Cupid's Inspiring More Spending This Year

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

We’ll be spending more on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Their survey shows the average shopper will shell out about $126, up 8.5 percent from 2011. It’s the highest amount in the 10 years they’ve been keeping track.

Half of those shoppers are planning to buy candy, while 19 percent plan to buy jewelry. For nearly a third of those making Valentine’s plans, an engagement ring is part of the picture.

Dining out, and buying flowers are among the plans for 36 percent of people polled. Not everyone’s on the same page, however, when it comes to that.

“Flowers, I like flowers,” said Hayley Mills of Omaha.

But Colleen Townsley of Papillion said, “I don’t like getting flowers on Valentine’s Day because they’re expensive.” She added, “I’d rather get them on a day I’m not expecting it.”

Her husband, Mike, chimed in. “I surprise her with flowers.” Coming up on 24 years of marriage, he said, he’s found it best to keep things romantic year-round.

For those struggling with what to do Tuesday, Michelle Massey of Midtown Crossing’s The Afternoon, has some unique gift ideas.

She said you can’t go wrong tailoring a present to your loved ones’ interests. She sells everything from unusual board games to romantic books.

They’ve also been selling a lot of jewelry, including sparkly heart necklaces. But even something as simple as “making a nice meal for them,” Massey said, can go a long way. For that, they've also got heart-shaped pans and waffle makers.

“A nice breakfast in bed,” Mike Townsley said, is his ideal gift.

For an exotic addition, Massey recommends edible wild Hibiscus flowers, imported from Australia. Her store carries them, encased in sweet syrup, for $10 for a jar. They can stand alone, or be dropped in a glass of champagne or sparkling water. “They have almost a flavor like a Bing cherry,” she said.

Down the street at Three Dog Bakery & Spa, manager Liz Headley said we should remember our four-legged loves this Valentine’s Day. “They’re like humans. Some people treat hem like their babies.”

If we want to spoil our “babies,” we can get them carrot cookies, topped with vanilla frosting. They come in heart shapes which read, “Chews Me,” or “Love Bites,” for $2 a piece. Headley said they’re selling well. “We're actually going to have to make another batch here soon.”

The Townsleys will stick with human food. “Probably a nice dinner,” said Mike, to which his wife replied, “That sounds good to me.”

Restaurants that Channel 6 News checked with suggest making reservations early, but say they’re not filling up as quickly since this Valentine’s Day falls on a week day.

For that reason, Crave at Midtown Crossing, is among restaurants offering sweethearts meals this weekend, as well. Marketing Manager Nick Huff said they're featuring a $79 four-course meal for two.

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