One of my personal reasons for giving substantial presents on Valentine’s Day, decades ago, was that February was a great time to buy things. In between Christmas and Spring, department stores ran clearances to thin out excess stock. My Valentine’s Day gifts to family included items like robes and slippers, a cozy sweater, and a new set of sheets along with chocolates and poems.
2022, I’m an empty nester and I live in a world trying to work its way out of a global pandemic. Not many big box stores remain. Most people do their shopping online, which reduces the deep discount possibilities. Merchants are still motivated to reduce prices on seasonal goods, but prices are generally on the rise. Consumers, however still want an excuse to give gifts.
And Americans are still giving gifts on Valentine’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending is up and will increase on average from $164.76 per person up to $175.41. Despite many Americans needing to find ways to stretch their weekly budget due to approximately seven percent inflation over the past 12 months, precious dollars will be spent primarily on candy, greeting cards, and flowers— with the balance spent on that special romantic date night out. The date nights should help the restaurant industry, but when the bill arrives at the end of the evening, consumers should brace themselves for the higher price tag. The cost of food and the scarcity of labor means an evening out is going to cost more.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate Valentines Day. Consider marking the day by reaching out to some old friends you haven’t talked to in a while or baking a special dessert for your family. Find a way to express your love. I wrote about some of these things last year in 2021, so rather than covering old ground—I invite you to click here. And by the way, have a fine Valentine’s Day.