Valentine’s Day is the day for lovers…and a great day for retailers looking to reel in profits. Yes, you know it’s true. Retailers love lovers and adore sweethearts who treat their partners well by buying gifts of all sorts. You may have already noticed the increased prices over the last week or so. I know I have. So, now is the perfect time to start saving for Valentine’s Day with our 14-day savings calendar. We hope you find it as a great resource to keep the romance alive without breaking the bank!
Day 1: Book your V-day sitter EARLY.
Valentine's Day ranks nationally as one of the top five most important events couples book a sitter for annually! To get the best rates (and the best sitter!) be sure to book early.
- Average per hour rates (for one child): $11.50/hour for a sitter; $13.50/hour for a nanny.
- How to save: Give Urban Sitter a try for reasonable rates and totally trustworthy sitters!
Day 2: RSVP now for a free February kids' workshop at your local Home Depot!
Every month on the first Saturday of the month, Home Depot offers a free kids workshop. This month's workshop takes place on Saturday, February 7th, and is called "Learn How to Build a Heart Box."
- RSVP to reserve your child's spot: http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops
Day 3: Start planning now for affordable flowers and get 40% off!
- American Express's Spending & Saving Tracker highlights why retailers get so excited about Valentine's Day—$37 billion in cards, flowers, and chocolate is exciting indeed!
- How to save: Go old school! Shop in advance for a card (the paper kind) and plan ahead now for a bouquet that is both beautiful and affordable! Save 40% sitewide when you purchase from Florists.com. This offer is good through February 14th. Use code: LOVE40
Day 4: Get beauty/health freebies from Allure magazine!
Did you know Allure magazine gives away full-size beauty and health freebies every month? These freebies are given away on a first-come, first-serve basis, so all you need to do to win is be among the first to sign up as each freebie is released!
- Sign up to score: http://www.allure.com/free-samples
Day 5: Monitor your heart rate for free with Instant Heart Rate!
This AARP-recommended free app for iOS and Android will give you an accurate heart rate reading—for free!—in less than 10 seconds.
- Get Instant Heart Rate for free (iOS)
- Get Instant Heart Rate for free (Android)
- Visit the website for Windows: http://www.azumio.com/apps/heart-rate/
Day 6: Wear red on February 6th in support of heart health for women!
Did you know one out of every three women dies of either stroke or heart disease? "National Wear Red Day" happens annually on February 6th—show your support!
- How to save: On this special day, you don't have to spend a dime to fight back—and you might just save a life!
- Visit Go Red for Women: https://www.goredforwomen.org, register, and take a study (it's free!) to help medical professionals learn more about treating heart disease in women.
Day 7: Budget together as a couple!
BetterHaves is a new app that takes a light-hearted approach to couples budgeting, stating as its goal: "Spend Less Time on Finance and Save More for Romance!"
Day 8: Enter to win a free wedding gown & more from David's Bridal!
Are you planning to pop the question in a few days (hey, gals can do it too!)? Now you can win a free wedding gown plus plenty of extras—up to $10,000 worth!
- Enter to win the "Steal the Deal" contest: https://www.davidsbridal.com/
Day 9: Hike and explore nature with your sweetheart for free on Presidents Day weekend!
The National Park Service opens its network of beautiful parks to the public for free on Presidents Day weekend annually. This is a great free way to get healthy and happy for free!
- Visit the National Park nearest you for free next week on Feb 14-16, 2015: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm
Day 10: PBS Kids has you covered for fun free kids' programs and activities!
Your kids can watch free Valentine's Day episodes starting on February 10th with PBS Kids! Plus, enjoy a host of fun, free V-day activities, including "Cyberchase Valentines," online.
- Visit PBS Kids for free programs & activities: http://pbskids.org/vday/
Day 11: Give your kids a true gift of love – a healthy, happy smile!
February is National Children's Dental Health Month. The 2015 slogan is "Defeat Monster Mouth," and the ADA has designed lots of free printables and activities for kids to promote dental health. (Note: Also be sure to check in your local area for free kids' dental health screenings and cleanings!)
- Visit the ADA for free kids' activities (English, Spanish): http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/national-childrens-dental-health-month
Day 12: File your taxes early and save!
Is talking about finance romantic? No…and yes. But handling financial issues like filing taxes on time sure is more romantic than fighting about it later! Filing fees are lowest in February and will rise again in March, so don't wait!
- Prepare and file federal taxes for free with TaxACT: http://www.taxact.com
- E-file for free with HR Block: http://www.hrblock.com/online-tax-filing/free-online-tax-filing/
Day 13: Still haven't found that perfect gift? Try Snippet for free!
There is no better way to say "I love you" than by overlaying your favorite photos of your beloved with your favorite tunes! Snippet for iOS lets you do this—for free, and at the last second if need be!
- Get Snippet free (iOS)
Day 14: The big "day o' love" is here—enjoy with free chocolate!
One of the best gifts you can give your heart and yourself is to simply enjoy life's special moments. Today, whether you’re solo or au deux, make a pact to say "I love you" as often as possible (and be sure to eat plenty of free chocolate!).
- Join Godiva's Rewards Club (it's free!): Get free chocolate each month plus a special chocolatey gift on your birthday!