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The season of
genius marketing ploys -er love is upon us and if you buy into Valentine’s Day and its amorous requirements, you know that you better get on your gift giving hustle or else you may find yourself on the couch post February 14th. Unfortunately, the month of pink and red has many people seeing red when it comes to the out of control spending that seems to grip even the most budget conscious lover. Fortunately, there are a few great Valentine’s Day hacks out there to help you stay on budget and still impress your honey.
Amazon Prime is Your Friend
I cannot tell you how many times Prime has saved me. The genius two-day free shipping membership allows me to shop with no pants on and get household necessities (and a few luxuries) delivered to me in two days or less. Year over year using Prime, I have saved at least the annual membership price ($99) in gas dollars and (wo)man hours that would have otherwise been spent shopping in-store. With February being the shortest month of the year, I needed to maximize my time looking for the perfect gift for my fiancé. Amazon really delivered this year with a spectacularly curated gifts section.
I picked up this interesting and well reviewed world map decanter to recognize our mutual love of travel (and of cocktails). The decanter, while somewhat pricey at $89, shipped quickly and is far larger and grander and high quality than I would have expected. It was the perfect gift and it does not look one ounce last-minute. If you don’t have prime, you can Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. During your 30-day free trial, pick up some Valentine’s Day Hack gifts and other necessities and see if you like it. If it’s not for you, cancel and you’re out zero dollars.
Turn Side Hustles into Amazing Valentine’s Day Hacks
Have someone else pay for your V-day plans. This is my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day hack this year. I am a member of isecretshop, a free side hustle mystery shopping app that lets you earn cash by completing various tasks. The shops range from visiting your local electronics store for a mobile phones survey to evaluating hotel bars. Recently, a shop popped up requesting to evaluate service at a local trendy new restaurant. I grabbed it immediately and now will be spending by Valentine’s Day dining debt free.
I know, I know. Jewelry is expensive, but many stores put their wares on sale leading up the holiday. You definitely must use eBates if you shop at Zales or Helzberg Diamonds (both 6% off), Kay and Jared (both 7% off). And most of these shops are offering expedited shipping for free. My personal favorite, Amazon, is getting in on the action with costume and fine jewelry at good prices and shipped fast if you have Prime (see above: you really must have Prime). These beautiful Rose Gold Morganite and Diamond stunners would certainly make an impression. And Amazon is running a 5.5% cash back on jewelry option on eBates right now. See how easy it is to make even our more expensive Valentine’s Day Hacks can be made more reasonable and arrive fast for those of you who forgot V-day is fast approaching.
Other eBates Deals
It is insane the number of floral deals that popped up on eBates over the last few days. If you live in a large city, skip the retailers and head to your local wholesale flower market (I am looking at you Seattle folk!). If you aren’t so lucky, eBates is offering between 20-26% cash back from the top shops, including FTD and 1800-Flowers. Simply sign up for eBates, select your store, and you will be on to automatic savings.
Save the Date
Another of my favorite Valentine’s Day Hacks. If you must go out, confirm dinner or drink plans for February 13th or 15th. Most restaurants have pricey prix-fixe meals on the big day, so save your cash and go out on the “shoulder season” of Valentine’s Day. Surprise your sweetheart with an early dinner and then wake him up on the 14th with a delicious (and cheap) breakfast in bed. Save Valentine’s Day night for champagne (bought at retail, not restaurant markup) and at-home amorous activities. And while you are at it, wait to buy those pricy chocolates until February 15th. Godiva and Jaques Torres will be scrambling to get those sugary delights off the shelves at rock bottom prices.
Share the Love
Instead of indulging in a calorie or coin fest this year, consider volunteering your time or donating wares to a worthy cause. Valentine’s Day is a comparatively selfish holiday, so interest in staffing soup kitchens or stocking pantries falls off. Make service your date night this Valentine’s Day and you may just walk away fuller than if you had eaten that expensive, yet still inexplicably disappointing meal. And if you give to charity, you can always deduct it on your taxes. Gotta love Valentine’s Day hacks!
Is it really possible to show your love without spending a ton of cash? What other Valentine’s Day hacks have you tried?
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