Toast your sweetheart with a glass of free champagne Thursday.
Eat your heart out with heart-shaped treats and meals.
And stretch your budget this Valentine’s Day by saving on the big meal. Fancy dining and casual restaurants alike are offering special menus and deals.
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual holiday survey, total holiday spending is forecast at a record $20.7 billion, a 6 percent increase over last year.
The survey shows only 34 percent of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate with an evening out and will spend an estimated $3.5 billion.
An analysis of 42,000 local restaurants by Womply, a small business software provider, found Valentine’s Day to be a typical day last year
“If you want to wine and dine your sweetheart, Valentine’s Day is a great day to go out to eat – especially if you don’t insist on a high-end eatery,” said Brad Plothow, Womply vice president of brand and communications. “It might not be as hard as you think to get a table.”
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Order a glass of bubbly with either your Galentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day at any bar or restaurant and save the receipt.
Ibotta, a mobile shopping and cashback app, is giving users a free glass of champagne, up to $5.
To get the rebate, download the free app, open the Restaurants and Bars category starting Wednesday, tap the “Sparkling Wine – Any Brand offer,” then buy a glass of champagne and upload an itemized receipt to get the $5 reward.
In order to get the money back for your glass of champagne, you’ll need to earn a minimum of $20 in your Ibotta account.
Aside from champagne, you can earn cash back on everything from groceries to travel with the app, which launched in late 2012.
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Valentine’s Day deals
Andy’s Frozen Custard: From 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, get a buy-one-get-one fere deal. Learn more at www.eatandys.com/valentinesdaybogo.
Auntie Anne’s: Buy one heart-shaped pretzel Thursday, get one free with a coupon at www.auntieannes.com/heart-shaped-pretzels.
Bakers Square: Thursday through Saturday, Bakers Square has a Sweetheart Meal Deal. Get two entrees from a special menu and two slices of pie for $19.99.
Biggby Coffee: Buy a grande or Super Specialty beverage Thursday and get one free.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Dine in Thursday through Sunday and get a coupon for a free Pizookie to redeem Feb. 21 through March 31. Learn more at www.bjsrestaurants.com/sweettreat.
Boston Market: Get $5 off any family meal Thursday at all locations with a coupon posted at www.bostonmarket.com. Or after 5 p.m. Thursday, get two Prime Rib individual meals for $29.99.
Buca di Beppo: A heart-shaped lasagna is part of the Valentine’s Classic Love Package, a $49.99 dine-in only special, which also includes a salad and mini chocolate chip cannoli.
California Pizza Kitchen: Wednesday through Sunday, get an appetizer, two entrees and one dessert from a “Sweet Deal for Two” special menu for $35.
California Tortilla: Sign up to be a Burrito Elito member by Wednesday at midnight and get a free order of chips and queso Thursday.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Through Sunday, get a four-course meal for two with prices starting at $45.
Caulipower: The cauliflower crust pizza brand has a special buy-one-get-one free offer through Valentine’s Day. Learn more at CaulMeMaybe.com.
Chuck E. Cheese’s: Get free delivery and a Chuck E. Fun Goody Bag Thursday when you order using DoorDash.
Cicis Pizza: Kids 10 and younger get a kid’s buffet for 99 cents Thursday with the purchase of an adult buffet and drink and a coupon.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: From 2 p.m. to close Thursday, get a free drink with any regular or larger size purchase.
Corner Bakery Café: From Wednesday through Saturday, get a buy one, get one free entrée deal. Dine-in only.
Cotton Patch Café: A Sirloin Special is $10.99 Thursday through Sunday.
El Fenix: The Texas-based chain has a “Fajitas for 2” special. Get $19.95 chicken fajitas for two Thursday.
Firehouse Subs: Get a free dessert with a coupon and a purchase at participating locations Thursday. The coupon will be posted on Firehouse’s social media accounts.
Fogo de Chão: Couples who have a full churrasco lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch at the Brazilian steakhouse Thursday through Sunday, get a complimentary dining card redeemable for a free churrasco lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch of equal or greater value. The card can be redeemed Feb. 18 through May 2.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: Through Feb. 17, get a free cannoli with purchase of a pizza. Dine-in only and not valid in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
Grub Burger Bar: Through Saturday, buy two entrees, sides and shakes for $25. Trade in a shake for a cocktail for $2 more.
Hard Rock Cafe: The restaurant will have a few special items including the new Sweetheart Shake for Two, a boozy shake served with a custom sweetheart straw for two.
Hooters: Shred a picture of your ex at participating locations or online at www.hooters.com/ShredYourEx and get 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of 10 wings Thursday.
Hurricane Grill & Wings: Get a three-course meal for two for $30 Thursday.
Jack in the Box: Get a free five-piece Mini Churros, slice of cheesecake or regular shake with any purchase on the mobile app Thursday. Sign up for offers at www.jackinthebox.com/offers.
