Valentine's Day gives many of us a welcome excuse to do a little stimulus spending, but it can also be a ripoff. In researching restaurants for a dinner that evening, I noticed that in my vicinity most are replacing their regular menu with a special Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner. The typical cost per person: $70. But further investigation revealed that the more ethnic restaurants -- for instance, Greek or Asian -- don't pull that little scam. So go Greek for Valentine's Day!
Another recession-proof tip: Instead of buying an expensive Valentine's gift, give your partner a small bottle of scented massage oil and deliver it with a full-body massage. It's less fattening than chocolates, lasts longer than flowers, and is cheaper and sexier than both!