Taking Advantage of Post-Valentine’s Day Sales

The day after Valentine’s Day, there are really only two types of guys in the United States (and anywhere else that puts such a huge focus on Valentine’s Day as the romantic be-all and end-all of the year): the type who managed to come up with a good, thoughtful, clever present for their significant other, and the type who couldn’t, wouldn’t, or just plain didn’t.  The latter type are easy to spot today, looking as if they had to sleep out in the dog house (mostly figuratively, although occasionally literally).  The former group are also pretty easy to spot, usually with a big smile on their face that doesn’t go away the entire day.

I bought my fiancee a painting, so I managed to end up in that first group.

But I didn’t write this article to gloat about my fine present choosing abilities (well, not entirely). No, I wrote this piece to remind you of one of the best things about Valentine’s Day, or any holiday, really: the after the holiday sales. Yes, once it’s February 15th, everything (or almost everything) for the Valentine’s Day holiday will go on sale, giving those of you who didn’t buy anything for yesterday an opportunity to make up for it by stocking up now. I’m not saying your significant other will be completely willing to forgive you if you give gifts to her (or him; we guys like gifts, too) now, but at the very least, it could show that you aren’t a completely unromantic soul. Add in the savings you can achieve through After-Valentine’s Day sales, and you might even be able to convince your honey that this was your plan all along, to wait until after the day itself in order to make your money go further.

Sound like the sort of thing that can get you out of the dog house, or simply enable you to show more of your love this (slightly belated) Valentine’s Day? Well, read on, for some thoughts on what will, and what won’t, be on sale in the next few weeks.

Candy: Let’s face it, with the possible exception of flowers (particularly those red roses), there is no more popular Valentine’s gift than candy, usually chocolates, almost always loaded into a heart-shaped container with a message of love on the front. There’s also few gifts that stores are more in a hurry to get off the shelves; chocolates don’t last forever, and with the holiday passed, the prices will drop like a stone. Expect to see widespread 50% savings today, with discounts of 70%, 80%, or even 90% possible over the next few weeks. Assuming your love likes chocolates, and it’s the rare person who doesn’t, coming home with a sackful of their favorites can be a real relationship saver, particularly if you can convince your honey that saving money and getting more cocoa for your buck was your plan all along.

Flowers: As mentioned above, flowers are one of the most popular gifts for V-Day, and as such, will be in high supply at many retailers. Also like our candy above, there will be a decided push by said retailers to get rid of said flowers before they wilt. Your window to buy flowers while they are still healthy enough to be put on display at home is fairly small; unlike with candy, you won’t see stores still trying to get rid of them three weeks from now. But, if you head to the store as soon as possible, you can likely walk home with a huge bouquet or two, usually at a substantial discount.

Stuffed Animals/Toys: You might not see as big a drop in the prices for these; toys generally don’t expire, after all, and a stuffed bear holding a heart-shaped plushie that says ‘I Love You’ could be sold throughout the year, not just at Valentine’s. Still, with the demand for such stuffed animals at a trough following the huge peak yesterday, expect more than a few sales, enabling you to get a new stuffed friend for your beloved.

Cards: Alright, this one is less useful to those who have missed the V-Day gift-giving season and want to make up for it, and more useful for, say, the parents of children who distribute cards to classmates on Valentine’s. Once the calendar reads February 15th, all those superhero, cartoon character, and television star cards that are so popular for the elementary age bunch will go on sale, allowing you to stock up for next year. (It might not be a bad idea for those of us who are a bit older to buy an extra card or two, as well, so you won’t have to pay full price for the card next year.)

Now, with all that said, there are plenty of things promoted as good Valentine’s Day presents by various organizations that will NOT be significantly cheaper today than they were yesterday. These include jewelry (alas, there’s not nearly the rush by jewelers to get rid of their inventory as there is by, say, florists), wine (while the bubbly is a nice treat on Valentine’s, don’t expect to get French’s finest today at a steep discount), and neckties (hey, it’s not only us guys who are expected to give gifts on V-Day; although, if this is the best idea you can come up with, ladies, you might want to think a bit further). If you want to go for any of these options, feel free, although you might be best served waiting for a sale and buying later in the year.

There you have it, some thoughts on how to save on this St. Faustus of Glanfeuil Day, and possibly make up any shortcomings from yesterday in the process. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some post-Valentine’s Day cuddling to do…

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