How to Save Money in February

It's the month of love and you may be planning to buy chocolate, jewels and long-stemmed roses. If so, there's no sense in putting it off till the last minute. You've got two weeks until Valentine's Day, so start planning now and you'll be able to buy all of love's "necessities" at a reasonable price.

Dinner: If you live near a culinary school like Le Cordon Bleu's, Technique, you can get a gourmet meal at a fraction of the price. Another option -- save 60% on restaurant gift cards by checking out Just read the fine print -- many gift cards are not good for Valentine's Day. (Of course, nobody said you have to dine out on the 14th to make it a "Valentine's Day celebration.") Make your reservation through OpenTable so you can earn points towards a restaurant voucher.

Candy: Chocolate is not a "one size fits all" treat. Candy shops like See's let you handpick boxes so you can give the treats your sweetie loves best. Buy candy for the kids' school exchange online -- they'll do the work for you by combining card and candy, plus you can use coupon codes. I got a kick out of the Moustache Suckers from Oriental Trading Company.

Jewelry: Home shopping networks like and offer great jewelry deals and you don't need to park in front of the television to get them. Shop their websites and view video demos for the jewels you're interested in. Often, you can pay in installments for no additional fee. Just be aware that they may run a credit check, which could affect your credit score.

Perfume: You've got to give perfume a whiff, so it's tough to buy online unless you know exactly what you want. Fortunately, sites like Perfumania are offering coupon codes and printable coupons like $10 off orders of $50 or more. You can almost always get a free gift with fragrance purchases. Department stores like Macy's have a huge selection.

Lingerie: Bad news first -- January is typically the month lingerie goes on sale (think Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale). The good news is there's a way around this dilemma. Simply find a department store coupon that applies to all merchandise and use it in the lingerie department. Kohl's has great deals and you can use more than one coupon per order.

Final tip: Everyone loves a bouquet delivered to their door or their desk. While many florists offer same day delivery, it's best to order now. Sites like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM are offering free shipping and no service charge when you order in advance. That's a $14.99 savings.