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Let's face it, the economy is doing as bad as ever and nobody has much cash to spare. If you find yourself in that boat you'll love these 8 free or cheap Valentines Day gift ideas. You should be able to construct most of the things on this list for less than $25, with some requiring more skill, effort and creativity from you than others. Take the day off together - Maybe it's been a while since you spent some real time together...or maybe not. Either way, "playing hookie" together is always a great option to celebrate a special day romantically. Turn off the phone, pull down the window shades and do not leave the bed. The best thing is, it won't cost much...except maybe for the food you have delivered during the day! Create a box of IOU's and love verses - This can be time consuming, especially if you cut the pieces of paper yourself, but it's a pretty simple gift and comes over very good. A few years ago I took a large shoe box and covered it with craft paper. Then I cut out hearts on pink and red paper. I used a tracing template so they'd all be about the same size but you can freehand them as well. I stuck a few hearts on the outside of the box as well as an envelope for hearts that had already been used up. I would guess that you can probably buy the hearts at a craft or office supply store also. Then I filled the box with 365 hearts - one for each day of the year (don't forget that if this is a leap year so you'll need one extra to make it until next Valentine's Day!) You could also do one for each month or week...but a huge box of hearts just looked so cool in my opinion that I had to go for broke. Half of the hearts contained an IOU card for things like a surprise picnic, a massage, a night out on the town and a few freebie cards. The other half of the hearts had quotes about love from famous people and other random quotes about love that I liked. Then my wife got to take out a heart every day which would either get her something fun, or would remind her how much I loved him. Just use your imagination and personalize the cards to things that you enjoy doing with your partner. You can even include things that you might not usually be willing to do. But do remember that if you're not actually willing to do something, you shouldn't include it on a heart. And immediate redemption (or at least later on the same day unless it's something really elaborate) is always a good idea! You can find sweet love quotes here on romanticlyrics.com and more romantic quotes here on lovingyou.com (the latter are even divided into categories!) Create a card for her with words from your heart - Get yourself some construction paper and reconnect with the kid inside of you who used to love building cards for Mom & Dad in grade school. Write some words from your heart or find a verse online that speaks your mind for you. Go crazy and create a pop-up card for her! Create a memory book of your love - Assemble photos, mementos and other items into a


scrapbook to give to your girlfriend. You can write stories about how you met, your first date, funny moments you've shared and much more. Paste everything into an album or have copies made at your favorite copy shop and have it bound into a book. Need some help filling up pages? Try these downloadable pages from LovingYou.com which include love certificates, sex coupons, little games and more. Make your Valentine a garden heart - Does your special someone love to garden or be outdoors? Lowe's Creative Ideas web site has a quick tutorial about making a moss-filled heart to give your love a special garden treat to start off spring right. Speak to her stomach - A lot of people believe the best way into someone's heart is food. Why not make a nice dinner at home for the two of you? Afterward you can hit up a bar or club to let the fun continue...or just light some candles, turn on some music and make your own magic happen. AllRecipes.com is one of my favorite recipe sites and they have a special Valentine's Day page with menus, ideas to soothe a sweet tooth, food aphrodisiacs and ideas for breakfast in bed. Pamper in ways she'll never imagine - Does she love flowers? Then why not fill her apartment with them? Treat her to a massage (from you or a paid masseuse) and don't ask for any special treatment in return. Serenade her or find someone who can (try looking on Craigslist or via local forums) if she loves music. Write a song to her if you can. Make her a CD with all her favorite songs or load up her iPod for her. Set up an elaborate trail of notes for her to follow, each a clue which leads to a new destination...and at the end of the trail, be waiting there for her with an even bigger surprise (champagne, flowers, dinner, whatever will really make her melt.) Share the love with others, not just yourselves - Instead of worrying about a lavish dinner or just the right way to say "I love you," you may want to do something really generous and donate your time to a local animal shelter, at a food bank or with another organization that you feel passionate about. Sometimes sharing what little you do have with others is the perfect way to get more love back in return that you can ever imagine. No matter what you end up giving to her, the most important thing to remember on Valentine's Day is not what you spend in time or money, but just that you tell her how much she means to you in whatever way you can. Although it seems the holiday becomes more and more commercial each year, you don't need to feel obligated to go broke buying long-stem roses. A gift from your heart speaks the loudest and you can almost always be certain it will say exactly what you want, in whatever style you desire!

Visit my Blog at http://www.JamesGMonroe.com for more tips on how to have a great Valentines Day. If you really want to make your Love and Sex life shine, sign up here for my Free E-Course 10 Weeks to a Better Sex Life.

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