Valentine’s Day is that one day a year where couples go all out and express their undying love with flowers, food and gifts. Unfortunately, it can run up a hefty bill.
Luckily for all you frugal shoppers, we compiled a bunch of ideas to help you shop smart and make this year your thriftiest Valentine’s Day ever.
Let’s face it; flowers and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Here are our best tips for V-Day flowers.
- Use coupon codes. Sending your flowers to a loved one far away? Utilize one of the many online florists, but don’t forget the discount codes!
- Get free shipping on 1800flowers.com with code LOVE2012
- Get 15% off on 1800flowers.com with code RETAILMENOT15
- Get 20% off at FTD.com with code RMNSAVE20
- Buy roses from the freezer. When left out of the cold, roses will rapidly begin to lose life. Most people don’t think to ask for roses kept in back or in the freezer, but these are the flowers that will last the longest on your sweetheart’s table. Nothing worse than spending good money on roses to have them die the next day.
- Skip the grocery flower section. Unless your grocery store keeps the flowers well-refrigerated, chances are they won’t last that long. Also skip the side of the road vendors for that matter. These flowers will last only a day or two, especially if they have been kept out in warmer degrees.
- Pick buds. They may not be the prettiest right now, but within a few hours of being out of the freezer, they will start to bloom… and stay that way for much longer than if you bought them already opened giving you the most use out of your purchase.
Something sparkly never ceases to score big with the ladies. But jewelry isn’t always in the budget. Here are tips to making the most out of your bauble-buying dollars.
- Look past diamonds. Sure, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but your wallet may hate them. Instead, consider pearls and other gem stones for your Valentine’s Day gift.
- Look beyond jewelry stores. If you are going for a non-traditional piece of jewelry, thrift stores and consignment shops can be a treasure trove of unique and funky pieces.
- Shop in-store. Besides finding a better selection, you will actually get to inspect the jewelry for yourself. While many online retailers claim their stones are real, being able to hold them and see them in person will allow you to verify and compare. You may also be find larger discounts and sales in local jewelry stores that you can find online.
Nothing beats getting dressed to the nines and going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. With tons of other couples around, you can feel the love in the atmosphere of any restaurant. However, a fancy restaurant quality meal doesn’t have to break the bank.
- Make it a lunch date. Dinner is the highest priced meal at most restaurants. You can save yourself a few bucks, and beat the crowd, if you move your romantic meal to lunch instead.
- Celebrate early… or late. If you don’t mind forgoing the actual date, consider having your dinner a couple days early or late. You may not get the full effect of the Valentine’s Day meal, but you and your sweetheart can enjoy a quiet dinner together.
- Go for the set menu. Most fine dining restaurants will prepare a special Valentine’s Day fixed menu for two. In most cases, this menu is a better value than ordering straight off the menu.
- Get a gift certificate. Once you know the restaurant you will be going to, search online for a discounted gift card. Restaurant.com sells gift certificates to many establishments at rates lower than they actual value. Just make sure you read the terms and fine print-some restaurants do not allow gift certificates to be used on holidays.
- Have a small dessert. After a lovely meal, you don’t need the heavy dessert to weigh you down. Save the money and order a scoop of sorbet instead. It’s light, refreshing and easier on the wallet than the large piece of molten lava cake a la mode.
Need more ideas to save some dough? Here are a few non-traditional ones.
- Dine in for the night. Skip the restaurant, the crowd of lovers and the overpriced bill by dining at home. If you are a decent cook, you can whip up a meal fit for this romantic holiday. Can’t cook? Order takeout from your favorite restaurant and transfer it to your finest plates at home. Light a few candles and turn down the overhead lights to create the perfect ambience.
- Give DIY gifts. Don’t have quite enough funds for flowers and jewelry? Handmade gifts are perfect for Valentine’s Day. They require thought, time and effort, and they are sure to be appreciated. Make something personalized for your sweetheart that you know she would like. Make a bracelet out of beads and charms you choose yourself. Build her a place to hang her necklaces. Decoupage her bedroom light switch. Think of anything that you can make yourself and customize it to fit her interests and likes.
- Have a movie night. Stay home on Valentine’s Day and snuggle up with romantic comedy. Pop popcorn, have some movie candy and a warm blanket and cuddle up together. You can rent a movie from Redbox, or find something you both have never seen on Netflix.
- Do something together. Valentine’s Day is about expressing your love and spending time with that special someone. Although it may seem like it, the day does not require meals and flowers and jewelry. Make it your own by just spending time together. Spend the day in the park, plan a simple picnic, go hiking together. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just spending time together will make the day special.
Valentine’s Day is a day to show your other half just how much you love her. Unfortunately for your wallet, that typically includes flowers, jewelry and eating out. Use the tips here to help cut down on the expenses so you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day together, without spending a fortune.