Sign In

A Morally Dubious Guide to Celebrating Valentine's Day on the Cheap

Has the cost of Valentine's Day got you down? Follow our cost-cutting suggestions and possibly get yourself arrested!

Valentine's Day is just so expensive. As if the flowers, chocolates, fancy dinners, and jewelry weren't enough, we're expected to also buy a greeting card ($4.99 value)?! It's too much! Therefore, we've tied on our Thrift Hat™ (yes, "tied" ... it's more like a bonnet than a hat, really) and percolated our brain-wrinkles to come up with ways that you can save money on Valentine's Day effluvia and what-nots. We hope you fall in love with the savings, ladies!

Heart Shaped Bouquet


In the past, we've proven that growing your own roses is a way to save money; however, it's not easy and requires you be a real petal-phile with the patience of a saint. Saint Valentine, possibly. But there are also even cheaper and faster ways to get flowers.

For example, did you know that people leave free flowers just lying around? It's true! Wander into any funeral home or graveyard and there they are. Pre-cut and pre-bundled into bouquets and everything. Too ghoulish for you? Several varieties of flowers — including roses, sometimes — are also freely available on the lawns of your neighbors — as long as you have the strength and sharp scissors to yank or cut them out of the ground. A quick rinse to get the dirt off, and they're presentation-ready.

If either of those those methods are too shifty for you, then we're beginning to question your dedication to saving money. But, fine, there's still another alternative: get yourself cast as the lead in a theatrical production or opera and people will literally shower you with roses during curtain call. Scoop them up, take one last bow, and leave the stage forever with your score.

Bug Eating Burger

A Fancy Dinner Out

Sure, you can save a couple bucks with the old "Oh, I'm not that hungry, why don't we share an appetizer?" ploy, but the truly thrifty desire deeper discounts; how does 100% off your meal sound? It's easier than you think, as long as you know where to source a live cockroach. As you might have guessed, at some point during the meal, you'll whip that disgusting thing out and make a fuss to the wait staff. Just remember to time it right; if you pull that bug out during appetizers, they're not going to let you order mains. Plus your beau will still be hungry and suggest heading to another (expensive) restaurant.

And speaking of your date, you might not want to tell her your plans ahead of time, but only because her surprise will help "sell it." It's hard enough for one person to fake outrage and disgust, but when she gets totally grossed out at the revelation of a buggy meal, it'll be authentic. After the meal, you can decide whether or not to tell her. We will say this though: Someone who will stay with you after knowing you've done the old "bug meal" is someone you marry!

Too grossed out by bugs to attempt this? There's another classic alternative: RUN! Not sure your co-diner is going to run when you shout "RUN!?" Then tell them, "Why don't you wait in the car while I settle up?" But don't make things suspicious by adding, "And start the engine, too. Just in case I'm being chased...."

I Love Lucy Chocolates


Around this time of year, stores start charging a premium for dumb ole regular chocolates just because they're in a red, heart-shaped box. The best way to get a real bargain is to have held on to last year's box and then just refill the cups with broken up pieces of a Snicker's or Butterfinger or what-not.

If you didn't plan ahead, you could always just spray-paint a normal box of candy red. No, it won't have the distinctive heart-shape, but once your true love gets a whiff of the spray paint fumes coming off of that thing, she'll be so giddy she won't even notice the chocolates. Oh, and don't forget to sock away this year's box for money-saving next year. (Provided this cheap-skatery doesn't end things, natch!)

Bachelor Jeweler


Unless you're dating a jeweler, there's a slim chance that your Valentine owns a jeweler's loupe and/or has a degree in gemology. For all they know, that $15 pair of earrings are the real deal, and that $5 cubic zirconia-encrusted flip-flop necklace is actually a diamond encrusted flip-flop (though that's pushing it).

And if you are dating a jeweler? Well, then she should be buying you the jewelry anyway! Wholesale prices of true love.

Greeting Cards

Maybe you love someone or maybe you just want to say "sup?" But words, unlike us, are not your strong suit. And yes, you want to pay some greeting card company hack to jot down a few words that may or may not exactly express your emotions, but $5.99?! For something that'll just be thrown away? Ah-ha! Well, there was your first mistake! If you don't throw the cards away, you can simply erase last year's message and write a new one this year.

Better still, if you're with the same person, the contents of the entire card should still apply, so you don't even need to erase it! If you're the type to date the cards you send, you'd be surprised at how easy it is to turn a "2013" into a "2014," especially if it's either that or go broke supporting Hallmark. If you're a lover who "moves on" fairly often, just remember to write your Valentines greetings in pencil to facilitate a quick eraser-rub next year, thereby resetting the canvas for the next Valentine.

Comic Book Crying

The Broken Heart

Tell your beloved that Valentine's Day was created by the greeting card people to sell more cards and that, though you love the V-Day themed candy that comes out every year, you cannot, in good conscience, continue to support such a corrupt establishment as "Big Valentine." Then say, "But I see you got me chocolates and it'd be a waste to throw them out. NOM NOM NOM."

Are some of these solutions criminal? Yes. Are some of them morally dubious? You bet! But isn't all fair in love and war? (Will that fly as a defense in court, we wonder?)

Related DealNews Features:
Marketing Communications Manager

Jeff Somogyi is the DealNews Media Editor. Since working here he's written deals, features, promotional and newsletter copy, blog posts, as well as scripts for our videos. Follow him on Google+, Twitter at @sommerjam or his blog.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
My sister's ex-boyfriend had a great idea for holidays and birthdays...he would cause a fight so that they would break up before the gifting occasions and get back together soon after.
Greg the Gruesome
And IIRC, appropriate for Valentine's Day.
Greg the Gruesome
The second image reminds me of the film Joe's Apartment. Stupid, but funny.
Ha! That is a sweet Pro Tip!
Buying Christmas candy after Christmas is always good for valentines day. Look for something wrapped in red. Close enough in time that it still taste good.
Leave a comment! or Register