Valentine’s Day is coming up this Friday but don’t panic. Here are a few ways to treat your loved ones without mistreating your wallet.• The folks at Hallmark are offering a coupon for $2 off the purchase of two Hallmark cards at participating Gold Crown stores. The only requirement is that the total of the two cards be $2 or more. So you could wind up walking out paying just the tax. Your significant other does not have to know. Click HERE to get your coupon.
• If you’re in the market for flowers, the grocery stores are a great place to buy blooms on the cheap. Aldi has the best prices on flowers this week. Five-inch orchids are $9.99 and 12-stem bouquets are $12.99. The runner-up deal is at Lowes Foods, where a dozen roses will cost you $17.99. Pick up a 15-stem bouquet of roses at Harris Teeter for $19.99. And at Food Lion, a dozen red roses will set you back $19.95.
• Skip the supermarkets, however, if baked goods are on your list of Valentine’s Day splurges. Most of the grocery stores are selling six cupcakes in the $2.50 to $4 range this week. Definitely not a deal! Check your favorite cookbooks or Pinterest instead or resort to a mix if you must. Betty Crocker mixes are on sale this week at Harris Teeter for $1.25 and Ghirardelli Brownie mixes are BOGO for $1.64 each. At Lowes Foods, Betty Crocker brownie, cookie and cupcake mixes are $2.
• Speaking of Pinterest -- and because this might be the first of several snow days leading up to V-Day so you just might have some time on your hands -- here are a few cool ideas for a fun and frugal Valentine’s Day that I discovered. There’s everything from conversation heart cut-out cookies (which my daughter is in the process of making) to Valentine cards made from vintage stamps and postcards. Check them all out on my Valentine’s Day board HERE.
• My N&O colleage Andrea Weigl offers up several Valentine’s Day recipes that involve lots of chocolate in a story in Wednesday’s Foods section. There’s something for every skill level and pocketbook. While you’re there, don’t miss the video on how to craft homemade marshmallows. It’s a work of art in and of itself.
• At Qdoba Mexican Grill, there is no coupon to get the Valentine’s Day BOGO deal but there is a catch to the deal. You must kiss someone -- anyone at all -- at the register to claim your free entree. Valid Feb. 14 only.
• Stop by participating Starbucks locations between 2 and 5 p.m. on Feb. 14 and you’ll get one espresso or tea latte free when you purchase one.
I’ll be adding to the list through Friday and please add any ideas you have in the comments section below.