Red Alert!  Red Alert!  Valentine’s Day is Tuesday!  Yes, guys, that means you better get off your ass and have a plan unless you’re dying to spend hundreds of dollars to make your significant other happy, which let’s be honest may never happen because a few of us are just naturally not the happy campers you thought you married.

First off, let’s have a little chat about being a cheap bastard.  Now, ladies, that does not exclude all of you either.  I know some of you would rather buy yourself a gift of new Jimmy Choo shoes than go to the effort of buying for your man.  I’m just saying that some people think Valentine’s Day is a waste of money, or at the very least, effort.  I couldn’t disagree more.  We have been over this a bajillion times.  We must reward the people that put up with us, or they won’t continue putting up with us!  It’s that simple.  Everyone likes a little acknowledgement that they’ve done their part.  Should they expect a diamond-encrusted Rolex?  No.  Should they at least get a giant kiss made of Hershey’s?  Yes.

Now, I must admit that I’m not okay with my hubs spending $75 to get me a dozen roses on February 14th when on March 2nd they will only be $12.99.  Therefore, I think it only fair to have some other suggestions and options for you cheapskates like me.  Oh, and let me just say for the record, that I’m pretty sure Real Simple needs to contact me about their Valentine gift-buying section.  The shit I suggest is a ton cheaper and more useful, not that we’re going for useful here, girls.  I know how some of you are anti-useful and pro-extravagant, but I like to think outside the box (or maybe I was never really in the box, but whatever).

Sure, you can go with a mix cd of shagging songs or I guess sappy love songs if you must.  You can even go with the traditional candles and products from Bath and Body Works.  They’re not gonna cost you that much.  You could even get some of those nasty, chalky conversation hearts, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I prefer the following:

First off, bacon makes everything better.  Why not fry up some bacon and make it a breakfast in bed kind of morning?  $4 gets you a heavenly scent and one said to lift the spirits of anyone pro-pork (or porking – lol).

Second, purchase one of those cute recycled bags with the hearts on them at the grocery store.  Buy some chocolate chip cookie dough.  Head home.  Whip out the cookies.  Bake ‘em up.  Grab a gallon of milk to put in with your Tupperware of cookies and head for his/her workplace and drop off the goodness in your $1.50 Valentine bag.  And why do you have to drop them off?  Let me be clear.  You have to drop them off so she/he will be the envy of all the other people she/he works with.  It’s called bragging rights my friends and it’s always kick-ass to be able to say you have the best spouse.  Not that my poor husband would know because I don’t even know where he’s working on any given day.  Oops!  Of course, if you really want to take it up a notch, you can make one giant choco-chip cookie and buy the spray frosting.  Yep, they make it.  It’s like spray cheese, but frosting instead.  You can write Be Mine or Love You or Do Me or whatever you’re going for in a professional manner in a matter of seconds.  Welcome to modern living people.

Third, in sticking with the food theme, order up the Heartbreaker pepperoni pizza from Papa Murphy’s.  Apparently, a heart-shaped pizza is meant to be pepperoni-ed.  Not sure why.  I mean, hard salami or sausage, I get, (lol) but whatever…

But if you want to vary your options, pull out the cell phone and order up one of those drunken photo op pictures you took of the two of you.  Buy a magnetic frame for the fridge or a heart-shaped one for the work desk.  Again, make the work folks jealous.  Plus, this gift is completely calorie-free.  How much do you like me now?

Fourth, need another non-fattening present?  They’ve got $5 LOVE t-shirts at Old Navy and Target.  Nothing says love like a t-shirt that literally says LOVE.  I mean, you can have a t-shirt for the price of a five dollar footlong at Subway.  Are you singing the song yet?  I know.  Damn me for mentioning that jingle! 

Fifth, put your little kid panties on and pull out the scissors.  Fold your paper in half and cut your Valentine heart.  Then glue a big old Starbucks or Scooters gift card to it.  Any good spouse knows that a daily caffeine fix makes for a happier relationship.  (Plus, he/she is gonna buy it anyway so you can call it a gift and score points for $ that was coming out of your checkbook either way!)

Sixth, Michaels can clean up your shit.  Photoboxes are a whopping $1.99 right now.  They are perfect for hiding coupons, cds, crapbooking stuff, or racy photos.  Yes, boys, I realize that’s a little too girly for your gift, but that’s why they make Craftsman toolboxes in red!  Girls, even Wally World carries them.  Throw a six pack of beer in the bottom and you have officially become the coolest Valentine giver ever.

Seventh, gentlemen, you could go the Victoria’s Secret route, but there’s always a chance it could cause the holy-shit-I’m-fat scenario and let’s be realistic, folks, nobody needs a Valentine’s Day like that!  So instead just hand over the remote for the weekend.  (I will warn you though that I heard rumors it’s Love weekend on Lifetime.)

Eigth, if that’s just too much for you.  They do have dollar heart balloons at the Dollar Tree and King-sized Snickers.  What more could you want? 

So there you have it, friends.  It’s Valentine’s Day weekend.   Man the bacon and chill the beer, we’ve got a lovefest to celebrate!