I was at the store the other day ready to buy my sweetie a great big bouquet of roses, as I always do. Flowers are rarely absent in our home. In fact, some guys might think I go overboard in the flower department. But I show my love and appreciation every day of the year, not just on the one that our calendar tells us we should.

This weekend, though, I put my foot down. The same beautiful roses I usually buy my love were more than twice what they usually cost. Why? Don't look now, but it's almost Valentine's Day. You know, the favorite holiday of the flower and greeting card industry? The holiday where people, mostly guilt ridden men, spend crazy amounts of money on gifts and goodies for that special Someone in their lives? Americans spent more than $10 billion last year for Valentine's Day!

Is all that spending necessary? How about trying to be more romantic and considerate instead of just aiming to outspend others? Men seem more wrapped up in the spending area, as statistics show men routinely outspend women by a roughly 2-1 margin.

This year, why not write a poem? Or make a list of goals for your relationship or promises to your honey this year. Frame a cute picture of each other and give that along with a single rose. Give your partner a break from day to day life, whether it's a pedicure or a night off from cooking and the kids. Or take all the money you were going to spend on one day and put it towards a weekend away later in the year when prices and hype are lower.

The biggest spenders tend to be those in the 25-35 age group. But you don't need to spend a lot of money on Valentine's Day to make your Kissy Bear know how much you care. Let the young lovers blow their dough at the mall and Hallmark store. Let them buy the overly priced roses. The rest of us can sit back and laugh that we didn't allow ourselves to be manipulated by a day on the calendar. Even if it is surrounded by tasty chocolates and adorable cupids.

And remember this important lesson: shower that special someone every day. Make them feel loved and appreciated all the time. Thank them for all they do and all the joy they bring you. Chances are, they do far too much to be thanked in just one day anyway.

I love you, Sweetie. Every day.