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Frugal Living Tips For Valentine's Day

Updated on December 13, 2012
That day is coming soon!
That day is coming soon! | Source

“THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE”

Thank you to the Beatles for that lyric, and isn’t it so true? And speaking of love, what day of the year is all about love? That’s right, Valentine’s Day! And what day of the year is it oh so important for you to do something special for your loved one? Right again, Valentine’s Day!

But what if you are a little low on cash this year? One thing is for certain and that is you had better not use poverty as an excuse for not presenting a gift to your lover; that will get you a death stare and hours of silence. Poverty is not a valid excuse on Valentine’s Day. Nobody wants to hear that you are low on funds and couldn’t find the perfect gift.

Still, many are having a tough time of it economically, so what is a guy or gal supposed to do? How do you show your love on Valentine’s Day and not spend a lot of money?

Luckily for you, billybuc is here! Yes, billybuc, your own personal love guru, and I am here to ease your mind and give you some suggestions that are sure to get you a little extra romance on February 14th….and these suggestions are not going to break your personal bank.

Men, and women, I’m going to give you a word of advice, and it should help you greatly during tough financial times. Are you ready? Love does not have a price tag on it. Love is felt and it cannot be faked or purchased. It makes no difference how much you spend on a gift; what does matter is that the gift reflects how much you love the person you are giving it to.

Bev, the love of my life, has given me two gifts in the past two years, both handmade, and both the most beautiful and heartfelt gifts I could imagine receiving. I cried both times she gave them to me, and I have them close by me each and every day. She could have purchased gifts that cost much more money, but they wouldn’t have meant half as much to me.

So let’s get busy! Let’s show you how it is possible to give fantastic gifts without spending a lot of hard-earned and in-short-supply money.

BOYCOTT RESTAURANTS

Repeat after me: expensive restaurants are a no-no! Good, now that we have established that fact, let’s move on to an alternative idea.

Make a special dinner at home for your loved one. Dress up for the occasion; put candles on the table, lower the lights, put on some romantic music, and let the feeling of love fill the room.

And if you have children, get rid of them! No, I don’t mean snuff them out; I mean pawn them off on relatives for the night. This is your night of love, and the last thing you need to do is change diapers. Nothing kills a romantic mood like stinky diapers. Trust me on this one!

Decadent dessert
Decadent dessert | Source

GO FOR ATMOSPHERE RATHER THAN COST

If you are still Jonesin’ for the restaurant atmosphere, make your special meal at home and then dress up and go to a nice restaurant for dessert. True, it will cost a little extra, but not nearly what a whole meal would cost.

How about a poor man’s limo service? Have one of your best friends pick you and your lover up in their car, and drive you two to a restaurant for dessert. You can do some necking in the backseat while your buddy drives you. It will seem like college all over again!

The perfect setting for a romantic picnic
The perfect setting for a romantic picnic | Source

LET NATURE BE YOUR BACKDROP FOR ROMANCE

Do you have a beautiful park in your area? If so, pack a picnic dinner and go to the park for dinner. Spread out a blanket, make sure you have your candles, and let nature provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic meal.

What, you say it is snowing and ten degrees outside? Well gosh, if you are going to be a wimp I doubt I can help you.

Do you really want to score points? Pull out a radio, turn it on to some slow music, and ask your partner to dance with you in the park. I don’t care how many people are watching; dance in public and show others what real love looks like.

LET’S SKIP SCHOOL

Take a day off from work. This might require a little advanced planning, but use a vacation day, or just call in sick. Spend the day together watching romantic movies on tv, and then refer to the first few suggestions for your love meal.

Seriously, the very fact that you cared enough to leave work behind and spend it with your lover will gain you huge bonus points for the effort.

JAMMIN’ TO THE TUNES

Check around town and see if there are any free concerts playing on Valentine’s Day. You can dress up and go out on the town and not spend a penny. Again, it’s the thought that counts and not the cost. Anybody can use a credit card to buy a gift; few people go to the bother of actually thinking of a romantic way to spend the night.

Guys, remember this: they may say that diamonds are a gal’s best friend, but actually showing that you love your wife is a much more precious gift.

For an alternative idea, spend a few hours prior to Valentine’s Day burning a CD with some favorite tunes that your lover enjoys.

