Don’t let cupid’s arrow puncture your wallet on Valentine’s Day

CROMWELL --  If you have not yet prepared for Valentine’s Day, time is running out. Connecticut Better Business Bureau (BBB) says you don’t have to spend a bundle to let your significant other know how much you care.

Valentine’s Day is commonly believed to have originated with a Roman festival in the year 496. The celebration has obviously changed over the past several thousand years and even more dramatically since the internet entered our lives.

“Traditional ways of finding your true love has gone through a revolution,” says Connecticut Better Business Spokesman Howard Schwartz. “We can now look for love virtually anywhere through online dating sites and smart device apps that allow us to look for a potential partner in the comfort and safety of our homes.”

Valentine’s Day is very popular and a money-maker for retailers.

The National Retail Federation estimates almost 55 percent of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s day this year, and spending is expected to be a record-breaker, surpassing more than 19 and a half billion dollars for cards, flowers, meals, entertainment and more.

Like other popular holidays, Valentine’s Day can be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be.

For some, a card and flowers or sweets are all they want. Still, there are other, creative ways to profess your love that are inexpensive, but just as meaningful. These include inundating your partner with romantic sticky notes in the kitchen, on the bathroom mirror, or car windows. Other affordable options include gift cards, books, or a book of coupons, which allows couples to celebrate their affection all year long.

BBB offers these additional ideas for an inexpensive Valentine’s Day:

  1. Regardless where you buy them, flowers are flowers – Cut flowers and bouquets are considerably less expensive if you buy them at a supermarket, rather than a standalone store.
  2. Share an experience – Experiential gifts include a getaway next weekend, a dance lesson, cooking class, go carting or a few hours at a spa.
  3. Consider a gift you can both enjoy – Plan a vacation or buy some sort of gadget. It doesn’t have to be an entertainment center. There are tens of thousands of potential gadget gifts. You also might be surprised by some of the Valentine’s Day-themed card decks and board games that you can find at a book store.
  4. When all else fails, ask friends – Women and men may want to consult friends of both genders for ideas. There are limitless, inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The internet can always offer some unique ideas as well.