Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas to Avoid Wasting Money On

Skip the Clichés This V-Day and Reach for These Things Instead The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life.

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Gift giving on Valentine’s Day is a lot like walking along a tightrope on a windy day.

You have to strike just the right balance between the relationship stage and your giftee’s personal interests.

If you just started seeing someone, you don’t want to scare them away with a grand statement-making gift, and if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you want to give them something meaningful, without blowing your budget.

While you might think the solution to your gifting woes is to stick with the standard clichés, you would be wrong.

Jewelry and chocolate are not entirely off the table, but if you want your present to have a lasting impact, you’ll need to add a thoughtful touch.

RELATED: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her To assist you in your V-Day gifting quest, we checked in with top NYC matchmaker Michelle Frankel.

As the owner and founder of and, she has become an expert in romantic gift giving and navigating Valentine’s Day.

Here are her tips about the cliché Valentine’s Day gifts to avoid and what you should be picking up instead.


Flowers GettyImages Don’t: Give Valentine flowers that are meant for hospital patients If you are going to go the flower route with your partner, steer clear of carnations or anything that sends “get well soon” vibes.

“Nothing says I am not sure how I feel about you more than a basket of carnations,” says Frankel.

RELATED: How to Buy Her Flowers Do: Stick to red roses or go for an on-trend plant “Getting red roses from a man really makes me feel special, but if this isn’t what your partner (or you) has in mind, there are some fun alternatives,” she adds.

“Succulents are very trendy, last a long time, and don’t require much water.

And I would personally be really excited to get this candy bento box.” 2.

Jewelry Don’t: Gift themed jewelry While that jewelry store ad on Instagram might say that heart-shaped jewelry is just what your partner wants this V-Day, chances are they don’t.

Valentine’s Day-themed jewelry items are often kitschy, unattractive, and overpriced, and frankly, if it is cheap, it will probably look cheap.

Instead, select something that they can wear all year and save the hearts for your card.

Frankel adds that non-proposal rings should be avoided entirely.

RELATED: How to Give Valentine’s Jewelry “Opening a ring box from your boyfriend only to find anything other than an engagement ring could lead to hurt feelings,” she says.

Do: Stay in your budget and look at pieces that work in terms of style and shade Since jewelry can be an expensive gifting choice, make sure you pick out something you know they’ll actually wear.

Look at their current jewelry collection to get an idea of their preferred styles and colors, and be sure to stay within your budget.

Consider classic pieces like a simple necklace or bracelet that can be worn with any outfit, or choose something that complements their existing jewelry collection..

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