A gift that says "I love you."
A gift that says "I love you." | Source

MAKE A GIFT

I mentioned earlier that Bev has made me a couple gifts in the past. Check out the picture on the right; she took all the farewell messages that my students had written for me, and put them in a display case. It is hanging above my writing desk right now, and it reminds me daily of how much I love that woman.

That, my friends, is a romantic gift that keeps saying “I love you” each and every day.

DON’T FOLLOW THE FLOWER CROWD

Frugal people do not buy roses on Valentine’s Day! Period! Frugality does not allow someone to spend $50 for a dozen flowers that will die in a week. Are you kidding me?

If you think flowers are a necessity, go with the lower-costing carnations. They still say “I love you” but at half the price. Better yet, buy a potted plant that will keep giving love all year round.

Hey, if your loved one is a gardener, then make a gift basket of flower seed packets and other garden necessities. You can get a basket at the Dollar Store; toss in some seeds and a spade, maybe some gloves, cover it with colored paper, and you can do it all for less than those stupid roses.

One more thought: plant a love tree in your yard. It will represent each and every year the love you have for each other. Just don’t plant a crabapple!

MAKE HANDMADE CARDS


Not only cards, but leave notes around the house so your lover will find them all day long. Leave a note in their car, in the bathroom, on the front door, and anywhere else you think they will see them. Constant reminders throughout the day will provide smiles and warm fuzzies for hours.

Do You Remember Your First Date?

See results

RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE

Oh my God, how romantic is this idea? Wives will love this one, guys, so pay attention.

Men have a rep as never remembering romantic events, so dazzle your wife with a replica of the first time you went on a date. Remember, these are frugal ideas, so if you took her to the Bahamas for a week as a first date, skip this idea and move to the next one.

HAVE A SCAVENGER HUNT

Leave clues all through the house; your loved one can spend a few hours hunting down the clues, each one leading to the next. The final clue will lead them to that special gift that is waiting for them, and of course the special gift will be frugal in cost but oh so romantic in reality.

PICTURES ANYONE?

Make a photo album for your mate; include pictures of the two of you over the years. This will be called your Love Album, so make it special and decorate it accordingly.

LETTERS? WE’VE GOT LETTERS!

Write a love letter to your mate, and don’t rush through it. Give it some thought, and make sure when you are done with it that it represents how you feel about them.

Cool thought! Get some fortune cookies and remove the message with tweezers. Then insert your own love message in the cookies. Oh, this idea is worth bonus points and will surely get you a big, sloppy kiss.

All You Need Is Love

AND ABOVE ALL…..

Do all things with love! This is a special day designed to show how much you love your mate. Don’t scrimp on the effort. Effort costs no money at all, but it means a great deal. With a little creativity and a lot of love, even the poorest man or woman can demonstrate an overflowing heart of love.

As the Beatles said…..”All You Need Is Love,”…..and a frugal mindset of course!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Frugal and lovely. Great ideas here to celebrate the love holiday. My husband always makes a card on the computer that i always enjoy. A lovely dinner at home is how we celebrate most holidays...birthdays, anniversaries etc. I think people feel that expensive gifts is the best way to show love...Hardly. You got it all here. Thanks for putting this romantic and fun guide together.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you! I love that you get it...spending does not equal love....no way! I hope you are having a nice morning, either in Arizona or California. :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      This was great Bill. I need to get past Christmas still, but loved all our ideas and am so pinning this refer back to when I get closer to Valentine's Day. You really have a knack for this and can't get enough of your awesome tips. Thanks seriously and loved the gift Bev made for you. So sweet and personal, too. Have of course voted way up and shared all over!!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a great list. Frugal can be good for Valentine's day. I think the suggestion of spending it outdoors is a great one. I think a home cooked meal really shows love for another. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I thought of you when I wrote this....that I needed to get it out early, that I needed to pay attention to special holidays.....you have taught me so much on HP and I am very grateful my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I love the gift she gave me....now I have to come up with something very special for her....quite a challenge for me, but I'm up for the challenge. Thank you as always Janine; your loyalty means a great deal to me.

    • ienjoythis profile image

      Marissa D. Carnahan 4 years ago from Nevada

      Bill, great advice! I love the tip about staying home and cooking together as opposed to going out and spending money at a fancy restaurant. The "skip work" and watch romantic movies tip is also great! And the photos! Photo albums have really lost their popularity, but boy are they sweet and personal when you put the time and heart into them. Bev is one lucky lady :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, these are such wonderful ideas. As a woman, I would LOVE each and every one of them. Each shows time was taken and love was the guiding light. You are such the romantic!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes billy another true gem with some great ideas ;I am voting across/up and sharing.

