Valentine’s Day, which is coming up on February 14, is a great time to appreciate someone special, and I have several ideas for saving money to make sure you still have a great night without breaking the bank.
Let’s start with the all important flowers purchase. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a field of flowers nearby, you are probably going to have to go out and buy flowers. Three options here for saving money here. Option 1, find the “flower guy” near a train station or on the corner in a busy shopping area. They have great flowers and he’ll be excited to make a sale, perhaps at a bargain. Option 2, grocery store route. Your local grocery store probably has a very good selection of flowers, maybe even a florist built in, at a significant discount to a regular, stand-alone florist. Bonus tips: buy discounted grocery store gift cards and use them for flowers. You can also pay with a credit card that earns a bonus on grocery store purchases (American Express Everyday Blue Cash, for example). Option 3, purchasing flowers online. There are a lot of money saving tips here. First, buy early. Demand is likely only going to drive up the price the closer you get to Valentine’s Day. Second, use coupon codes. Codes for 1-800 Flowers, FTD, and others are common and available right on my homepage on the right side. Third, take advantage of offers from PayPal, such as this one for FTD for $15 off on $15 or more. You are always going to have some sort of service charge in addition to the flower cost, but $15 off isn’t bad. Fourth, you can find discounted gift cards (ecodes, in this case) that you can obtain at a discount. Finally, you cannot forget Shoprunner, which is similar to Amazon Prime, which offers special deals on FTD, like free delivery.
Saving money on dinner..more tricky
Now, let’s discuss meal options. Other than the obvious choice, making dinner at home, you might be considering going out for dinner. Saving money is going to be a bit more complicated, but here are some tips regardless. First, I highly recommend using OpenTable for reservations. The site is free to use, convenient, and rewards you with points which you can cash in for “dining cheques.” These can redeemed at any participating OpentTable restaurant for $20 or more off your bill. Second, if possible, order off the non-fixed price menu. The fixed price menu is probably not going to be a great deal, or the highest quality food. Please prove me wrong, though. But, I have many friends who initially get excited about “restaurant week” for fixed menu promotions only to leave disappointed at the menu and money they spent. Third, look for Restaurant.com reduced price gift certificates for a restaurant you are interested in. These certificates can be instantly downloaded and will save you a significant amount of money. Be mindful that they do come with restrictions such as when (what day/time) they can be used, what type of food (no beverages, for example) and any other restrictions (not valid on holidays, for example).
Bottom line is, while saving money, you can still have a nice Valentine’s Day and feel the love, and not the burn to your wallet.