Today we have a guest post for you from Gary. Gary is a senior vice president at DataSphere which owns LocalSaver, a marketplace offering consumers the largest range of local coupons and other savings opportunities.
It’s that time of year again when husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends rush out in droves to buy something to show how much they care about their significant other. In fact, 62% of Americans celebrate the occasion and consumers are expected to spend a whopping $13 billion this year on Valentine’s gifts, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. With the rise of ecommerce and mega retailers, more people are turning to box stores, commercial chocolatiers and online retailers like Amazon for shopping. But gifts from these big brands often aren’t very unique and shopping with these retailers doesn’t necessarily mean you’re keeping more money in your pocket. Valentine’s Day offers a special opportunity to shop locally, not just for savings, but to also offer more thoughtful and personalized gifts.
But the trick is to look for Valentine’s Day deals before you hit your local store to significantly reduce the amount you spend. Here are ways you can save money this Valentine’s Day on the top categories of gifts by searching online coupon sites such as LocalSaver to provide special offers and discounts for stores, restaurants and services right in your area.
Here are some examples of the great gifts and savings available to you for Valentine’s Day:
- Candy and chocolate – Half of Americans will buy candy on Valentine’s Day and nearly half of women expect to receive candy or chocolate. This year, forget the iconic heart-shaped box of cellophane wrapped chocolate. Instead, give decadent handmade chocolates or fudge. Most communities have stores that offer handmade goodies and chocolate stores like Fortes in Washington offer $30 of chocolates for just $20, or shoppers can get similar savings at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
- Flowers – Valentine’s Day ranks #1 for fresh flower purchases in the U.S. and 250 million roses are produced for the day. Many boutique florists offer beautiful arrangements that are far more unique than the standard dozen roses from your local grocery store. Better still, most offer great deals or coupons at Valentine’s Day such as free delivery. Check in your community, many florists offer certificates at a lesser cost (i.e. purchase $35 certificate for flowers for just $25 which means you save $10 on an amazing bouquet).
- Jewelry – About one in five Valentine’s Day shoppers will purchase jewelry as a gift and almost 9% of all diamonds jewelry is sold as Valentine’s gifts. Don’t forget to look for savings at your local jeweler. For example, shoppers in San Francisco can receive 50% off a pair of earrings with a purchase of a necklace or the Pearl Lounge offers steep discounts of 60% with a coupon.
- Dining – About one-third of Americans will go on a date night for Valentine’s Day consisting of dinner. Many restaurants in communities across the U.S. offer 50% off coupons dinner for two. When an entrée costs at a nice restaurant cost $25 or $30, the savings really adds up. Search your local online coupon site, you’ll likely find other great options like a wine and chocolate bar in New York City, offering a savings of 50% on a $90 tasting for two.
Shopping locally doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spending more money. Odds are you’ll find more personalized gifts shopping right in your neighborhood. And wouldn’t your special someone like to know you got them some great gifts this year and you managed save a few bucks doing it, too?
Photo courtesy of: KRiemer