Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Exchanging Valentines in the Age of Frugality

Leon mentioned that he was at the pharmacy and had planned to buy me a Valentine but by the time he picked up some other items it slipped his mind.  So much for romance!

I told him I'd been at the pharmacy the other day and had actually picked out a card but there were ten people at the checkout and, well, I am not a patient person.  Given that the card was priced at $4.99, the decision to put it back on the rack was easy.  So much for romance!

The interesting thing, as I told Leon, was that I had found a card suitable for two men and whether that was the intent or not, it worked for me.

We decided to go back to the pharmacy and do our usual temporary shopping routine, only with photos: we would pick out and exchange Valentines right there, take some photos of the event, return the cards to the rack, walk out and put the $10 we just saved toward a dinner out.

Now, as I said, this is not a new tactic for us.

I started this kind of "shopping" years ago when we would go to KMart or other big box store.  I would put things into the shopping cart - a nice jersey with a breast pocket, two new folding beach chairs, a waffle maker, some new bath towels, whatever.

We would continue walking around the store shopping.

Then I'd say something like, "I really don't care for the color of that jersey and for that price I can do better.  I'll wait till it goes on sale." Then we'd walk back to the Mens Dept. and put the jersey back on the rack.

And then I would get to thinking and comment, "Gee, we already have some perfectly good beach chairs, do we really need to spend $45 on two more?  We'd walk over and put them back.  Then I'd make some excuse for the waffle iron and the bath towels and they'd go back on the shelf too.

We'd walk out of KMart without buying anything and go out for pizza.  It was a perfectly good shopping trip and very satisfying.  And I think I enjoyed the pizza so much more as a result.

Now we've never done this with greeting cards, but it makes perfect sense.  After all, what do you do with a card once you open it and read it?  Put it on the credenza for a few days?  Toss it in a drawer?  Throw it away? This way, we have a nice photo and a lasting sentiment.

OK, here's the card I chose for Leon:

And here's the card he chose for me:

This one was also a contender in the M4M category, a bit more sentimental and meaningful; probably the one I like best:

And we're looking forward to dinner out tomorrow evening.  Nothing fancy mind you, we only saved ten bucks.



  1. Love the cards, glad you guys found a way to share them with each other.

  2. I went to buy a Christmas card a couple of months ago. Just one because someone sent a card to me. I I was shocked that it cost $4.99 like you said.
    This idea sounds good to me although I don't have to worry about a Valentine card for anyone. The cards you picked are really cute.



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