No plans for Valentine's day or worse, no money. Don't sweat it!
A recent nationwide poll by Angie’s List, (www.angieslist.com), the nation’s leading provider of ratings and reviews of local service companies, found nearly 60 percent of respondents will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, with the majority spending quality time with their loved one at home. Despite the recession, more than half will spend the same amount of money on their sweeties as last year.
“About 50 percent of our members don’t care how much their Valentine will spend on them, as long as the gift is meaningful,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “One Angie’s List member said her best Valentine gift was when her boyfriend, not known for his cooking ability, made his mom’s homemade pasta and had it served by his younger brother, who was dressed up as a waiter. She was really impressed by his effort and the creativity he put into their special night. Another couple couldn’t get a reservation for their favorite restaurant on the night in question, so they went the evening before. They said it was great because they had the place to themselves and the wait staff was very attentive.”
Whether you go big or keep your Valentine celebration small, here are some tips to make it a romantic success:
The Traditional Treatment:
- Flowers: Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for florists and red roses will be in huge demand. Choose tulips, hyacinths, or a mixed arrangement instead. Consider having the flowers delivered to your sweetheart’s workplace on the 13th to beat the rush.
- Sweet treats: Chocolates are a popular choice for many Valentines, but this year think outside the candy box and have a bakery create a heart-shaped cake for two or Valentine cookies.
- Spa/salon visit: Pamper your sweetie to a luxurious spa treatment. If you’re not sure what service to purchase, consider a spa gift certificate. Be sure to read the terms and conditions.
- Singing telegram: Surprise your loved one with a singing telegram. Ask if you can customize the song to your Valentine, and find out if the performer will dress in a costume your sweetheart will appreciate.
- A meal for two: Take the night off and leave the cooking in the hands of a professional - hire a chef to create a gourmet meal for two. Be sure to ask what cuisine they specialize in and if they can accommodate dietary restrictions.
- Rent a hot tub: Warm up your romance in the comfort of your own home. There are companies that deliver and set up fully-equipped hot tubs for the weekend in or around your home. The portable tubs usually require only 40 square feet, and prices start around $200.
No matter what gift you decide on, Angie’s List recommends keeping these buying tips in mind:
- Research your options and plan ahead. Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year. Make your dinner or weekend getaway reservation in advance. Call your florist, chef and spa early.
- Know what you’re looking for. Don’t wait for the fabulous gift to simply appear. Narrowing down your idea list will save you time and money. Before you hit the stores, search online for some inspiration to narrow down your ideas.
- Shop early and often. Those who stick to that plan will likely have more options, and more time to comparison shop.
- Find out your options and price ranges so that you know where to get the best deal – which could be taking advantage of online deals.