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The cost of ... Valentine's Day

Highlights
  • Roses are the first go-to, but make sure to order before Feb. 14.
  • See that star, next to Venus? That one's for you.
  • Don't have a special someone, use Valentine's Day to pamper yourself.

Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching. Do you know what you're getting your sweetie?

Maybe you don't have a sweetie, but you always remember dear, sweet Mom or take advantage of the occasion to pamper yourself. Whatever your sentimental situation, count on the Web to deliver a potpourri of gift selections no matter the size of your wallet.

The most obvious choice for the woman in your life is the time-honored classic guaranteed to win her over: a dozen roses. Most florists carry red, yellow, pink and white. Pink or white tend to be a few dollars less than the more popular red or yellow. For last-minute shoppers, most online florists have same-day shipping available if the order is received before 2 p.m. in the recipient's time zone. But be prepared to pay more for the roses and for the delivery if you place your order Feb. 14. The best bet is to order early. You'll save.

Feeling the pinch of this lousy economy? As an alternative to a traditional bouquet of roses, send a "bouquet" of balloons at about half the cost. You can choose from a variety of colors and sizes and even add a plush animal or bag of candy for a few more dollars. Or, spring for a unique balloon such as a floating teddy bear complete with arms and legs.

If your Valentine is a guy, he deserves a special treat, too. You'll find a number of gifts specifically designed for him. How about a NASCAR gift basket? That will have him racing to thank you.

Or, surprise him with a gift that will last forever. Go to the International Star Registry and name a star after your sweetie. You'll get all the official-looking paperwork and a plaque -- but it's all in fun. No one except the International Astronomical Union has the official power to name stars.

Romantic but broke? The most cost-efficient way to send your love is a Valentine's Day e-card. You'll find free e-card sites by the dozens. If you'd prefer a tangible card that you can sign yourself, there are e-card sites that allow you to print out the pattern and make your own card.

Or write and send a real card from your computer by letting Hallmark write it for you and send it to your Valentine. You can also go the more elegant and unique route by choosing an antique card that you can e-mail, print out or purchase.

Is it never about YOU? Take advantage of Valentine's to pamper yourself. Gift baskets are nice. Purchase a gift certificate for a spa and spend as little or as much as you like while giving yourself a well-deserved day in the lap of luxury.

To top off Valentine's Day with a romantic evening of fine cuisine, consult the restaurant guides on the Web that offer reviews and price ranges for the most romantic spots around the country.

Sample pricing for Valentine gifts
Inclusion in this list is not meant to endorse any particular site or product, but simply to give consumers an idea of availability and costs. The prices, culled from the websites, can change at any time. Visit the websites for a more complete description and pricing.
Chocolates
ItemCostShipping
Full year of chocolate
Different types of chocolate sent each month.
$45 per monthIncluded
Sweet Hearts Gift Tower
35 pieces of chocolate
$45$9.95
Romantic satin heart assortment
40 pieces
$95$16.95
Roses
ItemCostShipping
1 dozen red w/vase
$79.99about $15
1 dozen red without vase
$39.99about $10
1 dozen (assorted roses)
$59.99 w/vasestarting from $9.99
1 dozen (pink or white)$49.99starting from $9.99
Toys
ItemCostShipping
15-inch "Romantic at Heart" teddy bear
$69.99about $12
15-inch "I Love You Beary Much" bear$49.99about $12
Balloons
ItemCostShipping
36-inch "I Love You Heart Pictures"
$2.49starting from $11-$12
6 mixed balloons$29.95starting from $9.95
Lingerie
ItemCostShipping
Satin pajamas$59.50$10.99
Gift baskets
ItemCostShipping
Wine and snack basket
Cabernet sauvignon, coffee, cookies, crackers, cashews and more.
$98.99$29.99 to $54.99
NASCAR Gift Basket
Baseball cap, NASCAR book, snacks, ice chest/cooler and more.
$49.99 to $79.99from $7.99
Greeting cards
ItemCostShipping
Awesomecards.comFree
Jibjab e-cardsFree
Hallmark cards
$1.39 and upfrom $0.44
Antique Valentine cards
ItemCostShipping
Twin Brooks
Handmade Victorian Valentines from late 19th & early 20th century.
$5 to $150Varies
Spa gift certificates
ItemCostShipping
Spa Gift Certificate
Services vary depending on the spa you choose.
$25 minimum;
$350 to $500 all day
Spa Finder Gift Certificate
Services vary depending on the spa you choose.

$50 minimum; $350 to $500 all day

Restaurant guides on the Web
Fodor's Restaurant Guide
Gives reviews and prices for romantic restaurants in cities around the country.
CitySearch.com
Gives reviews and prices for romantic restaurants in cities around the country.
Name a star after your valentine
ItemCostShipping
Custom Star Kit
Unframed parchment certificate with star date, name and coordinate, a personalized sky chart with the star on it and a letter of congratulations.
$54Depends on method and ZIP code

 

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