Cost of Traditional Valentine’s Day Celebration Soars

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The Beatles famously said you can't buy love. However, you can purchase all the accouterments of Valentine's Day -- for a pretty penny.

The Beatles famously said you can’t buy love. However, you can buy all the accouterments of Valentine’s Day in hopes of love.

But you will need to open your wallet, because it will cost you — about $512 this year, according to Bankrate.com’s Be My Valentine Index.

The website developed this index to try to gauge the cost of Valentine’s Day as defined by the cost of “all the usual Valentine’s staples”:

  • A dozen red roses
  • Chocolates
  • Dinner for two
  • Jewelry
  • Champagne

Ron Hill, a professor of marketing and business law at the Villanova University School of Business, tells Bankrate.com that even people who don’t have money for Valentine’s Day celebrations feel compelled to spend on the “holiday”:

“For most couples, the expectation is there regardless of what the economic situation is. Love is one of the few things that we think has that infinite value.”

Here’s how Bankrate.com arrived at its value of approximately $512, which is based on data from the website’s price surveys as well as market research companies NPD Group and Nielsen.

  • A dozen red roses: The average price at an online retailer is $41.66 — so before you fork over that much, check out “Picked With Love: How to Get the Very Best Value on Valentine’s Flowers.”
  • Chocolates: The average price of a heart-shaped box of Valentine’s Day chocolates weighing between 7.5 ounces and 8.5 ounces is $15.11.
  • Dinner for two: The average cost of dinner for two at a fine-dining restaurant is $80.46 — and that does not include the tip.
  • Jewelry: The average price for a pair of princess-cut, one-quarter-carat diamond earrings with moderate color is $323.26.
  • Champagne: The average bottle of champagne sold in the U.S. last year cost $51.54. (For a cheaper alternative, consider Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy that averages $11.99 per bottle.)

Are you buying into Valentine’s Day this year? Let us know how much you’d spend below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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