Tuesday is Valentine's Day, and if you haven't ordered flowers yet, it will be very expensive.
But the good news is that many last-minute gifts show your love without breaking the bank.
A classic that almost everyone loves: chocolate.
Tracy Oenbrink is a chocolate shop manager, at Aglamesis Brothers Gourmet Chocolate.
"We have a bunch of different options," she said, showing off Valentine's treats for every budget.
She sells everything from simple bags of red and white candy for just $5 to assorted creamy chocolates for $28 a pound. And everything in between.
"We have 1-pound hearts," she said, "as well as 2-pound, and 3-pound hearts."
Just decide how much you can afford, and a chocolate shop should be able to fulfill your wishes.
"What's better than giving a heart-shaped gift for your valentine," she said.
Nothing wrong with watching the budget
The reality this Valentine's Day is that coming off the holiday season, and with inflation still hitting consumers hard, financial experts say there is nothing wrong with dialing it back.
"The holidays always put a lot of pressure on us to spend money, because that's what us consumers do," Caleb Silver of Investopedia said.
Instead, Silver saie 5o enjoy a meal at home instead of an expensive (and crowded) restaurant dinner. Best of all, he says, some things, like steaks, are cheaper now than they were a year ago.
"Cooking dinner at home and creating an experience at home," he said. "That would be even nicer than if you went out to dinner."
Another last-minute idea -- gifting an experience.
Silver says to save more by using any cash rewards you have on your credit card.
"It's a great way to use those rewards to buy a gift for the one you love without actually going into your bank account," Silver said.
A few more ways to save, he says:
- Grab a greeting card at the dollar store or make your own to avoid $7 cards at the drugstore.
- Plan something that's free, like a hike.
- Consider lilies or tulips instead of roses.
Indeed, if you still love flowers but not the high price of roses, floral designer Carol Ruffin of Blossoms Floristrecommends giving a plant that will live all summer.
"Try a planter," she said, "so it will continue to grow after. Valentine's Day."
You will show your love all year long, and that way you don't waste your money.
"Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Follow John Matarese:
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com