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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

What goes better with warm weather than free Jonnypops? Today only

JonnyPops wants to share a random act of kindness with Twin Cities residents. It is giving away up to 10,000 free pops at its headquarters in St. Louis Park (3600 Alabama Ave. S.) until about 11 a.m. Friday (Feb. 17).

Co-founder Erik Brust said, The winter months could be tough times for a frozen treat company like JonnyPops, but we’re forecasted to triple in size in 2017. This is extremely exciting, so we’re using National Random Acts of Kindness Day to give away pops and say thank you to all the people who have helped make JonnyPops a Minnesota favorite. With each passing day, we discover that our mission of spreading kindness becomes more important, and that drives us to make a positive impact in big and small ways.

Normally, JonnyPops winter biz is 70 percent of its summer biz, but the company has been working with schools around the country to make its business less seasonal. The product is sold locally in Cub, Lunds & Byerlys, Target and Costco. 

JonnyPops originated when a small group of friends who were students at St. Olaf in Northfield, Minn. began making the treat as a relief during finals. For a more complete story, go here

Valentine's Day tokens on a budget: Aldi vs. Walgreens

Some call them tokens of love, others call them trappings of a overly commercialized holiday. But chocolate, flowers, and a steak & lobster dinner symbolize what many Americans think represents Valentine's Day.

But Cupid isn't getting quite as much love in 2017. Americans plan to spend about 8% less on love day this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

But with discounters Aldi and Walgreens, couples can spend far less than the $136 that most will spend this year. Take a look at this week's Sunday circulars from each chain.

Who expected Aldi to be so in tuned to romance? This week's flyer features two filet mignon for about $12, 12 oz. of jumbo scallops for $9.99, two 4 oz. lobster tails for $12.99, a dozen roses with  greens and babies breath for $12.99, and chocolate and fresh strawberries for dipping. All that for less than $55. 

Want to spend even less? Aldi also offers  6 roses without greens or babies breath for $3.99 or a dozen tulips for $2.99. Live orchids are $9.99.

Admittedly, Aldi is not one-stop shopping. It doesn't sell greeting cards or red underwear (does it?) but Walgreens does. There's the pharmacy's non-European chocolate--an iconic Whitman's Sampler or Russell Stover box for $4.99 (with reward card). Or plush teddy bears with hearts on them ($4.99 to $24.99). Walgreens flyer also suggests an As Seen on TV nail or makeup kit, Valentine themed socks or underwear and live potted plants for $3.99 to $9.99. 

Whitman's sampler and red boxers or steak and lobster? Happy Valentine's Day on a budget. 

Items listed at Aldi and Walgreens are on sale through Saturday, Feb. 11 while supplies last.