Chocolate, candy, flowers—these are safe, go-to Valentine’s Day gifts that will never get old. But if you want to get a little more creative on February 14, you’ll have to be smart about it. Some presents are best given on other days of the year—or, ahem, not at all!
She’s a Homemaker
Don’t: Buy her ho-hum cooking or cleaning supplies. No matter how practical she is, when she thinks of Valentine’s Day, these are not what she has in mind.
Do: Spring for something she’d never buy herself. Get her a Dyson ($354.58 from Amazon), the Cadillac of vacuums. With a chrome exterior and clear tube, this machine looks futuristic, and its patented “Root Cyclone” technology will suck up every last ounce of dust. Or if you’d like her to put down the vacuum and spend more time with you, consider the Roomba 630 ($349.99 from iRobot). It will vacuum the whole house without her having to lift a finger. (Get 10 percent off with iRobot coupons.)
She’s a Chef
Don’t: Buy her the Absolute Beginner’s Cookbook—unless you never want to eat again.
Do: Choose something more refined but that doesn’t send the wrong message. The Minimalist Cooks at Home ($14.50 from Barnes & Noble), written by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, features 100 elegant recipes using very few ingredients. The book also contains tips, shortcuts and ideas to help simplify the cooking process. (Save with Barnes & Noble coupons.)
She’s Into Exercising
Don’t: Buy her a stationary bike or a gym membership or a scale—even a smart one like the Wi-Fi Body Scale. The reasons should be obvious.
Do: Go for a Fitbit One ($99.99 from Brookstone). This digital fitness tracker counts calories, steps (even the stairs you climb) and tracks sleep—uploading all the data wirelessly to the Fitbit website, so you can follow your progress. Pick one up for yourself, too, and join in the fun. (Get $10 off orders of $80 or more sitewide with Brookstone coupons.)
She’s Into Lingerie
Don’t: Buy her pj’s, not even fuzzy flannel ones. Jammies are for kids.
Do: Buy her a sexy nightie—but not so sexy that she looks like she should be hanging out on Hollywood Boulevard. This Victoria’s Secret Lace-Trim Slip ($49.50) comes in a range of colors and the price is just right. (Spend a little more and get free shipping on $50 or more with Victoria’s Secret promo codes.)
She’s Into Perfume
Don’t: Think the drugstore is an option. Jean Nate After Bath Splash hasn’t been sexy since 1984.
Do: Point yourself in the direction of Sephora and pick up a bottle of Chloé ($115) or Stella McCartney ($80). (Get free samples with Sephora coupon codes.)
She’s a Homebody
Don’t: Don’t buy her a staid old houseplant. That’s something neighbors bring to housewarming parties; it’s not a romantic gift between loved ones.
Do: Spring for the real thing. And while roses are great, she may find something longer-lasting, like an orchid ($49.99 from ProFlowers), more touching. (Get 15 percent off sitewide with ProFlowers coupons.)
She Needs Pampering
Don’t: Get her things that you would actually want to use yourself. That counts as a present for you, not her.
Do: Purchase a Bliss Spa gift certificate (which has 21 locations nationwide). What woman doesn’t need a relaxing massage?
And one more thing: Don’t infantilize the woman in your life. Why are you buying your girlfriend a teddy bear? Or a bunch of dorky, helium-filled balloons? You are not 16. Neither is she. If all else fails, and you didn’t have time to go shopping, take her to a nice restaurant. No woman I know has ever complained about being treated to a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner.
Show some love for the rest of our Valentine’s Day coupons.