In life there are many situations where appearance and reality are different. For example, even though funerals are officially for the deceased, they are really meant to help those who are left behind.

Along the same lines, where Valentine’s Day is nominally reserved for couples, even the most informal observation reveals it to be an occasion to honor women. After all, who gets the most flowers, candies and cards? And with all that our mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends bring us, it’s the least we can do!

In the interest of making this moment more meaningful to our significant other, this article highlights some last-minute ideas for giving your significant other 100% on Valentine’s Day and paying less than 100%:

Gift card discounts: While this strategy should be used at all times, a great way to get more value for Valentine’s Day is to purchase gift cards for less than face value. In case you didn’t know, you can save up to 10% on restaurants, stores, and movies by doing this. When you consider how quickly the costs can add up, it doesn’t take long to start saving! A reputable website for discounted gift cards is www.cardcookie.com/.

Movies released: For more information on a wide variety of savings available at Cinemark theatres, including student and senior discounts, visit www.cinemark.com/discounts. In addition to that, make sure to sign up for the Cinemark mailing list as they regularly send out special offers via email. If you go to Premiere Cinemas, sign up for their rewards card (www.pcmovies.com/page/3381/Gift-Cards—Rewards). The rewards are slow, but good things come to those who wait!

Movies in: Sign up for Redbox Perks (www.redbox.com/loyaltysignup) and get FREE one night DVD rental, plus FREE one night DVD rental during your birthday month and more. Additionally, you can also earn points by renting or streaming movies and games on Redbox.com. Once you’ve reached 1,500 points, you can start redeeming them for benefits like FREE rentals, FREE Blu-ray upgrades, promotions for extra savings and more.

Gifts: When buying gifts, an extra layer of savings is possible through online rewards programs. You can save up to 15% on your purchases. Specifically, programs like Top Cashback (www.topcashback.com), Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) (www.rakuten.com/) and Mr. Rebates (www.mrrebates.com) serve as a portal for online retailers. When you access these retailers using a program like Mr. Rebates, you earn money. To help you select a program online, there is a website called Ev’Reward (evreward.com/store) which summarizes savings opportunities for a variety of stores.

Flowers: Since it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without flowers, here are some ways to save:

– Shaft length: Since the blooming of the flower is what we’re really looking at, I never understood the fuss around long-stemmed roses. Unless the long variety is really important to that special someone, stick to the standard length and save some money.

– Raise: Although roses are the tradition on this occasion, many women are more fond of other races. For example, my wife’s favorite flowers are daisies. By thinking outside the box, you can get a more personal touch at a lower price. If the old standby remains non-negotiable, consider adding other breeds or even mixing up the type of roses you use. Historically, the vendela ivory rose is not only less expensive but also keeps longer.

– Delivery: In addition to being less expensive, self-delivering a bouquet adds a personal touch and gives you the pleasure of seeing her face when she receives them. Alternatively, having your flowers delivered the day before Valentine’s Day can get you a better price.

– Vase: Collect your flowers without the vase. If you must have a vase, buying it yourself can save up to 50%.

Ultimately, if your loved one is thrilled with what you’ve done, you’ve struck a good deal. If it costs less, it makes a great thing even better. I hope you can use some of these tips and have your best Valentine’s Day ever.

Since there are always overlooked possibilities, we would love to hear your ideas. Please visit and “like” our Facebook site (Click on www.facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper or log into Facebook and enter “Lubbock Savvy Shopper” in the search tool) or email us at [email protected] and let us know your triumphs, ideas and tips. Also, to stay on top of savvy developments, you can follow us on Twitter for updates: twitter.com/LbbSavvyShopper.

We get a lot of good feedback. However, we are greedy and always want more. In advance, Happy Valentine’s Day!

SEAN FIELDS is AJ’s savvy client. Read his columns on Sundays and Wednesdays. Email him at [email protected], like his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper, or check out previous columns and offers at lubbockonline.com/savvy-shopper.