By Christy Strawser, digital director

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Ah, the flowers, the candy, the romance of a candlelight dinner with a fancy bottle of wine and rich, chocolaty dessert to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

What brings it all plummeting back down to earth? The bill.

Don’t despair — There are ways to keep romance alive without heading to debtor’s prison. Consider these suggestions your “get out of jail free card.”

*Order Pizza And Stay In

Jet’s Pizza, based in Sterling Heights, will offer heart-shaped pizza during Valentine’s week, Feb. 9-15. Available for carry-out or delivery, the pies will be made with the company’s hand-tossed dough.

With eight slices, the pizzas will be $6.99 with mozzarella cheese and one topping in metro Detroit.

*Head Out — To White Castle

White Castle, the haven of onion-y low-cost sliders for people on a budget, is again offering its “love is in the air” promotion for Valentine’s Day.

All are welcome to make a reservation to eat a romantic $10 meal made for sharing, get a keepsake menu, and take a photo to share with friends with something called “slidergram.” It happens 5-9 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. Make a reservation HERE.

*Visit The Zoo

While it’s not free, a visit to the Detroit Zoo is less pricey than a big night out. General admission is $14 per adult; the zoo is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the intersection of I-75 and 696 in Royal Oak. Stroll hand-in-hand and enjoy the scenery.


You can choose whether you’re doing this ironically or in a serious way, but it’s a fun night out that’s easy on the wallet. Consider, for example, Star Lanes in Royal Oak at the Emagine Theatre offers $1 “happy hour” bowling from 4-7 p.m. weekdays

*Karaoke Night

Hit a karaoke hotspot like The Inn Place in Royal Oak, 917 N. Main Street, for a night of entertainment that can cost as little as the price of a beer (heck, get two!) Every Thursday and Saturday is karaoke night, so you can celebrate the holiday before — or after — to  beat the crowds.

*Do It Yourself

If the weather in January is any indication, February is going to come in cold and potentially stay there, moving periodically into frigid. Heat things up by staying home.

Open a box of Barilla and a jar of Paul Newman’s pasta sauce (a $5 investment), grab a bottle of merlot, the Three Buck Chuck variety, from Trader Joe’s. Stream some music (shameless plug alert: get it free on the CBS Local app), download a movie from Netflix, and you’ve got yourself a night for less than $15.




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