Cupid has been flitting around this world for centuries spreading love and romance, but every year when Valentine Day comes around, some have a problem.

The problem today is not only what Valentine gift to send, but can I afford it? Love, being blind, does not seem to care that the budget is tight and getting tighter. If Cupid’s arrow has found a mark, money doesn’t worry the one who has been hit.

The trick is to fulfill the requirements brought about by romantic association but stay within your budget. In plain English – do not go into debt.

With adequate research, it is really possible to have a romantic interlude and stay within the budget.

Take notice that Valentine’s Day comes every year and if you will be giving gifts, the budget should allow for it. There will be times when you are forced to cut down on some other expenditure, but be prepared.

Everybody accepts the fact that red roses (or at least some color rose) is considered a great Valentine’s gift. Where the smart financial budgeter comes in is how he decides to send the roses.

Research in the local markets indicate that the giver has a number of options and the price for a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day can range from $18.99 for just a dozen roses, not in a vase or box and with no filler, to over $75 a dozen in a vase, with filler and a bow. Add $9 or $10 if you want the flowers delivered.

The cheapest choice is for the giver to pick up the roses just as a bunch, with no extras and plan to deliver them himself. Keep in mind that there is something appealing about a man standing behind a bunch of red roses. On the other hand, it may be necessary that the roses be delivered.

When you send flowers keep in mind that some women actually prefer a living plant, something as small (and relatively inexpensive) as an African violet that she can keep on her desk at work or in the kitchen window may appeal to her more than cut flowers. If you know her well enough to be considering this Valentine’s investment, you should know the answer.

A minority would love to have tulip bulbs, an azalea or lilac bush instead of the cut flowers with the thought that they could be enjoyed for years to come. If you go this route, be smart enough to offer to plant them for her.

Do not overlook the power of candy, especially chocolate. The fact that chocolate contains potassium, magnesium, vitamins D, E, B1 and B2 probably has little or nothing to do with the popularity of it as a Valentine’s gift.

Valentine’s gifts do not have to be either flowers or candy. There are many situations where you have no romantic involvement with a person but would like to remember them with a small gift. This could be anything: just something to brighten their day.

It is hard for anyone (male or female) to mess up a cake-mix and even harder to mess up a can of icing so make a cake and take it to the break room for your co-workers to enjoy with their coffee. Or pick up donuts on your way to work. Little things matter.

Take someone to lunch, dinner, a movie or even to an athletic event if you think she/he would enjoy it.

Whatever you do, you must remember to stay within those financial constraints set out by that ever present budget and remember that a gift isn’t restricted to material items. Do some little thing for somebody; it will make their day happier.

One of the best gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of being pleasant to work (or live) with and budget or no budget, you can give this gift and it will be appreciated. Try being extra pleasant to work (or live) with on Valentine’s Day. It is the perfect time to start. Love to all.


Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at