      Keep them coming and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Mr. Love Guru! I really like these ideas. Atmosphere rather than cost, and I love the idea of having our first date re-created. Our when-we-first-met anniversary is the day after Valentine's, so it usually takes precedence.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Valentines Day! I haven't got through Christmas and New Years....Now, that is planning ahead! Of course, I think that I can find some clearance Christmas items that can be "repurposed" for V-Day---red is red, right? You have some good ideas here Bill, and though I am a bit of procrastinator, I appreciate the advance reminder so I can start putting some thought into my guy's special day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I have to admit, I am a romantic for sure. :) Glad you liked them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, it's always a pleasure having you stop by. Thank you my dear, and I'll be by to visit you in Wales shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Louisa, that's cool...I love that you remember that as an anniversary. What a great marriage you have!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, in truth I'm doing this now so I'm not late getting traffic in February. I'm not usually this good at planning ahead. In fact, I still haven't purchased a single Christmas present....but I still have two weeks so no sweat! LOL Thank you my faithful friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marissa, thank you, but seriously, I am the lucky one with Bev. She is my rock and foundation, and I can't imagine life without her. :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I like your list of ideas especially the special dinner at home, with the dim lights and romantic music. The dinner picnic is a nice one too. The stinky diapers part killing the romantic mood made me laugh! You're right, poverty is not an excuse for not purchasing a gift. If worse comes to worse, you can always buy a Valentine's Day card and I love you balloon.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      The best Valentines Day are a romantic dinner alone at home. But there is always that memory of the first little necklace.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, Bev would agree with you. She loves the first necklace I got here; it is her special gift that she cherishes.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, you changed your profile picture....love it! Thanks as always for the visit; I wish more people would spend some time making Valentine's a special day. We are all so busy and we don't take time to celebrate those who are so special to us.

    • ienjoythis profile image

      Marissa D. Carnahan 4 years ago from Nevada

      Bill, if your son is anything like you, I'm hopping on the plane right now!! :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Hi Billy, thanks. I was actually looking for another picture to put up but my scanner is not working. Yes, very true. I love Valentine's Day. I didn't have anyone last year. Let's see if I do this year. LOL.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marissa....LOL....he has a little maturing to do first. :) But he's getting there slowly but surely. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, you have two months to rectify that situation. LOL Best wishes!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hey Billy, the best gift I ever received from my husband was a handmade card. It was stick figure worthy, but I loved it and still cherish it. I love all your suggestions, especially the romantic meal at home, preferably made by him and not me! And then dessert at a restaurant would be heaven. Voted these Up and everything across the board. Wonderful stuff my friend! Pearl

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      I think that if the thought and intention is there, it doesn't matter how much it cost. My husband bought a couple of flowers one year, waited outside my classroom until a student came out (to go to the bathroom), gave her the flowers, instructed her to run and give it to me while all the other kids proceeded to sing me happy birthday (they had no idea it was valentine's day). hahahah..it was really cute.

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thank you for the giggle. Entertaining and interesting as always

      Some very useful ideas.

      Thank you

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      LOVE GURU! That made me LOL.

      I love the gift Bev made you--so thoughtful! I take thoughtful over expensive any day.

      Great tips for a saving money on VD! Wait . . . what?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pearl. I will really thank you this weekend in an upcoming hub. Stay tuned. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarah, I love that idea. Your husband is a true romantic, and I'm sure it meant the world to you. Thanks again for dropping by my new friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, it's probably a good idea that you and I never meet in person. It would be painful from all the laughing, and everyone else would think we had lost our minds. LOL....VD....LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Highland! I have a little surprise for you this weekend in one of my hubs. Stay tuned!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Goodness gracious, who is thinking ahead, Mr. billybuc? I love the idea of using nature as a date locale, agree that expensive restaurants can be a waste, and admit that roses are too costly and die quickly (but love receiving them - sometimes you've just got to make your woman happy, whatever the cost.) I also love the idea of writing a letter to your loved one - that's something that will truly last forever and writing love letters is a beautiful art from that has very nearly gone extinct. Great hub!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Aha, you're such a romantic. Great ideas. My favorite, going to the park, having a picnic and dancing. Cheers..

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      All such beautiful gifts from the heart...and I agree, these kinds of gifts mean the world to me, no matter what your budget.

