Cost of some Valentine’s Day gifts to go up this year

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INDIANAPOLIS– The price of some staple Valentine’s Day gifts is higher this year than it was last year, prompting many people to celebrate on a budget.

According to the annual “Cost of Loving Index” from Houston Asset Management, imported perfume will set you back about 14 percent more than in 2012. A box of Godiva Chocolates also went up about 5 percent. The one thing on the list that decreased in price was dinner for two, which is down 9 percent.

The price for flowers is steady, but that doesn’t mean businesses will see the same boom they usually do during the flower-filled holiday. The rising cost of gas is pinching companies that rely heavily on deliveries. In Indianapolis, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded is $.40 higher than one year ago.

“It is challenging with gas prices going up, but we don’t pass that on to our consumers. We absorb that,” said Toomie Farris, president of McNamara Florist. “The gas prices have been so volatile the last year or so that it goes up and it goes down and we just don’t adjust our prices for that.”

He said his company will do several thousand deliveries on Wednesday and Thursday.

To save on flowers, Farris suggested shopping locally, especially if you typically wait until the day itself. That way you can avoid the service fee and rush delivery charge that comes with ordering from big national companies and shop inside the store for what you want.

“We have had a lot of people in even two weeks ago starting to plan ahead,” said Farris. “But of course, most of the consumers that buy flowers for the holidays are guys and they tend to procrastinate until the last minute, so we will not peak until about noon on Thursday.”

According to a recent PriceGrabber survey, 55 percent of people who will celebrate Valentine’s Day said the economy will have an effect on their plans.

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