Maggiano’s: Through Sunday, dine-in to get the “That’s Amore Meal for Two” for $85 per couple, which includes any starter or two side salads, two entrees from a select menu, two beverages and one dessert. There’s also a carryout deal through Sunday.
Max & Erma: Through Thursday, get a dinner for two for $29, which includes two starters, two select entrees and a dessert to share.
McAlister’s Deli: Bring the kids along Thursday for the chain’s Family Date Night event and get up to two free kids meals per adult entrée for dine-in only. Participating locations are listed on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Mimi’s Café: A special three-course menu will be available Thursday through Sunday for $19.99 per person.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza: New and existing members of the chain’s Coupon Club will get a coupon for $3 off any large pizza. New members have to sign up prior to Thursday, the company said, at www.mountainmikespizza.com.
Olive Garden: This is a Valentine’s Day takeout special. For $35.99, the dinner for two includes breadsticks, choice of soup or salad, five cheese marinara or alfredo dipping sauce, five cheese ziti al forno or chicken alfredo for a sharable entree and black tie mousse cake or tiramisu for dessert. Plus, there’s an easy way to turn the breadsticks into a bouquet.
Piada Italian Street Food: From 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Piada is offering buy one, get one free on all entrees.
Pie Five Pizza: New and existing Circle of Crust rewards members will get an offer for a free dessert to redeem Thursday through Sunday. New members sign up by Friday to get the offer on mobile apps or online at www.piefivepizza.com/circle-of-crust.
Popeyes: Starting Valentine’s Day and for a limited time, get five pieces of chicken (mixed or tenders), two regular sides and two biscuits for $10.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop: Get a free cookie Thursday for mentioning the Valentine’s Day special.
Qdoba: Kiss anyone (or anything) Thursday and get a buy-one-get-one entrée for the chain’s “Qdoba for a Kiss” promotion. “From smooching partners to burritos and pictures of celebrity crushes, all kisses are accepted,” the company announced.
Red Lobster: When you dine in at Red Lobster on Valentine’s Day and order a glass of Ava Grace, you’ll get special chocolates, while supplies last.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill: All U.S. locations are offering a special Valentine’s Day three-course prix fix menu for two for $45. This includes choice of an appetizer, two entrees and one dessert.
Schlotzsky’s: Get a free mini Louisiana-style hot sauce while supplies last with any order Thursday.
Scooter’s Coffee: The chain is giving away free Coffee Espresso Chocolate Meltaways Thursday.
Seasons 52: The chain starting celebrating the “Five Days of Valentines” Sunday with a special offer each day. If you get engaged at Seasons 52 on Valentine’s Day, get a free “champagne toast at your special table every time you dine for one year.” Learn more at www.seasons52.com.
Starbucks: The coffee giant’s Cherry Mocha drink is available through Valentine’s Day. From 3 p.m. to close Thursday, Starbucks Rewards members can get a buy-one-get free deal on handcrafted espresso beverages, grande-size and larger.
Taco Cabana: Get any Shareable Kickin’ Grande Nachos, Trio Sampler or Kickin’ Potato Skins and a 32-ounce draft beer pitcher for $12.99 Th. Or for $14.99, get the nachos, sampler and potato skins and four bottles of beer.
Tony Roma’s: From Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant has a special “Better Half Valentine’s Special” offer and special menu at participating locations.
Waffle House: For the 12th year in a row, 200 select Waffle House restaurants will be taking reservations for a special Valentine’s Day dinner Thursday. Find participating locations and contact information for locations at www.wafflehouse.com/valentine.
White Castle: The fast-food restaurant is taking reservations at participating locations for seating 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Some locations also are taking reservations Friday. Make reservations and learn more at www.whitecastle.com.
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Social media contests
Brands are increasingly taking to social media to promote special, limited-edition items – often items not available for sale.
Denny’s wants to “celebrate the most romantic day of the year than with chocolates — Chocolats du Diner, that is.” The limited-edition “confection selection of pancakes and syrup wrapped in delicious shells of elegant chocolate!” For a chance to get this collection, express your “love for Denny’s this Valendine’s Day on Twitter with the hashtag #BeMyValendine and you might just become our sweetheart.” Learn more at www.dennys.com/valendines.
Frito-Lay has a “FIERY Valentine” box with a collection of hot snacks including Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho, Cheetos Flamin’ Hot snacks, Funyuns Flamin’ Hot snacks and Lay’s Flamin’ Hot and Ruffles Flamin’ Hot chips. For a chance to win a box, follow @Lays, @Ruffles, @Funyuns, @Doritos and @Cheetos on Instagram and Twitter, “look out for their Valentine’s day giveaway post, and reply or comment for a chance to win,” the snack brand told USA TODAY.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko