Three Tips to Help You Be Smarter this Valentine's

Supermarkets are stacked with heart-shaped chocolate boxes, florists are dosing up on caffeine and gift card stores are prime real estate again. Valentine’s Day – that celebration of romance that you love or loathe – is almost here. But this February, be smarter.

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Supermarkets are stacked with heart-shaped chocolate boxes, florists are dosing up on caffeine and gift card stores are prime real estate again. Valentine’s Day – that celebration of romance that you love or loathe – is almost here. But this February, be smarter.

Photo credit: iStock via Ezonomics

Photo credit: iStock via Ezonomics

Blind tasting: Don’t be confused, we’re not talking blind dating here (although that’s a thought…), we are talking about blind tasting. Of wine. Research finds that most people can’t tell the difference between the top notch vintages and the cheaper bottles. So if you’re indulging in cut-price vino, delight your Valentine by decanting it. After all, more than half in an eZonomics’ poll thought expensive wine wasn’t worth the money.

Set your own expectations: Setting expectations is handy in romance – of course – and particularly so when it comes to prices on menus on Valentine’s Day. It is all good to throw caution to the wind and splash out if you want to. But if you’re more fiscally-cautious, think about how much you want to spend before looking at the menu to combat the effects of price anchoring. A special, high-priced Valentine’s Day set menu option could push up your bill even if you don’t order it. The higher price can make other items seem cheaper in comparison – so you order an extra course as a result.

Narrow the choice: We haven’t forgotten about those looking for a date and, in fact, economics research has some handy tips. One example is the potentially overwhelming number of matches offered on online dating websites – a type of paradox of choice. In this case, less can be more – so consider imposing your own limits to cut down the pool. You can read about our top four tips about dating here.

Finally, if you need some justification for spending up on loved ones – smile. Studies suggest seeing close friends and family regularly can boost happiness by a similar amount as a pay rise of thousands of pounds. A rose, card, meal, chocolates or other token of affection seems like good value in comparison.