Three Quarters of Adults Spending Less than $100 on Their Valentine, including a Quarter Who Don’t Plan on Spending a Dime

Cards, Romantic Nights Out, Candy and Flowers Top Gifts to Give and Receive

Friday, February 10, 2012

New York, NY – A majority of adults (51%) plan to spend less than $100 on their significant other this Valentine’s Day, in addition to the 24% who do not plan on spending anything on their Valentine, according to a new Ipsos telephone poll conducted on behalf of

Just 11% intend to spend over $100 on their significant other, including just 4% who plan to spend over $200. Two percent were unsure and 12% report that they do not currently have a significant other.

  • Men are more than three times as likely as women to spend over $100 on their partner (18% vs. 5%).

However, most coupled adults say that they are in favor of saving money this Valentine’s Day. Eight in ten (80%) say that if their significant other were to use a coupon or a pre-paid discount voucher (such as Groupon) to save money on Valentine’s Day, that they would be happy that money was saved, since the economy is still in rough shape. Just 9% think that it would be cheap to use a coupon or voucher on a Valentine's gift. One in ten (10%) report that they would neither be happy nor displeased if their Valentine used a coupon or voucher and 2% were unsure.

  • Women are more likely than are men to say that they would be happy if their significant other was able to save money by using a coupon or voucher this Valentine’s Day (86% vs. 74%).

When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, the most popular gifts to give include a card (39% of coupled adults intend to buy one); a romantic night out, such as going to dinner, a movie, the theater, or a concert (33%); and candy or chocolates (25%).

Fewer plan to buy flowers (18%); clothes or accessories (15%); jewelry (10%); something experiential, such as skydiving lessons, helicopter ride, cooking class, or ice skating (6%); a trip, such as a weekend getaway, an overnight, or an extended vacation (5%); or lingerie (4%). One in seven says that they are planning to buy some other type of gift (15%), while the same proportion report that they are not getting their significant other any gift this year. Two percent were unsure.

  • Men are more likely than are women to buy various gifts, including a romantic night out (38% of men vs. 29% of women), candy or chocolates (33% vs. 17%), flowers (32% vs. 4%), jewelry (16% vs. 5%), and lingerie (6% vs. 2%).

Overall, the gifts that coupled adults are most hoping to receive include a card (33%) or a romantic night out (24%). Less than one in five are hoping for candy or chocolates (18%), flowers (16%), jewelry (13%), or clothing and accessories (12%). Just 7% would like a trip for Valentine’s Day, while 6% would like to do something experiential, such as a cooking class or ice skating. Very few (3%) want their significant other to get them lingerie. Sixteen percent are hoping for some other type of gift, while nearly two in ten (18%) say that there is nothing that they would like their partner to buy them for Valentine’s Day.

However, while their heart may be in the right place, men and women may not always be on the same page when it comes to Valentine’s gifts.

  • While 21% of women would like jewelry, just 16% of men intend to buy jewelry for their significant other.
  • Conversely, men may be overestimating women’s desires for certain types of gifts. While 33% of men plan to buy candy, just 20% of women are hoping for chocolates. Additionally, while 38% of men are planning a night out for their Valentine, just 25% of women say that they are hoping for a romantic night out.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted February 2-6, 2012. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,003 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For more information please contact:
Rebecca Sizelove
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs
New York, NY

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

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Three Quarters of Adults Spending Less than $100 on Their Valentine, including a Quarter Who Don’t Plan on Spending a Dime

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America