Valentine’s Day on a college budget using social media

Use social media to help you find that someone special the perfect gift.

Use social media to help you find that someone
special the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

With the holiday season behind, many students probably felt a sense of relief in the last few weeks. No more dreadful trips to the mall, waiting in line or braving chaotic parking lots.

Between long hours of labs, extra-curricular activities and internships- on top of gift shopping with a college budget- closing the door on winter festivities is like the feeling of ease when you crawl into bed after an exhausting day.

For those celebrating Valentine’s Day, however, that grace period has come to an end. Fear not though, because the combined convenience of technology and social media is here to guide your pocket-friendly holiday.

Whether it’s for him, her, friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, co-workers, etc., affordable gift possibilities are endless. And through the use of some of today’s most popular social media sites, they’re at the tips of your fingers…

1. Groupon is a site that sells coupons for local and national businesses. Their market is primarily focused on beauty, health and fitness, so it comes in handy while shopping for Mom or a girlfriend. And instead of the traditional dinner-for-two, consumers can opt for deals on activities and events like wine tasting or concerts.

Groupon’s categories also include restaurants, shopping, jewelry and in spirit of Valentine’s is section that’s divided between “her” and “him.”

Currently, Groupon offers 80 percent off standup at the Irvine Improv, 15 dollars for gourmet chocolate dipped strawberries and treats from Shari’s Berries, and an hour massage at Suphattra’s Retreat in Orange for 39 dollars.

2. Yelp, a business review site, is to the advantage of the economical spender. It caters to establishments of all kinds, although Yelp is quite suitable for finding new restaurants. A site focused on customer ratings/reviews may not seem like a typical go-to for the bargain shopper, but here’s how:

Saving money is accessible through Yelp’s search engine filters. The “price” filter in particular, adds options for the amount you’re willing to spend per person.

So if your budget is anywhere between 10 and 30 dollars, then the price filter will only list businesses within that range.

Another thrifty feature is the “offering a deal” filter, which displays any business offering discounts.

Some local romantic date spots include: Italian/Seafood restaurant Delizie Ristorante Bar, Yama Sushi on Lake Mission Viejo and Shabu-Shabu USA, a Japanese style eatery where you cook your own meal in a hot-pot.

3. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool site that collects ideas and photos for several different interests. Users create different “boards” made up of visual bookmarks, known as “pins.”

Categories, Pinterest’s main component, are what separate users’ interests. The “DIY & Crafts” category, “DIY” meaning do-it-yourself, is handy for the student low on cash. A quick search on “Valentine’s” loads a ton of projects for homemade gifts. Step-by-step pictures and instructions are often included.