Treat your valentine to a great evening without breaking the bank

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

While it seems that the holiday festivities overload from December and the New Year are still lingering, February is already here and it's time to consider another lovely holiday, Valentine's Day! Cupid's arrow may have gone slightly awry, as people tend to dread (or perhaps fear?) the commercial pressure of Valentine's Day.

The real purpose of the holiday is to acknowledge significant others for their love and support, and make them feel loved, supported and important as well. Sometimes that's tough to fit all in one romantic gesture! However, it's still possible without breaking the bank.

[RELATED: Top 10 most romantic cities]

With February 14 falling on a Wednesday this year, and sneaking up on more than a few unsuspecting targets of cupid's arrow, Pauline Martinez from Perk Eatery offers tips for a stress-free, inexpensive and yet romantic hallmark heart day.

Oh, Cupid! Could you possibly be more impossible this year? I think most of us are in the same boat so let's talk about how to make lemonade with all these lemons! We all know how important it is to acknowledge all the love and support our significant others give us even if it's inconvenient to do so.

For this reason, the powers that be created this 'in your face' tradition of celebrating love on this designated lovers' holiday called Valentine's Day! Here's how to make it special without going broke on time or finances:

  • Instead of buying expensive flowers that are overpriced specifically for this holiday, a handpicked bouquet is just as well received… if not more. Pauline suggests cutting fresh flowers from the garden or even from a brightly colored bougainvillea in bloom. The deep pink hue is gorgeous, they are just about everywhere and they won't cost a dime!
  • Edible décor is pretty and practical! Consider saving money by using fresh fruit to decorate the Valentine's table. For example, DIYers can stack a three-tiered stand or cake plate with fresh colorful berries for a stunning display. Plus, the décor is edible so once it's done being a display, it can be dessert! (Just add whipped cream) Additional V-Day décor includes dollar-store treasures like faux rose petals to scatter about, red chargers to put under plates or heart-shaped paper doilies. 
  • Paint chip samples from the hardware store make great homemade placards and/or love notes. These are free and available in a variety of colors for mixing and matching complementary shades.
  • Extra wine glasses can be converted into candle holders by simply turning them upside down topping with a candle slightly smaller than the glass' base. Or add colored sand and a candle into the globe. 
  • Even the fanciest restaurants are featuring small plates and light bites on their menus. Creating an at-home charcuterie board is only limited by the imagination and the taste buds! Think meats, cheese, nuts, dried fruits, fruit spread, olives and toasted bread or crackers. A simple yet decadent chocolate fondue dessert platter can be made with a bag of chocolate chips (melted on low in a pot), with some pound cake, marshmallows, strawberries and champagne for sipping! 

Valentine's Day can be just as romantic as a fancy night out without breaking the budget! All it takes is a little creativity, a few resources that are probably already in most people's homes and a loving attitude!

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