Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Is the UK a nation of lovers or cheapskates?

According to research from, many couples will ditch the flowers and chocolates this Valentine’s Day in favour of discounted jewellery and bargain lingerie.

Its figures show that more than 19,000 ‘romantic’ guys will spoil their lady loves with a personalised, triple ring necklace for £15, while almost 2,000 will present their significant others with a Swarovski crystal heart necklace for £14 on February 14. 

More than 4,000 men will hand over the exact same box of lingerie to their partners, for the sum of £19. And nearly 35,000 Brits have entered a Groupon competition to win the services of a Mariachi band in a bid to serenade (or embarrass) their special ladies.

Jason Grima, co-founder of, says: “A saving of up to 80% off is a no-brainer, even if it’s not particularly romantic to go for a bargain gift. But I’m sure most people would rather their other halves didn’t pay through the nose for something they bought last minute on the high street.”

According to a study from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards, attitudes towards Valentine’s Day are changing. It claims that 38% of couples are planning less conventional dates for Valentine’s Day year, such as salsa dancing, wine tasting, cocktail making, spa visits, sushi making or outdoor sports. 

Other less traditional date ideas include watching live sports, visiting a museum or gallery, attending a music concert or going ice skating.

Simon Ranson, head of banking at Sainsbury's Bank, comments: “It is interesting to see such a wide range of both traditional and unconventional ways that couples and singletons will mark Valentine’s Day.

“Whatever you choose to do, if you are using a credit card to buy gifts or the ingredients for a special night in, ensure you take advantage of any rewards or benefits you may be entitled to, as saving loyalty points for example, could all add up and go towards another special treat.”

Another romance-based study from AA reveals that 3% of us have proposed or been proposed to in a car and nearly 40% of us have either prepared the ground or chickened out of proposing during a romantic drive. 
David Bruce, director of AA Cars, the AA’s new online car sales platform, advises: “For those looking for an intimate atmosphere and not wanting to run the risk of a public rejection in a restaurant, proposing in a car is a safer bet.

"It may avoid the unnerving scenario of another Valentine’s Day suitor two tables away getting a resounding ‘no’ just before you get the chance to pop the question!”

Finally, Halifax Home Insurance is urging those who are planning to invest in jewellery this Valentine’s Day to make sure it is covered, both inside the home and when you’re out and about.

Despite 35% of people claiming that their engagement ring is their most valued possession, 23% do not have any home contents insurance, and 15% have no cover in place for items lost or stolen outside the home.

Head of underwriting for Halifax Home Insurance, David Rochester says: “When planning a surprise proposal or romantic gesture, insuring a valuable gift is probably not the first thing people think of, so we are reminding people to ensure any new expensive jewellery is insured both inside and outside the home.”

Did you know?
  • The most popular ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day include cooking a special meal at home (46%) and visiting a restaurant (43%). Approximately 27% of couples will ‘go Dutch’ and split the bill
  • The average spend per person for Valentine’s Day celebrations is £53, with men budgeting £62 and women expecting to spend £45
  • Approximately 19% of single people have Valentine’s Day plans, with 23% enjoying a meal with friends and 21% treating themselves to a cosy night in with a nice meal and a film
What are you planning to do this Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below. Or perhaps you’re a little bah humbug about the ‘most romantic’ day of the year – we’d love to hear from you, too.

If you are stuck for gift ideas, a subscription to Liberti magazine is perfect for that special lady in your life. If you’re looking for an idea for your man, a subscription to Sorted is just the job. These magazines also work as a great treat for yourself if you’re shunning February 14 this year.

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