Richly romantic

Meredith Compton

10 Valentines under $10

College romance. You’ve already sprung for a couple dates at Taco Bell and even an ice cream from Ambrosia (with two mix-ins!). So why should your thrifty habits stop in time for Valentine’s Day? Take advantage of the last weekend before the big holiday to capitalize on some sweet — possibly even romantic — savings.

1. Check out Target’s Dollar Spot.

An entire area of the Dollar Spot is dedicated to Valentine’s Day. It has everything from gift bags and cards to heart-shaped tea light candles and a L-O-V-E garland. Try buying one of the $1 tin pails and filling it with other items, like a glitter heart-shaped box, some pink and red pens or a magnetic picture frame.

2. Fill a photo album.

Everyone has a digital camera nowadays, so why not make a photo album for a gift? CVS has small photo albums ranging in price from $1.99 to $8.99, including some with X’s and O’s printed on them. Pick one out, print some pictures and you’re all set.

3. Make dinner for two.

Target has an entire assortment of products called Dinner for Two, which feature items such as a heart-shaped cake pan, a mini fondue set, Valentine’s shaped cookie cutters, plates, silverware and napkins — all for $2.50.

4. Keep their feet warm.

With all the snow and slush outside and cold tile floors inside, it can be hard to keep your feet warm and dry. Target has warm, plush socks ranging in price from $2.99 to $5.99 and Wal-mart has terrycloth flip flops for $5.46.

5. Play a game.

If you really don’t want to spend a lot but want to have a lot of fun with your Valentine, then check out CVS. They have games and fun toys items that range in price from 99 cents to $1.99. This line features items like Love Cuffs — red plastic handcuffs that say “Prisoner of Your Love” on them, Lucky Lovers Message Dice and Conversation Cards. CVS also has an All About Love Answer Ball, which is similar to a Magic 8 Ball that answers questions, for just $1.99.

6. Give them something cozy to sleep in.

Several stores offer Valentine’s varieties of traditional boxer shorts and pajama sets. Target has men’s boxers with clever sayings like “Kissing Instructor” and “Hot Stuff” for $6.99 and women’s boxers and pajama pants with hearts on them for $7 to $8. Wal-mart and CVS offer comparable items.

7. Enjoy some champagne.

Take some time to relax and sip some champagne with your sweetie. CVS has bottles as cheap as $5.99, with a set of two plastic champagne flutes for $4.99.

8. Capture it in a frame.

Too attached to that Christmas Facebook snapshot of you and yours truly to let it go come springtime? Picture frames can be purchased at Target for as little as $3.99, while Dollar General has some Valentine’s inspired ones ranging in price from 50 cents to $6.

9. Get them a gift set.

Aisles of candy, teddy bears and cards may start looking the same after awhile. To add some variety, Target offers assorted gift sets that aren’t exactly run-of-the-mill. For example, a coffee gift set comes with three flavored coffees — Cinnamon Spice, Chai Latte and Caramel — packaged in a tin for $6.79. A Breakfast in Bed set comes with pancake mix, vanilla syrup and a heart-shaped mold, priced at $8.49.

10. Let your love grow.

If your Valentine enjoys plants or flowers, spring for CVS’s Valentine Mini Grow Kit. Ninety-nine cents gets you a tiny ceramic pot, soil and seeds to grow a small plant.

Contact features reporter Meredith Compton at [email protected].