alentine’s Day is a time to show your partner just how much you care about them, but going overboard could do a number on your budget. The average Valentine’s Day gift in 2021 ran about $187, according to a Finder.com survey. Doing a little research ahead of the holiday might help you snag some worthwhile deals—and keep more money in your pocket.
Here are 10 simple ways to save on Valentine’s Day this year.
1. Plan a romantic night in.
While you may be leaning toward going out, planning a romantic night at home might be better for your budget. That might be part of the reason why 41% of Americans planned a special Valentine’s Day dinner at home last year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. Dote on your partner by whipping up their favorite meal and sweet treat. It will likely cost much less than eating out—and you’ll probably get bonus points for the effort.
2. Research local restaurant promotions.
If you have your heart set on a night out, some restaurants might offer Valentine’s Day deals. The key is booking early as restaurants tend to be flooded with reservations. Industry insiders say it’s the second busiest day of the year, right behind Mother’s Day. It isn’t uncommon to see a prix fixe menu for the day, which could help you save. Those who prefer to stay at home might also find local restaurants offering to-go deals on Valentine’s Day. Bahama Breeze, the Capital Grille and Olive Garden all boasted takeout promos last year.
3. Look for sales.
Your partner might expect some pampering on Valentine’s Day. Gifts like jewelry, spa services, clothing and keepsake gifts are among the most popular splurges. These kinds of gifts can add up fast, but many retailers have Valentine’s Day promotional events. Last year, Kay Jewelers offered 20% to 40% off engagement and anniversary rings, while Zales cut prices in half for diamond earrings, heart pendants and more. Research your local spas and retailers to see what kinds of discounts might be available. Just know that you may have to act fast.
4. Pay with discounted gift cards.
If you already know where you’re going to be shopping, you can buy a discounted gift card first and slash your total spend. Platforms like Gift Card Granny and Raise allow people to easily buy and sell unused gift cards—something that can come in handy on Valentine’s Day. At the time of this writing, gift cards for the Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday, and the Gold and Diamond Source were up to 20% off.
5. Shop around for flowers.
Flowers are a go-to gift on Valentine’s Day. Check first with your local florist to see what kind of deals they may be offering as it’s a great way to support a small business. If prices are steep, expand your search to include big box stores like Costco, which are normally cheaper. Online florists can also help you save. Last year, The Bouqs Co. offered $20 off Valentine’s Day bouquets. FTD is currently offering 15% off sitewide if you sign up for their email newsletter.
6. Know where to find the best deals on chocolates.
Chocolates are a Valentine’s Day must-have. Famous chocolatiers Lindt and Godiva both offer 10% off if you jump on their email lists. Godiva is also throwing in a free four-piece truffle box if you spend $65 or more. Instead of going the gourmet route, you could always purchase a cute basket and fill it with your partner’s favorite chocolates, candies and snacks from the supermarket.
7. Rethink your approach to gift giving.
They say it’s the thought that counts. The Finder.com survey we mentioned earlier found that over 16% of respondents planned on taking a do-it-your-self approach to Valentine’s Day gifts last year. Options can include everything from a photo album to a playlist. You and your partner might also choose to forgo regular gifts in favor of thoughtful acts of service—like giving a massage, cleaning the house or making breakfast in bed. You can make gift giving meaningful and unique to your relationship.
8. Take a budget-friendly trip.
Thanks to frequent cancellations, flying may prove tricky these days. One alternative is planning a budget-friendly road trip to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Think of places that are within driving distance. Depending on where you live, the weather might be just right for camping. Those in snowy locations can plan a winter getaway at an Airbnb. There’s also something kitschy and fun about traveling to an off-the-beaten-path small town. You can probably explore local spots on the cheap.
9. Check out Groupon for date ideas.
Groupon might prove to be a good money-saving resource on Valentine’s Day. At the time of this writing, the discount site was offering 25% off Valentine’s Day preorders at 1-800-FLOWERS. Think outside the box and focus on experiences that aren’t necessarily themed for the holiday. Taking a yoga class together or opting for a local walking tour, for example, can be fun ways to spend time together.
10. Use credit card rewards.
There are lots of different credit card rewards that can come in handy around Valentine’s Day. Some cards dole out miles you can use to travel, while others unlock free or discounted hotel rooms. There are also cash back cards that reward you for everyday spending. If it’s short notice and you’re not able to build up enough rewards for this Valentine’s Day, consider opening a new card now so you can begin accumulating them for next year.
We understand the power of saving. It’s an essential part of financial wellness because it can help your income go a little further. DailyPay is on board, providing access to your earned pay whenever you need it.