VALENTINE FEATURE: Valentine’s Day can mean lots of luxury without huge costs

ARA – Valentine’s Day in­spires some of the most ex­pensive and luxurious gifts.

But in an economic down­turn, what do people do when they have champagne taste, but a beer budget?

Luxurious doesn’t neces­sar­ily mean expensive and with some creativity you can give lavish gifts on a limited budget. Some of the most popular Val­entine’s Day gifts are jewelry, gourmet food and personal in­dulgences and all of them can fit into a small budget.

A toast to love

Many couples pop the cork on a celebratory bottle of champagne, but a bottle of the real French spirit can run them a costly $40 to $120 or more. Instead, look for domestic sparkling whites or an Italian Prosecco, an inexpensive, crisp sparkling white wine.

Gourmet chocolates:

A heart-shaped box filled with chocolate is almost cliche. When it comes to chocolate, it is quality, not quantity, that counts. A small box of gourmet chocolates in trendy flavors like curry, cardamom, black pepper, red wine, and goat cheese will make much more of an impact than a big box of boring generic chocolates with mystery filling. If you would like to try something different, try a small tin of caramels with sea salt.


Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a piece of clas­sic and stunning pearl jewelry for Valentine’s Day is an af­fordable, unexpected and ap­pre­ciated surprise. Freshwater pearl earrings or bracelets give a high-end look for a budget price and people can celebrate the colors of the holiday with a gorgeous pink or lavender cul­tured freshwater pearl neck­lace.

The gift of time

Time is the ultimate luxury and giving the gift of one’s undivided attention for an en­tire weekend, running a re­lax­ing bubble bath, or giving a foot massage is the best and most heartfelt gift of all.

Whatever you are shopping for this Valentine’s Day, do not wait until the last minute. Shopping ahead can save big money. Look for sales at your favorite stores and surf around for great deals online. Remem­ber, putting some thought into your gift and thinking ahead truly shows you care.