5 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are a Waste of Money

Forget the flowers and chocolates. Give these gifts instead.

Heart shaped box of chocolate truffles with red roses.

Don’t give a gift that lasts a week – opt for a handmade present or memory that lasts forever.

By ,  Feb. 3, 2016
Stores are fully stocked with conventional Valentine’s Day gifts such as stuffed toys, oversized boxes of chocolates and glittery cards this month. If you’re on a budget this year or tired of wasting money on meaningless gifts, make this the year you think outside the box. The recipient may truly cherish a gift that is unconventional or more simple and traditional in nature. And you won’t waste money on a gift that could easily be tossed aside once the celebration of love is over.

Here are five Valentine’s Day gifts that are a waste of money – and what you can buy instead.


1. Flowers

They may look pretty for a few days, and the recipient will enjoy a surprise delivery, but a bouquet of flowers has a very short shelf life. A bouquet of flowers will most likely be forgotten shortly after delivery and make their way to the dumpster in about a week. You might also end up paying a premium for any last-minute shipping orders or same-day delivery service.

What to give instead: A handwritten letter or a handmade collage of photos in a beautiful frame will have more sentimental value than flowers – and will also last a lifetime. Take some time to write a thoughtful message or pull out some old photos that you know your significant other will cherish for years to come.
2. Dinner at a restaurant

Treating your significant other to dinner on Valentine’s Day can be a memorable date night, but you may end up spending a lot of money on that gourmet meal, parking and valet service. Not to mention, the restaurant may be crowded for the evening. It’s still a romantic gesture but may miss the mark on being a relaxing night out for two.
What to give instead: Reservations at your favorite restaurant on an alternate night when it’s less crowded or a cozy night at home where you cook up your significant other’s favorite meal. Staying in with a home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine can also save you money if you’re on a tight budget.
3. Fancy greeting card

You want to express your love and commitment to your significant other this Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a pre-made card to do it. Unless you plan on writing something truly sentimental in the card, buying an expensive card will be a waste of money.

What to give instead: Pick up some craft supplies, and make your own card to share your love. Your loved one will appreciate the effort, and you will be free to design and write a message that truly resonates with your partner.
4. Box of chocolates

It’s a Valentine’s Day tradition for many, but unless your sweetheart is a fan of a certain type of chocolate he or she can’t find any other time of the year, this edible gift won’t last long enough to be truly memorable. Commercial chocolate tends to become flavorless and rancid within a few months, so it might even end up getting tossed out.
What to give instead: Handmade cookies or other baked goods. If he or she has a sweet tooth, treat them to their favorite dessert that you make yourself. Baking some sweet treats for your significant other and wrapping them in a gift tin or gift box will show you care.
5. Bottle of wine

Giving a bottle of wine may not be the most meaningful gift for your partner. Unless you are sure he or she loves a particular bottle of wine, and will be thrilled to get a bottle of it from you, consider leaving this one off the gift list.

What to give instead: Tickets to a wine tasting event. Enjoy some quality time together with a wine tasting for two. Look for wine and cocktail events in the area, and purchase tickets to take your sweetheart out for a special date night. If you’re on a tight budget, check out wineries and breweries that offer free tasting events or discounted ticket offers throughout the year.

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