Cupid's rosy-cheeked holiday is upon us and many couples will go all out to treat themselves to decadent food on Valentine's Day. They say love conquers all, but "they" never had to front a $100 check.
Coupons are one way to shield your wallet from reckless abandon, but are they tacky when mixed with romance? A few months back I offered several answers and one argument was clear: If couponing is who you are, there's little reason to hide such deep and abiding love. Seems like sound advice for all aspects of life, but I'm no Dr. Phil.
Either way, there's little reason to scorn a romantic dinner, bouquet of sweets or sumptuous libations because of upfront cost. Saving is sexy and savory with one of the following 14 coupon suggestions, good for edibles at a number of establishments and websites.
1. Romano's Macaroni Grill
Don't ask me how, but adding the name "Romano's" gave Macaroni Grill a certain panache it lacked. The new menu might also have played a role, featuring simple Italian dishes like the Pollo Caprese with chicken, olive oil, lemon and pasta. Use the printable coupon for $5 off during your next visit, excluding booze. The coupon is good until March 5, if you can't make it on Valentines. Visit the website for other menu items and local contact info.
2. Buca di Beppo
The family-style Italian chain is tailored for couples who keep things low-key but still swoon over pasta, seafood and lasagna. Print this Buca Di Beppo coupon for $10 off any purchase of $20 or more. The coupon expires Feb. 27 and can't be used for alcohol or combined with other offers. Visit the restaurant's website to find a location and make a reservation.
3. Fannie May
The folks at Fannie May have two coupons to get your sweet tooth salivating. Use the code 16051 before Feb. 14 to get 20-percent off any order of boxed candies, dipped fruits, cookie assortments and more. Coupon code 16052 is good for one free pound of assorted chocolates before the big day that's over $29. Unfortunately, like an episode of "The Bachelorette," you have to choose one coupon or the other.
4. My Wines Direct
My Wines Direct makes selecting the perfect nectar of love simple with handpicked pairings by expert oenophiles. Use the code AFFLOVE5 before Feb. 15 and get free shipping plus $5 off anything in the Valentine's Day gift guide. Choices include "Cupid's Collection," a $70 basket with one Merlot, one Pinot grigio, chocolates and cheese. New customers only can enter AFFNC211 for free shipping and $10 off any order.
5. David's Cookies
The online sweet shop is much more than cookies, offering a slew of Valentine-themed cakes, brownies, bonbons and other deliciousness. Enter the code VDAY14 at checkout to save 14 percent on any order. The offer expires Feb. 28.
6. Equal Exchange
The kings of fair trade coffee also make gift baskets featuring a variety of ethically produced chocolates and, of course, roasted beans. The web store has four coupons good until Feb. 15. The most lucrative is code PAIRGIFT, good for $5 off the $35 coffee and chocolate pairing gift. It features two bags of coffee (one cleverly dubbed "Organic Love Buzz") and two bars each of milk and dark chocolate.
7. Coffees of Hawaii
Beans from the Pacific-themed roaster range from a strong espresso to an arabica and vanilla blend, all eligible for a generous discount. Use the coupon code COFFEE20 during checkout to get free shipping and 20-percent off any order.
8. CC Berries
The winged cherub was onto something when he made berries dipped in liquid luxury a hallmark of Valentine's Day. Enter SAS-DECADENT-2DZ at checkout before Feb. 8 to save 10 percent on two-dozen chocolate-covered strawberries.
9. Dairy Queen
Sure, the Queen isn't often associated with high-class romance, but you'll need to cool down before heading home to heat things up (wink, wink). Join the Blizzard Fan Club anytime before Valentine's Day and receive a coupon for buy one, get one free Blizzard during your next visit.
10. Group-Buying Websites
If kayaking or a spa treatment is more your style than a candlelit dinner, read our post on the finest social couponing start-ups, "You Compare: Top 9 Group-Buying Sites," for things to do on Valentine's Day. Outfits like Groupon, Living Social and Tippr are the cool new kids in the coupon world, perfect for couples that think outside the chocolates box.