February is here and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For weeks the shops have been filling up with the usual multitude of cards and chocolates for the big day. DJ and I usually have a pretty low key Valentine’s. We’re not keen on how commercialised it’s become and we prefer to have a nice home-cooked meal rather than risk poor service at crowded restaurants.
But this year MSN have set me a challenge. My task is to investigate whether online voucher codes can cut the cost of Valentine’s celebrations without putting a dampener on the romance. No doubt many of us will still want to treat our loved ones this year, credit crunch or no credit crunch, but we’re all looking out for a good deal . Could online voucher codes be a solution? I’m not a regular user, so I’m curious to find out if they really do save people money. In the past I’ve had trouble getting them to work.
Flowers can be a big expense at Valentine’s Day. Sending the traditional bouquet of a dozen red roses can set a suitor back more than £60. Luckily, using discount codes available for teleflorist.co.uk through Vouchercodes.co.uk, you can currently save 10 per cent on any online bouquet deliveries. As long as stocks last, the codes are valid until 31 March so you can order ahead for Valentine’s and save yourself a few quid. We balked at ordering the £59 red roses (£64 including delivery) but saved £2.50 on the £24.95 ‘vibrant bouquet’. Delivery was £4.50 so, with the £2.50 saving, the total was £27.40. Obviously it’s not the most frugal way of sourcing fresh flowers – a guy at our railway station does lovely selections for around a tenner – but as online deliveries go, it’s not bad. We haven’t ordered any flowers online for ages, so we’re looking forward to see what they’re like when they arrive. There are also discount voucher codes for fragrances and chocolates available on the site for Valentine’s, but DJ and I are both ok for perfume and aftershave and are trying to get trim.
I always struggle to find Valentine’s Day gifts for men. Chocolates and flowers don’t always cut it and many of the gifts available are tacky posing pouches and novelty beer mugs. As I was struggling for inspiration, on the gettingpersonal.co.uk website I stumbled across a personalised notebook. It has a mock-up of a gardening magazine cover on the front and you can add ‘so and so wins gardener of the year’ to the headline. Perfect for DJ. At £5.95 I thought it was relatively affordable and would bring a smile to DJ’s face. However, once postage and packing of £2.95 was added, it began to get a bit expensive for a glorified notepad, even with the 10 per cent off code . I decided to go ahead and order it, though, and will reserve judgement until it arrives in the post.
DJ and I have long been thinking about doing a falconry day, where you learn to fly birds of prey, but we’ve never got around to arranging one. A handful of ‘experience’ gift providers, such as Red Letter Days, Buyagift.co.uk and thegiftexperience.co.uk offer half day falconry days for around £79 and using online discount codes, you can save on your day out. Among other deals for these companies, vouchercodes.co.uk offers a 10 per cent discount on purchases of over £35 at thegiftexperience.co.uk which expires on 28 February. There are also other deals through them and other voucher sites, such as Moneysupermarket.com’s voucher site, on experiences such as spa days, gourmet meals out, driving a racing car or even something crazy which involves rolling down the hillside in a pvc orb. I think I’ll wait until I’m feeling more financially flush before arranging our falconry day. But when I do so, I’ll definitely be checking out a voucher code site first to see if I can get a discount.
Voucher Code Valentines: My Verdict
I’ve been eagerly awaiting our Valentine’s voucher code
purchases this week, but they’ve been a bit of a mixed bag. The flowers didn’t turn up when they were supposed to. We
ordered them to arrive on Tuesday but nothing showed up. That said, we were out
for a few hours, so I wondered if they’d been left with a neighbour, but there
was no note through the door and none of the neighbours came knocking. When the
blooms still hadn’t shown up on Wednesday we thought we’d better take action.
We checked the bill we’d been emailed to find a phone number to ring. It was
then we realised it said that the delivery date was 9th February,
not the 2nd! Just my luck.
We tried ringing Teleflorist.co.uk’s customer service line
but couldn’t get through. The usual ‘your call is important to us’ message was
playing, which always fills me with a sense of impending doom. In the end we
sent them an email and, surprise, surprise, they responded within ten minutes,
saying the details had been amended and that the flowers will be sent on
Thursday. Now, that’s customer service for you.
When they finally arrived yesterday morning they were well
worth the wait. Talk about daft, but I felt a rush of excitement when I saw the
florist walking down the street with my big bouquet! I haven’t had any delivered
flowers for so long that I’d forgotten they’d all be done up in cellophane.
Don’t they look gorgeous? They may cost more than a supermarket bunch, it was
well worth the expense for the sheer drama, and at least we got a few quid off
using the voucher code.
I thought the personalised notebook for DJ from
gettingpersonal.co.uk might take a while to arrive, but it showed up on
Wednesday after ordering it on Monday, which was good and they spelt his name
right. It’s not a bad notebook and is something DJ would actually use. But I
don’t think it’s worth £9. Having the option of uploading a photo of DJ to
include on the front cover would have made it much more personal.
There we have it. As far as I see it, simply buying items
online using voucher codes per se doesn’t make for a frugal Valentine’s Day. There
are plenty of other ways to save on the big day, such as making your own card,
cooking a special meal at home, running a romantic bath or other things to make
the day memorable for free (some of them too cheeky to discuss here…).
But if you’re planning on spending out on items like
chocolate, flowers, jewellery, lingerie or special trips out anyway and there
is a legitimate voucher code available to use then why not use one to get a
discount? I will definitely be checking for voucher codes from now on whenever
I need to make an online purchase. But I’ll be careful to use sites that have
been recommended as safe to use because I’ve read that there have been
complaints about some sites offering phony codes which don’t work. In the
meantime, here are some more codes from vouchercodes.co.uk for other
Valentine’s Day purchases, such as champagne.
Do you use online voucher codes to save money on purchases? Have they saved you cash and do you find them easy to use? Leave a message and let me know.
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