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Story by The Spectator Staff

So Valentine’s Day is coming up and I need some quick cash. Any ideas?

If you’re seeking a memorable Valentine’s Day but don’t exactly have a surplus of wealth to spare for the occasion, I’d recommend researching your options for coupons or deals to help cut costs. Go to every local restaurant’s Web site and sign up for their special “clubs” or mailing lists. Within 24 hours you should have a plethora of one-time deals and discounts. Also, if you tell them your birthday happens to fall on February 14, you might get additional birthday bonuses. For example, Coldstone sends you a coupon for a free creation during your birthday week. Not bad!

But let’s say that your V-Day festivities call for more than coupons and price cuts. Don’t fear – there are plenty more options out there for earning quick cash.

Anyone with twenty minutes to spare can earn an easy five dollars in cash by visiting the Oakwood Mall and volunteering to take part in a survey. Hover around the indoor playground area long enough, and you’re bound to find someone standing nervously with a clipboard on the Sears side of the play area. However, don’t hang around the kids’ area too long, because that just looks shady.

Do you have any trendy clothes that you never wear? Take them to My Best Friend’s Closet or a similar second-hand store and see if they’ll buy them from you. Do you have a class that made you buy a ridiculous textbook that you know you’ll never use? Try selling it back to the bookstore a bit early. We are less than one month into the semester, so if you changed classes, you can actually sell your unnecessary books back for a full refund!

Exploiting lazy friends and roommates is also an easy way to make a few bucks. Offer to give someone rides to and from their classes for the week. Also, with weather this gross, there are always opportunities to shovel driveways and sidewalks for cash.

Offer to record games for club sports teams. You don’t even have to own your own camera – just rent one from the library for a few days, and you’re good to go. Offer to teach some of your parents’ or grandparents’ friends how to use basic computer skills, or even Twitter and Facebook. Laugh all you want, but I once made a modest sum teaching a small business owner how to use Twitter to promote her company. And don’t forget – the art department is always looking for more models for their life drawing classes.

If all else fails, you can always pull a George Costanza and make up your own non-profit organization. Once you’ve got a semi-respectable mission statement or a legit looking logo, reserve a table in Hibbard and hold a bake sale. You may have to go in on this one with some friends, especially if you want to look like a genuine student organization or charity. To make the most of the impending holiday weekend, you can even bake heart-shaped cookies or use pink icing, accented with lovely heart-shaped sprinkles. The possibilities are endless.

Although I don’t see the need for going overboard on Valentine’s Day, there’s no excuse for completely ditching because of lacking finances. At the very least, you should be able to afford treating your date to Little Caesar’s and renting a wonderful romantic movie, like Shaun of the Dead.