The Average Cost of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate love for significant others, friends and family, and for those who show their love through gifts, it can be a big spending day. In 2022, the National Retail Federation set average spending for the holiday at $175 per person, while the Lending Tree estimated $208 per person.
What can consumers expect to spend for Valentine’s Day in 2023? Keep reading to find out the typical costs for familiar Valentine’s Day items.
Who Spends Money on Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is a very popular holiday in the U.S. Last year, approximately 53% of American consumers participated by exchanging cards and gifts. In fact, spending on Valentine’s Day climbed to highs of nearly $24 billion in 2022.
Interestingly, people who spend the most on Valentine’s Day tend to be those early in their relationship. Those who have been in relationships for less than two years typically spend more than couples who have been together longer.
Engaged partners also spend more than their married counterparts. Matt Schulz, the Chief Credit Analyst at Lending Tree, notes that the spending difference may be due to married couples finding other ways to celebrate their partnership, such as saving for a home or a nice vacation.
How Much Is Spent on Valentine’s Day?
Most people think of greeting cards, candy, flowers and dining out on Valentine’s Day. How much do Americans spend on those staples?
The price for a greeting card varies on a few factors, such as where it’s purchased and the extravagance of the card. Hallmark offers a handful of Valentine’s Day cards for $0.99, while their most expensive pop-up version is an eye-popping $14.99.
Walmart sells many Valentine’s Day cards for less than $2 each. Still, these economical cards typically contain less embellishment and may not include the heartfelt messages consumers are looking for. Of course, it’s always an option to create your own if you’re feeling creative and frugal.
Whether it’s a simple bag of conversation hearts placed in a bowl or a more expensive box of gourmet chocolates, candy is a Valentine’s Day staple. Prices for candy vary depending on its type. A 7-ounce bag of Brach’s conversation hearts currently runs for $2 at Kroger, while the much-loved Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates are available for $10.99. Otherwise, more specialty choices such as the Hugs & Kisses Heart box from See’s Candies — available for $45 — are more of an investment.
It’s no secret that flowers are one of the most common gifts on Valentine’s Day, especially red roses. In Roman mythology, the red rose symbolized Adonis’ love for Venus, the goddess of love. During the 19th century, Victorians delivered roses to their love interests. Since then, many have continued the tradition of sending roses on Valentine’s Day.
How much money is spent on Valentine’s Day flowers? It depends on where they’re purchased and if they include any add-ons, like a vase or chocolate. Ordering a bouquet of a dozen red roses from popular florist, 1-800-FLOWERS, will set you back $34.99 as of January 2023; including a red vase will increase the cost to $49.99. Some florists increase their prices for Valentine’s Day as the demand skyrockets while the cost of transporting fresh flowers remains steep. Nonetheless, flowers are a huge expenditure for Americans on Valentine’s Day — in 2022, the country collectively spent about $2.3 billion on the staple.
Restaurants often offer curated Valentine’s Day meals, which may be an enjoyable indulgence, but are often not a budget option. While the average price of a meal out depends quite heavily on location, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans as a whole spent about $4.3 billion on dining out on Valentine’s Day 2022.
Of course, consumers have the choice of their favorite local restaurants that are unique to their area or destination options. For those with budget considerations, a romantic dinner at home with a hand-picked bottle of wine is always an alternative.
Typically, Valentine’s Day consumers spend the most on greeting cards, candy, flowers and meals out. Last year, spending for the holiday was approximately $175 to $208 per person, with couples newly in a relationship spending the most. As pandemic restrictions ease, consumers have a larger array of choices and more may choose to mark the occasion. However, this also means it’s best to budget and plan ahead for this year’s holiday.
Data is accurate as of Jan. 19, 2023, and is subject to change.
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- National Retail Federation. 2022. "Americans to Spend $23.9 Billion on Valentine’s Day This Year."
- Statista. "Statista."
- CNBC. 2022. "How much Americans are planning to spend on Valentine’s Day."
- LendingTree. 2022. "Americans Will Spend $208 On Their Significant Other This Valentine’s Day, Up 44%."
- Martha Stewart. 2023. "The Real Reason Why We Give Red Roses on Valentine's Day."
- Reader's Digest. 2023. "What Is Valentine’s Day, and Why Do We Celebrate It?"