And so it begins: The moment those Christmas chocolates disappear from the shelves, the big red boxes start to appear marking the build up to Valentine’s Day and signalling yet another run of extra frivolous spending.
Luckily Valentine’s Day is mid month in February so there has been time to recover from the shock of ‘overspend January’. However this is little relief to my husband’s already tightly squeezed wallet. I say his rather than mine, as I am a rather high maintenance Lady J. Although I frequently scoff at the amount people spend on this occasion, I am always slightly miffed if a token present is passed my way that he could have got from a Christmas cracker!
Every year I always vow that I will endeavour to buy my Valentines gifts in the January sales- this works very well if you wish to buy someone underwear, candles or perfume/ aftershave. However as I have once again epically failed in this respect, here are my 7 ways to save money on Valentine’s Day!
Don’t buy expensive boxes of any fave chocs in the special heart shaped packaging
These have an extra Valentine premium price tag. Just buy normal ones and recycle boxes from other years! My husband never notices when I’m wearing something new, so any recycled chocolate boxes will definitely not be picked up on. If you do have to buy a new box, then make sure you keep it so it can be used next year instead. I have a tin one which will celebrate its third anniversary outing this year!
Celebrate Valentines Day on a different day!
Again I doubt husband of mine would notice the difference. This year Valentine’s Day falls midweek, which is often cheaper for mini breaks. Just avoid the specific Valentine packages, which usually just include a ‘complimentary’ bottle of champagne and chocolates. Book a normal stay and take your own bubbles and treats with you! You might even be able to get a Friday night away for less than you would pay for a Valentine’s package.
Go out for lunch rather than dinner
This isn’t really ideal for me as if I have a big lunch then tend to have a few Granny nods all afternoon, hardly the height of romance! However, lunch out is often less expensive than dinner and you’re much more likely to consider driving so can also save pennies on taxi fares and the booze.
Use supermarket savings points to purchase celebratory bottles of champagne!
This is a great way to spend your points and if you plan far enough ahead then you can take advantage of supermarket discount schemes like the Sainsburys 25% off 6 bottles and then compound the saving by using less of your points to pay for them.
Use the Vouchercodes app to check out possible savings
Even though some vouchers are restricted by terms and conditions for days when they can be used, there are some valid for any day of the week so it’s worth having a look to see what good deals are around.
Visit a ‘Bring your own Booze’ restaurant
BYOB restaurants are becoming increasingly popular and more widespread so there’s bound to be one in your area. Taking your own alcohol can practically half the cost of the meal as wine in particular, especially when your date is me, can be expensive enough as it is but also has the biggest mark up when you dine out.
If it’s not worth it, don’t pay for it!
Last but by no means least, if you do push the boat out this Valentine’s Day then makes sure the experience is worth every penny. Always remember that it’s not you in the wrong if the spa break, meal or hotel stay doesn’t meet expectations. It’s the company’s fault and they should welcome your feedback and amend the bill accordingly.
As for gifts for your loved one, don’t forget the protection of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (for purchases over £100) and The Consumer Rights Act 2015 as a means of redress if necessary.
Happy Savvy Vally!
Is it roses are red
Or violets are blue?
To the one that I love
Or I’ll always love you?
The chocs that you buy me
Or the flowers you send
The bubbles we drink
Or the card that you’ve penned.
The meal out we have
Or the overnight stay
All the extra expense
When it’s only one day!
Let’s get ourselves a curry
And veg out by the TV
Because all that really matters
Is that you are here with me.