      How wonderful that you proudly admit you are a romantic!

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      All useful tips and advice. Great ideas to celebrate Valentine's Day without going overboard. It is the thought that counts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I hope I'm always eager to dance outside. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, always have been, and Bev brings it out more in me. I love being in love. :)

      hugs always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, I agree completely. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, I understand about the roses....but man oh man they are expensive. Maybe I should consider growing my own to cut down on costs. :)

      Thank you young lady!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The best things in the world area free. Anyone can spend money, but the thought really matters more than money. Great material, Billy.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Frugal/recreate first date... The only one who knew was her boss. I showed up outside her office with mariachi and chocolates. And she came to the office (instead of school) window. (I lost my singing voice when I was 20). We went out.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a really good hub. Frugal or not, these are lovely ways to celebrate Valentine's Day.

      Voted up, useful, awesome and sharing the love.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb and yes, the greatest gifts in life are free for the giving and free for the asking.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, what a romantic you are. Great date indeed, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, good to see you again, and thank you! Have a great weekend!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      A day late and a dollar short, I am. But since February is a bit in the future, I have plenty of time to put your great tips to use. You are such a romantic and with a great resource like this one, no one has an excuse for not getting some love on Valentine's Day.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      What a great hub, Bill.. so full of great, money saving ideas for Valentine's Day... I especially love the poor mans limo service.. how fun! What a memory and any of these are ways to show that special someone that you care. Great hub, voting up, useful, interesting :)

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I'm intrigued! I am staying tuned for sure.

      Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you as always. Yes, I am a romantic. It's hard not to be with a woman like Bev by my side. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I remember those days well, of going out on double dates and necking in the back seat. Great fun; wouldn't it be a kick to do it all again?

      Thank you Jamie and I hope you have a blessed holiday season.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, Sunday for sure. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I love that bulletin board with notes from your students. Gifts like that are really special and mean so much more than a card purchased from the gas station 5 minutes before coming home. We never go out for Valentine's day. Prices are pumped up and it is always so crowded. Taking a walk is another great way to celebrate!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, Bev and I would both tell you that we consider every day Valentine's Day. We are both just so happy to have found each other. What a miracle life is!

      Thank you my friend; have a great Sunday!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love your idea to have a romantic dinner at home. This is much better than celebrating where the privacy is nil and the cost is too expensive. Wonderful ideas.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dianna, and Happy Birthday! Now if I can only remember these when the big day arrives. ;)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow Billy - I am truly impressed. You really do seem to have a handle on what women, at least my women friends cherish the most. I have enjoyed the scavenger hunt and it was much fun. I also think someone preparing a meal for you is much better than a stranger cooking it. Like everything, the level of care and love come through the most when someone takes the time to put their personal touch on a gift. I also explained to my then husband that spending tons of money on flowers was a waste of time and money. They can not be cherished forever and die quickly. Instead, we surprised each other with hand made gifts as you and Bev did.

      Great article. P.S. Do you KNOW how hard it was for me not to add some of my suggestions like.....a t-shirt that says "I Love Me - You Should Too" or maybe a bar of soap that smells like bacon? Bake some cookies in the shape of lumps, cover them with chocolate and put them in a pretty box labeled "Cupid Poop". Just some frugal suggestions.....

      I know, I know .....get off the computer Beckie

      OK, sweet dreams.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, you had me rolling in the aisles with those suggestions. Cupid Poop? OMG!

      If I know how to impress the ladies, how come it took me so long to get it right? Turns out I'm not nearly as smart as I appear. :)

      Sweet dreams to you, Beckie, and thank you for spending a few hours in my library.

      love,

      billy

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A wonderful hub! Your helpful ideas come in handy for many who want to celebrate Valentine's Day in an inexpensive & special way! Only love matters much more than money! Well-done!

      Wishes you & your Bev a very happy Valentine's day!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Beautiful & Awesome. Voted up & Shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ishwaryaa! It is always nice having you visit. I hope you have a very lovely Valentine's Day.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      I enjoyed reading and learning exactly what to do this year. I make my own cards for everything, so that is the easy part. I am going to cook at home for sure. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bridalletter, thank you for the visit. We just don't have the money for a night out on the town, so we have to be creative.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

      Useful tips :) Enjoyed reading :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rdsparrowriter, thank you for another visit. Greatly appreciated my friend.

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