Here Are 5 of the Biggest Valentine’s Day Rip-Offs


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Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is nearly upon us. If you're still racking your brain for gifts, you might start with what not to buy.

Roses are red. Violets are blue.

If you buy a dozen roses this Valentine’s Day, you’ll pay out the wazoo!

Florists typically hike the price of a dozen roses a whopping 100 percent or more on Valentine’s Day, according to CNBC. And that’s not including delivery fees and surcharges. Yikes.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Valentine’s Day consumer spending survey, roughly half (54.8 percent) of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, with spending expected to reach a survey high $19.7 billion.

Consumers said they plan to spend about $146.84 to shower their sweethearts and loved ones with gifts of flowers, jewelry, candy and apparel. And many of those gifts come with a hefty price tag.

“Be aware of what you are spending and that it’s in your budget,” Monica Sipes, a financial adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors and the daughter of a florist, told CNBC. “Don’t always think you need to one-up your previous Valentine’s Day.”

The clock is rapidly counting down to Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a gift yet for your sweetheart, you may want to avoid these five Valentine’s Day rip-offs (your wallet will thank you):

  1. Roses: Not only are a dozen roses expensive near Valentine’s Day, but they’re also overdone. While a dozen roses typically costs between $10 and $50, that price tag skyrockets during Cupid’s favorite holiday, with roses costing as much as $5 or $8 EACH in New York, according to Money. If you still want to purchase the standard 12 red roses, you’ll likely get the best deal at a local florist shop.
  2. Dining out: A romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at one of your favorite restaurants requires both planning ahead – sometimes weeks ahead for reservations – and a big billfold. Money said a typical $70 dinner for two at many restaurants will cost double that amount or more on Valentine’s Day. Plus, because restaurants are so busy on Feb. 14, don’t be surprised if you have slow service. A dinner at home has never sounded better, right?
  3. Chocolates: Flowers and chocolates are the standard gifts men buy for their partners on Valentine’s Day. But Money said you should not be fooled by a pretty, heart-shaped box of chocolates. “[I]t’s the same old candies inside them. You’re just paying extra for the presentation,” Money explains. Plus, you can probably those same candies for at least half off on Feb. 15.
  4. Cards: Greeting cards aren’t cheap these days. Americans are expected to spend about $1.1 billion on cards for Valentine’s Day this year. Yikes. At $5 to $7 per card, that’s a pricey gift, especially when you consider it typically gets tossed in the trash shortly after Valentine’s Day. A handmade card is often a much cheaper and more memorable option.
  5. Lingerie: Although it’s a nice sentiment, men buying lingerie for their spouses and girlfriends is not always the best idea. “Not only can men make dubious choices when it comes to intimate wear, the price tag can get outrageous if you’re not shopping smart,” cautions GoBankingRates.com.

Looking for inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Check out “15 Gifts for Valentine’s Day: Spend Less and Rev Up the Romance.”

My husband always buys me a dozen red roses for Valentine’s Day. Although I appreciate the gesture, the flowers’ price tag is hard to swallow. I asked him to skip buying roses and chocolates this year and instead make me a gift or dinner, or even do a few loads of laundry! How’s that for romantic?

Did we miss any Valentine’s Day rip-offs? What do you think of the list? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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