Valentine treats for every budget

By Sue Perry on February 8, 2013 12:01:00 am

Thinkstock78367504_SSBLOG_FOOD_VDay-chocolateHave you checked out the price of fancy chocolates lately? The No. 1 yummiest from our recent bonbon taste-off, a one-pound box from Woodhouse, will set you back $90—and that’s without shipping! Geez, I hate to put a price on love—but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

My husband loves good chocolate, but he doesn’t need a pound of it. So I’m going to steal a tip from Takashimaya, a lovely Japanese department store, now closed in New York City, that used to be one of my guilty window-shopping pleasures. Along with clothes, the store sold exquisite hand-crafted chocolates. I would buy just one, and they would wrap it as beautifully as if I had bought a two-pound box.

So I will head to the nearest La Maison Du Chcolat boutique (their chocolates were also among our testers' favorites ) and buy one gorgeous bonbon, wrap it exquisitely, and give it with love to my hubby. Here are some other ways you can save on Valentine’s Day treats:

Downsize the assortment. You don’t have to pay $90, even for top-tier Woodhouse. Go for a smaller 12-piece assortment and you’ll pay a much more modest $24. Another high-scoring pick from our tests, Theo Confection Collection, has a 12-piece box that costs $26. 

Buy direct from the store and save shipping costs. Many chocolatiers have boutiques or sell their chocolates in national retail stores. Voges, another ShopSmart winner, is sold at Nieman Marcus and Whole Foods. Christopher Elbow has two boutiques, and sells in 13 stores in eight states.

Try to get free shipping. It might apply on orders of more than $99.99, for example.

Consider tasty, lower-cost alternatives. Even though these candies didn’t make our winner’s list, our testers said they were pretty good: Ferrero Collection Fine Assorted Confections is only $11 a box, and you can get them in supermarkets and drug stores. See’s, sold in 200-plus locations in the U.S., has a nice assortment for just $17. 

Buy what you like. If you know your sweetie loves M&M’s or malted milk balls, just put a festive wrapping on them, and it shows you really care. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Sue Perry

Sue Perry

Posted at 12:01:00 AM in
Bargains | Dining | Family | Featured | Food & Drink | Gifts | Holidays | Money & Shopping | Saving money | Shopping | Sue Perry

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