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Valentine's Day 2014: U.S. consumers could spend upwards of $18 billion

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Just when you thought is was safe to step on your bathroom scale, it's Valentine's Day! Another day's excuse to stuff our faces with high-calorie, high-fat, useless mouthfuls of chocolaty delights.

According to CNN, in 2013 Valentine's Day related sales topped $18 billion. That's right, billions of dollars and it's not even a recognized holiday. Will 2014 top last year's spending? Those dinners, flowers, jewelry, engagement rings and romantic getaways really add-up.

Valentine's Day is not the only day of pigging-out, and for no apparent purpose. It starts in October, with Halloween. Those tiny bite-size Snickers, M&Ms and Hersey Kisses. Add the cost of costumes, decorations, parties at bars and pubs, and the price tag for 2013 Halloween, tops $7 billion, according to MSN-Money.

On to November, and Thanksgiving, December, and Christmas, both holidays are notorious for overindulging. No price tag needed, because these holidays are priceless.

Let's not forget the sleeper day of pointless pigging-out, NFL Superbowl Sunday. House parties, parties at sports bars, cocktails, tons of finger food, decorations, team merchandise, Superbowl tickets and airfare. Price tag $11 billion, according to Time Magazine-Business & Money.

Here's a thought, save yourself some useless calories and consider donating your Valentine's Day budget to a local charity, supporting a hunger relief effort. Typhoon Haiyan survivors can use your help, through Save the Children or Red Cross. Click on the charity's name to donate.

You can donate the money on behalf of your sweetheart. Now that's what I call showing some real love, in the sweetest possible way.



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