3 Things You Shouldn’t Pay For on Valentine’s Day


NEW YORK (MainStreet) – According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend $126.03 for Valentine’s Day this year.

Don’t become another statistic.

While we can’t stop you from spending big on a fancy dinner or a bouquet of flowers this Tuesday, not everything you need for the big day actually has to hurt your bank account. Here are a few things you shouldn’t paying for on Valentine’s Day.  

Cards. We can’t in good conscience recommend that you send an e-card to your love on Valentine’s Day – a physical card with a heartfelt hand-written note is still probably the way to go. But if you can’t pony up a few bucks for a Hallmark card, you can print out a free one from the Internet. The Company Store offers a couple of cute cards that you can print out, color in and personalize. Meanwhile, StarWars.com offers free printable valentines with such messages as “Yoda one for me” and “Our love will Endor.”

Movies. Want to cap off date night by curling up with a DVD? As we mentioned in our deal roundup this morning, Redbox is offering a code for a free one-day movie rental on Valentine’s Day from any of its locations. To get the code, you’ll need a friend to send you an e-card through the Redbox Facebook page. Just make sure you get it back within the day to avoid having to actually pay for your movie.

We’re not about to tell you not to buy chocolates for Valentine’s Day. But if money’s tight, you might consider waiting until the next day, when prices will drop dramatically. The downside to this strategy is that you won’t have any chocolates to gift on Valentine’s Day itself. But here’s one idea: Take your loved one out for a lovely dinner date and see a movie together. Then the next day, sneak off to the drugstore or Godiva shop, get a box of chocolates at a deep discount and have it wrapped. Then give it to your significant other and explain that you were having so much fun that night that you completely forgot to give him or her the box of chocolates. Just make sure he or she doesn’t find the receipt or your cover will be blown.

Matt Brownell is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at matthew.brownell@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @Brownellorama.

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