The gift certificate idea might be just the ticket for you if you’re short on cash but high on love this Valentine’s Day Image Credit: Shutterstock

Pricey flowers, candy, personalised gifts, diamonds, perhaps — are all well and good for those who are flush with cash. But what if you’re still paying off the Christmas bills or even a past Valentine’s Day or two? What if you failed to plan ahead for Valentine’s Day? The last thing you want is a shot from Cupid’s bow straight into your credit card payment plan. Consider these last-minute ideas for creating a celebration that will be filled with romance and will be economical, too.

Create some ambiance

Turn your kitchen or dining area into a lovely bistro. Move some furniture and pull out your best tablecloth, stemware and china. Turn off the lights and light the candles, and you’ll swear you’ve just ducked into a cozy restaurant just perfect for two. If you’re too tired to cook, order a special meal ahead of time and pick it up on the way home from work. Share an entrée, but order two desserts. You’ll save a bundle and that 20 per cent tip, too.

Go ahead, go out

If you really want to go out on the town, fix a nice dinner at home and then head out for dessert. Duck into a fancy place really late, order one decadent dessert to share and two coffees.

Sneak away

Caution: This tip is only to be considered if both of you have built up vacation time or personal days at work. Run away for the day. Depending on where you live, stroll through a park or two, or walk along the beach. Drive to a spot in the neighbouring emirate that you never have visited. Pack a picnic, go for a hike. Or draw the drapes, lock the doors and watch a movie together.

Get entertained

Check community websites to see what concerts or plays are being offered. If not free, tickets to these kinds of events are usually pretty affordable. Or check out the local museums and attractions. Many have discounted rates and bundle deals on certain days a week.

Make gifts

Rather than buying gifts for your spouse or special someone, make a fabulous cake, cupcakes or cookies. It’s easy to cut out a heart-shape pattern if you don’t have a proper cookie cutter.

The gift certificate idea might be just the ticket for you if you’re short on cash but high on love this Valentine’s Day. You could offer to run errands for your beloved, make a nice dinner, clean the house, pick up a few groceries or repair the car. The possibilities, like your love, are endless.