Save Money and Still Show Love on Valentine's Day

by Tisha Tolar on 7 February 2010 13 comments
Photo: tdenham

There are the cynics that say Valentine’s Day is a retail racket meant to guilt people into spending too much to prove their eternal love to others, but there are also many consumers who will still go out of their budget to buy some pretty impractical things. The Valentine’s Day celebration often includes expensive jewelry, cards, candy, and flowers but as times change, more people are constricted by tight budgets and obsessing about not being able to do more this year.

Fear not! There is hope for all. Here are some tips to keep your love spirits high, your loved ones happy, and your budget intact for Valentine’s Day.

Order Now

If you are shopping for flowers or shipping candy, you should place your order ASAP to avoid paying rush charges or extra shipping and handling. The beginning of February will signal the start of premium pricing so get your order in now. Flowers in particular may be affected in pricing this year due to the cold weather. Flower suppliers are reporting instances of slowed production, especially for roses which means florists will be paying higher prices and passing along to their customers even higher ones.

A Rose is a Rose — Buy Something Else

Chances are good your gal likes some other kind of flower than just a rose. Long-stemmed roses are the most popular, and red long-stemmed roses are the most expensive. Ask about other kinds of bouquet arrangements that can be made using another favorite flower or color. To save even more, choose something that is in season. If you must get roses, buy just one to present in person or mix other flowers in with a rose arrangement to bring down the cost.

Bring on the Coupons

Many online retailers will be happy to accept a discount coupon with a purchase. There are a ton of sites that offer coupons for popular online vendors including FTD. However, the trick of the coupon game is to get the order in early as many coupons expire at the beginning of February. There is no shame in getting a good deal.

Be Non-Traditional with a Delivery

If you plan to send your sweetums flowers or candy, don’t mark the 14th as a delivery date. This year Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday so you can be assured delivery charges will be higher than normal. Ask for delivery on Thursday or Friday. Not only will you be saving money, you might also earn bonus points for sending gifts to the office early as a surprise.

Agree to Be Frugal

If financial constraints are not a secret amongst loved ones, agree to skip the retail craziness of Love Day and do something free. Visit a museum, have a carpet picnic, stay in bed — whatever it is you decide to do choose it together and enjoy the quality time, which is far more priceless than any gift could ever be.

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Guest's picture

Yeah, skip the hype and celebrate Valentine's Day in a non-commercial way.

If you're a guy, cook a romantic dinner and clear away afterwards.

If you're a woman, buy some champagne and suggest an early night.

It's amazing how little romance can cost.

Guest's picture

Another thought is to give gifts from the heart. As a fellow Frugal Gal, my husband and I have always marked the holiday with a thoughtful gift versus measuring our love based on material things. I wrote an article on Giving Gifts from the Heart. They cost less and mean more.

Thank you for sharing you thoughtful ideas.

Lisa

Guest's picture
Tim

1 Long Stemmed Red Rose
1 Godiva Raspberry Cordial
A romantic poem copied by hand (I'm not that poetic)
Home cooked dinner by candlelight (I am a decent cook)

Guest's picture
Finance

When I was in my high school, while everyone are buying roses in the gate of our school, I bought a Stargazer. It is big, white and really different. It's nice!

Guest's picture

Roses are too traditional and show a lack of creativity. Get out there and find something better!

Guest's picture

Valentine's Day has become a retail racket.

If you need to spend $100 to display your love for your partner, maybe your relationship needs a little strengthening.

Just one man's opinion.

Guest's picture

My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years and have not once exchanged a store-bought gifts for the Valentine's Day holiday. Some creative ideas that we've done:

Create a homemade coupon book - I received one for 12 car washes. My husband knew that I liked a clean car, but hated washing it. All I had to do was redeem and my husband made it sparkle.

Photo Books

Memory Boxes

Plan a Special Day of "favorites"

Gifts from the heart are more meaningful and cost less.

Lisa

Guest's picture
Debbie

My husband is donating blood at a local blood drive, instead of a gift. I needed a blood transfusion once, and this means a lot to me.
In the past when he bought flowers he charged them and there is nothing worse than later seeing a bill for flowers!

Guest's picture
Skye B.

I really like the idea of staying away from the store and creating your own Valentine's Day gift, not just from a budget and environmental perspective but particularly from a heart-felt "I love you enough to make a special gift for you" stance.

I'm a member of a green-themed social network called Greenwala and I've been finding a lot of great DIY gift ideas over there. Here are a few article links that are at the top of my list:

1) http://www.greenwala.com/community/blogs/featured/4393-Green-Up-Your-Val...

2) http://www.greenwala.com/community/blogs/all/4623-3-Fresh-Green-Ways-To-...

3) http://www.greenwala.com/community/videos?q=valentine%27s+day

Hope these help everyone who's still not quite sure what to do for their loved one.

Guest's picture
Guest

This year, times are tough.
And every year, I always get my kids a little something for Vday. My parents always did that for us, so I continued.
Just a small kid box of chocolate, and a small gift. (usually NOT a Vday specified gift, cause that's a WASTE of money. I get them something small that they've had their eye on for a while, or something cool I found on clearance.)

But I thought of a good idea, since Vday doesn't ABSOLUTELY have to be celebrated ON that specified day.
It's not like Santa Claus, where if he doesn't come on the 24/25th overnight, then your kids feel like they've been dissed by Santa and their world comes crashing down.
The same thing with the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.
Although....with SMALLL kids, who probably don't know WHAT day it is, you could get away with giving them their holiday stuff on another day! Muahahahaha....

Anyway, I decided that IF I were to get something Vday themed this year, that I'd wait till the day after Vday, and everything will half off!! 50% off, baby!!! Even two days later, if that's how long I have to wait!
Because I'll still love them 2 days later. Right?
And they'll understand.

That's what I decided.

Guest's picture
Guest

We always do something we both love to do. Sometimes it's work out and then buy some greasy takeout (we don't go out to restaurants much). Cheap, satisfying, we still feel good, and we did it together. Other days we go to a museum (free in DC) - empty b/c everyone else is at a restaurant!

Guest's picture
Uk.cv.com

You've done a nice work with this interesting article. :)

Guest's picture

We don't do Valentines Day. We've been married for 17 years and just don't understand all of the fuss.

Kate