15 Sexy Tips to Save on Valentine’s Day

Photo (cc) by HelloImNik

The sexiest way to save on Valentine’s Day? Do the seemingly impossible: Spend less and get more. Here are 15 ways to pull it off.

FLOWERS

What you need to know first: The best red roses are ice cold. “If the product is outside of a cold chamber, which is 32 to 36 degrees, they lose life for every minute they’re outside that cold,” warns Christine Boldt, executive vice president of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF). Hence, this advice…

1. Never buy from the side of the road. They’ll only last a day or two, because roadside vendors don’t get the best product. “Those flowers are what we in the industry call seconds,” Boldt says.

2. Don’t buy online. You can save money and score good deals online for almost anything – except flowers. Why? Boldt answers that question with her own: Have you ever seen a refrigerated UPS or FedEx truck? No.”

3. Do buy from grocery and even warehouse stores. Ask if those stores keep their flowers refrigerated. If so, then they can be just as long-lasting as those at a florist.

4. Look for tight buds. In other words, look for flowers that don’t look good at that moment – because they’ll blossom in a few hours and will stay that way for many days. If those buds are already open, they’ll only last another day or two.

5. Use the food. If your flowers don’t come with a tiny packet of flower food, ask for it. And use it. That packet isn’t a gimmick – it really does help.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for replacements. If you buy a jar of spoiled peanut butter, you take it back to the grocery store. Florists (and other experienced retailers who sell flowers) know that they sometimes stock buds that are duds. If you’ve taken all this advice and they die early, ask for new ones.

DINNER

What you need to know first: “Our No. 1 money-saving tip is: Stay out of the restaurant and bring your celebration home,” says Elizabeth Mascali, one half of an event company called Party Bluprints. But doing that right means…

7. Eat elsewhere. Romance means special, and eating in the kitchen doesn’t cut it. “Make a move from the table to a cozy spot in your home,” Mascali says. If you have a fireplace, she recommends spreading a blanket in front of it and dining “picnic style.”

8. Burn for your love. Let’s face it, flames are sexy. “Get a fire lit, whether it’s a fireplace or candles,” Mascali says.

9. Put the petal to the metal. “Make one red rose work for you,” Mascali advises. “Take the petals off the rose and sprinkle them all throughout the area. It really adds a luxurious look and feel to your celebration.”

10. Don’t pay double for your bubbles. Most people can’t tell good champagne from bad. So why bother? Mascali’s business partner Dawn Sandomeno suggests, “Keep the cork on the champagne and pop the Prosecco. A really good bottle will run you $15 – a fraction of the cost of Champagne.” What the heck is Prosecco? It’s a sparkling white wine from Italy instead of France, and unlike some American-made sparkling wines, it’s not too sweet and cloying.

11. Flirt with dessert. The last thing you want on a romantic evening is a heavy dessert to weigh down the romance. The best solution is also a cheap one: sorbet. “It’s inexpensive and refreshing,” Sandomeno says. But it can look pricey and exotic if you buy several flavors. Sandomeno’s sexiest combo: “Tangerine and pomegranate with a sprig of mint.”

JEWELRY

What you need to know first: Set a budget and go with your gut. “Don’t take the allure and the romance out of the purchase and turn it into buying stocks and bonds,” says Jeff Malvin, president of the Beverly’s Jewelers chain. “Just buy beautiful.” That means…

12. There’s more in store. We told you not to buy flowers online. Well, that goes double for diamonds. Many online diamond dealers tout that their stones are certified, so you don’t need to see them. But if you’re spending a lot of money, comparing stones in person and under magnification is important. Use the Internet as a pricing guide, but if you can get similar prices from a local jeweler, you’re better off buying locally.

14. Certify before you buy. Speaking of certificates, once you like the look, go by the book. Most people know diamonds come with certificates that attest to their “four C’s” – cut, carat, color, and clarity. But even gold has marks you need to look out for. “The manufacturer’s trademark must be on that item, close to the karat stamp,” Malvin says. “So both of those must be readily visible. And don’t ever buy a gold chain out of someone’s trunk.”

15. But don’t go certificate-crazy. “The young lady is not going to wear the certificate,” Malvin says. “So get the most beautiful stone you can for your budget.” And if you get the hard-sell from any jeweler, Malvin says take advantage of the competition for carats: “If you walk in and don’t have a good feeling,” he says, “go to the next place.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon
10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone — no Prime membership necessary.

10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself
10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself

Making any of these key foods yourself will improve meals — and your budget.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created
20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created

Amazon’s growing collection of private brands offers everything from toilet paper and coffee to motor oil and clothing.

9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

These products from Amazon add elegance to your home without the expense.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

You probably don’t realize these items are worth decent cash.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.