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How to plan a last-minute Valentine's Day (that isn't terrible)

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but don't panic: You still have plenty of time and options for planning an epic Valentine's Day celebration.

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    Heart-shaped balloons are displayed at store ahead of Valentine's Day outside the Central Market in downtown Lima February 12, 2015.
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What are you doing this Saturday? If you're in a relationship and you just answered that question "not sure, why?" you're in for an unpleasant surprise. That's right, let the sick rush of realization sink in: it's Valentine's Day, baby, and you were THIS CLOSE to forgetting about it, weren't you?

But hey--it's not too late for you. You've got another day to plan an epic Valentine's Day celebration, that's like an eternity for a procrastinator like you! Follow our advice and your significant other will never have to know how close you came to came to completely neglecting this sappy holiday. We found a few options for you, laid out the price of each and added in a few extra tips from our staff at Brad's Deals. You can thank us on Sunday.

Option #1: A Relaxing Spa Day

Price: $30-$150, depending on the service and the salon.

Recommended: 14 recipes for Valentine's Day desserts

This is a great option for a last-minute Valentine's gift, because chances are you live within walking distance (or at least a short car-ride) of a salon or spa. Call them up now and book your beloved for a massage, a manicure, a facial or a hair service, and then surprise them on Saturday morning with a mystery car ride (blind-fold optional) to the spa. Keep in mind that spa services can get a bit pricey, so make sure you ask before booking something you can't afford.

Pro Tip: Maybe you don't know what kind of service your honey would like best, or maybe you're just not sure which salon is his or her favorite. Surprise them instead with a Spa Wish gift card, which is as good as cash at thousands of salons/spas across the country, and gives your significant other options for their big spa day. You can also check out Spa Week, which is a similar spa gift card service that's currently offering 15 percent off and free shipping on all their gift cards until February 15!

Option #2: The Classic Approach

Price: $30-$90 for a bouquet, $10 for a box of chocolates (+ whatever you're willing to spend on jewelry).

It might be a little cliche, but presenting your lover with bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and a sparkly gift on Valentine's Day is a tried and true way of showing how much you care. Had you procrastinated just a day longer you might have had to settle for grocery store flowers/chocolates and whatever your local jewelry store has left, but luckily you're one day ahead of the game, and overnight shipping is a thing!

Pro Tip: Have we got a lot of tips for you! Need a good deal on flowers? Try these:

OK, now how about something sweet?

According to our Valentine's Day Survey, the most popular kind of Valentine's Day jewelry are earrings and bracelets. Here are a few ways to get some fast--for less!

Option #3: A Ticket to Ride

Price: varies by event.

You know that new artist your girlfriend has been talking about for weeks? Or that new movie that's coming out which is based on those comic books your husband is obsessed with? Why not give them a night out with their current obsessions? Buy a concert ticket, front row seats to the big game, VIP movie tickets, or passes to the music festival coming to town next month. It's a thoughtful way to show you care, and you don't need to leave the comfort of your couch to make it happen.

Pro Tip: We've got a lot of discount ticket coupons on the site here at Brad's Deals. You can browse them all here, but here's our short list:

Option #4: An Impromptu Vay-Cay

Price: $75-$300+

There's nothing more romantic than a surprise vacation, and the bleak doldrums of February are the perfect time to get away. If this option seems out of your price range, you're thinking too big. Sure, an all-inclusive Bahamas getaway would be amazing, but there are cheaper alternatives, like an intimate weekend at your aunt's upstate cabin or a couple nights in a fancy hotel in the city, that will do the trick for a fraction of the cost. Any step out of routine can be exciting. After all, it's not about the destination, it's about the person you're traveling with--especially on Valentine's Day weekend.

Pro Tip: We've got quite a few travel and hotel deals live on the site right now, many of which are catered to last-minute Valentine's Day shoppers! Here are some of our favorites.

Hotel Booking:

Travel Deals:

If you're planning on booking a Valentine's Day trip today, make sure to check out our guide to saving money on last-minute travel!

Option #5: A Home-Cooked Meal

Price: $10-$50

This is probably the cheapest and easiest option on this list, and yet I'd argue it's just as romantic as anything else. It's common knowledge that the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, so why not dazzle the object of your affections with a delicious and tenderly prepared meal? There are few things more intoxicating than relaxing while someone you love cooks up a storm in the kitchen. Light some candles, play some romantic tunes (hint: Sam Smith or bust!), and when dinner is over, do the dishes without complaint--now that's true love.

Pro Tip: If you need inspiration, here are a few V-Day menus for you to copy. Feel free to tell your significant other you made up these recipes on the fly--they never have to know.

Got some extra special, extra thrifty Valentine's Day plans in the works? We want to hear about them, so give us a shout in the comments!

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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