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Men will outspend women for Valentine's Day

A new survey also finds that nearly half of women in a relationship don't plan to buy a gift. But if they do, here are some deals.

By Teresa Mears Feb 10, 2011 5:25PM

Recession? What recession? Americans are willing to spend on their sweethearts this Valentine's Day, with couples expected to shell out $189 on the big day, according to American Express.


Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation projects that the average American will spend $116.21 on Valentine's Day merchandise this year, up 12.8% over 2010. (For discounts on dinners, flowers and other gifts, see below.)

The latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, which surveyed 2,003 adults in January, found that men plan to spend more than women will ($151 vs. $114) on their sweethearts. In fact, 48% of women said they didn't plan to buy a gift for their significant other.


A total of 12% of the people surveyed declared Valentine's Day a waste of money.


Pamela Codispoti of AmEx explained the sentiments found by the survey in a news release:

Most people have strong opinions about Valentine's Day -- it's a day you either love or hate. However, our data shows that more people are planning to make the day special for their valentines, with gift cards and gadgets emerging as popular gifts.

Among men, 49% plan to buy flowers, 17% plan to purchase jewelry, 12% plan to buy gifts cards, and 11% plan to buy lingerie or sleepwear. (Why is chocolate not on this list?)


Of the women who plan to buy gifts for a significant other, 14% intend to buy gadgets and 13% will purchase gift cards. Post continues after video.

A small number of people in the survey (AmEx didn't say how many) plan to celebrate with experiences, such as a concert or a weekend getaway. If you're looking for a good Valentine's Day experience gift, Cat Perry of reminds us that those types of experiences are often offered at a discount on LivingSocial, Groupon and other deal sites. She provides a list of good experience gifts from around the U.S.


If you're looking for a Valentine's Day deal, here are some we found:

Some Marble Slab Creamery stores are giving away free samples of tiramisu ice cream from 3 to 6 p.m Feb. 14.   

  • Participating Krispy Kreme locations are offering this deal: Buy a dozen doughnuts and get a dozen Valentine's Day cards with a coupon for a free doughnut, coffee or hot chocolate. The deal is good through Feb. 14.
  • Groupon has a national deal for $40 worth of flowers and gifts from FTD for $20. The coupon is available through Feb. 11 or until they run out.
  • You can get 20% off an order from or with promo code Clipper20 through Feb. 20.
  • is offering $25 dining certificates for $2 with promo code LOVE. Plus, you get a free $10 gift from by e-mail with every order. If you're planning to use one of these certificates for your special Valentine's Day dinner, be sure to read the fine print because each restaurant sets its own rules on how they can be used.
  • has a free Lonely Hearts Valentine's Day MP3 sampler album, available through Feb. 14. Amazon also is offering a free $2 MP3 credit to send Valentines to your friends. Use promo code VDAYMP3S
  • You can send Redbox DVD rental coupons to your friends who plan to stay home and watch movies for Valentine's Day through the Redbox Facebook page. The $1 coupon is good only on Feb. 14.
  • Chuck E. Cheese's has printable Valentine's Day cards.Each card isgood for five free tokens with a food purchase through March 28.
  • CVS is offering a coupon on its Facebook page for up to 25% off in stores on Valentine's Day, depending on how many fans it amasses. You'll need to sign up for an Extra Care card and e-mail updates to get the coupon.

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