Friday, February 12, 2010

Frugal Valentine's Tip #4: Make Love, Not Bills

I probably should've started the Frugal Valentine's Tips posts with this, since it explains why I thought they were necessary. The posts I made this week weren't to show men or women how to get out of spending money on their partners. I happen to think it's still trickin' even if you do have it but who's to say blowing your own cash on your own boo is wrong?

The point I wanted to make, though, was that like most 'holidays' (I doubt V-Day belongs in the same category as say, Christmas, Ramadan and Hanukkah) Valentine's Day is way too commercialized. If you're like me, your email inbox and snail mailbox were living proof this week.

Among the offers I got:

Victoria's Secret wanted me to know their wares were up to 70 percent off. If I waited too long or was too lazy to shop, I could wait all the way until 3 p.m. on Feb. 14 to send my (non-existent) boo an e-gift card! There's even a contest to win a $500 gift card.

Jo Malone, which sells fragrances online, also wanted me to know about its sale, that if I ordered by Feb. 10 the gift could still get there on time and oh yeah, they have e-gift cards, too.

Corporate Perks, a web site that aggregates corporate discount deals from retailers dropped in to remind me that they could still save me money from, online jewelers Blue Nile and or Ghiardelli Chocolates.

I even got a note in the mail from JB Robinson Jewelers, a mall shop where I bought a necklace for boo-gone-bye last year. They had pretty, sparklies for as cheap as $19.99 and they even made up a 25% discount card in my name! How nice of them.

The point I've been trying to make all week is that none of these things in and of themselves are evil. Ain't nothin' wrong with buying the beloved a little (or big) something nice and doing so at a markdown off the retail price. The thing to remember is that you don't have to show love by running to the mall or buying something online, and often the best gift ideas are those like my boy Sean's, which cost little but carry huge meaning.

It's also worth noting that nearly every retailer that sent me an offer in the past few weeks made sure to tell me that I could finance my purchase through them (quite possibly loan-shark interest rates). That's never a good idea, especially when you consider the possibility that your boo might not outlast the bill for that gift you bought them (thank God I paid cash for that necklace last year).

So no matter what you do for or with your SO this Sunday, remember that the better thing to make is love, not bills. Which brings me to this one last Frugal Valentine's Day Tip I got from a friend who I'll keep anonymous to protect the guilty:
I've been collecting sexy costumes from Halloween, and I'm going to try them on for him for Valentine's Day.
That's a frugal gift I'm sure he'll love. Happy Valentine's Day.

image: gruar razvan ionut/

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