construction paper. Put a love note on each one. Paste them all over the front door or car before your hubby or kids come home from work.
If you don't have money to go out, have a picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and have a romantic Valentine's dinner on the floor. Use some white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting!
Tawra Kellam is the author of the frugal cookbook Not Just Beans: 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites. Not Just Beans is a frugal cookbook which has over 540 recipes and 400 tips. For more free tips and recipes visit her web site at http://www.livingonadime.com/