BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- I do think you can play cupid on the cheap this Valentine’s Day and still make it special. Americans spent over $1 billion last year on cards. You can do it cheaper.
Make a list of everyone that needs to be reminded how much they are loved. Then next to their name make another column of how much you want to spend or can afford to spend on each individual. Set up a budget. If money is tight because you are still paying off Christmas, you can still make it memorable.
This year most everyone that made my list are far away, so I will be mailing them cards and my granddaughter will get a gift as well. And in their cards, I like to let them know why I do love them.
I do want to lodge a formal complaint about the card industry here; the price of cards is outrageous. I saw some for $7.99. Fancy cards are indeed lovely, but most folks do not keep them as souvenirs but toss them out.
At one time you could find cards at Christmas Tree Shops, BJ’s and Job Lot for half price. Not anymore. You can still get some coupons at CVS, Wegmans and BJ’s for $3 off when you buy 3 cards.
I won’t pay the high prices. I found that Walmart does discount Hallmark cards. And kids can make their cards for their grandparents or the third-grade students.
And a simple card with an added note as to why your spouse, daughter or granddaughter are important to you works well.
And I have on occasion copied a poem and put it in the card. Or used a color printer and added some hearts and flowers to the border and used that as my card. And there are e-cards. A truly inexpensive way to go.
When my daughter-in-law and granddaughter lived closer it was easier. A single rose and some candy. And being the cheapskate that I am, the flowers would be fresh but the candy was always bought at 50-70% off right after Christmas and saved for Valentine’s day.
I have a 12-ounce Hershey kiss to mail to my granddaughter this year that I got at a 50% discount. It is a very big kiss and she will be most impressed. And I am sure her mother will make her ration it until at least Easter.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.