If you are an observant shopper (and I bet you are since you’re a mystery shopper!), you’ve probably noticed that Valentine’s Day decorations and products quickly replaced Christmas items at the turn of the New Year. Whether you’ve been married for decades or are casually dating, you no doubt have to make some kind of plans or gift purchase for the holiday. Yet with the economic woes facing us today, a fancy dinner or even a box of chocolates can seem like a frivolous and unnecessary expense. The good news is that you can use your job as a mystery shopper to create a romantic Valentine’s Day for your loved one without spending a fortune.
Grocery Store Shops. The grocery stores are overloaded with Valentine’s Day goodies, from heart-shaped balloons, cards, flowers and boxed candies to all the fixings for a romantic, candlelit dinner at home. What’s better, grocery store shops are fairly easy to get your hands on in most parts of the country. They pay on grocery store shops is usually fairly low, but in many cases you will get reimbursed a certain amount for your purchases.
A tip to stretch your mystery shopping paycheck: If your grocery store assignment only reimburses say $10 for a purchase of ten items, you can certainly pick up two or even three grocery store assignments if you need to purchase more than ten items for a fancy dinner at home, valentine’s for the kids’ classes at school, and so on.
Greeting Card Shops. A greeting card store in itself may seem like a boring place to complete a mystery shop assignment. The stores, however, are usually loaded with wonderful gifts for a loved one, such as picture frames that you can insert personal photos, stuffed animals, trinkets, and of course Valentine’s cards.
A Special Something For Both. Of course, I am talking about lingerie. Lingerie can be purchased as a gift from her or from him, for both to enjoy. You can pick up inexpensive lingerie at discount shops such as Walmart or Target, major or regional department stores, or stores specializing in lingerie. These types of mystery shopping assignments are usually fairly easy to find.
Potted Love. Many people don’t enjoy giving or receiving cut flowers, as they tend to die within a few days to a week. You can watch your love grow each day with a vibrant and healthy potted plant from any number of retailers, ranging from nurseries, chain home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, or even Walmart and other discount stores.
A Personal Touch. Chocolates, flowers, and even jewelry can sometimes seem without meaning or thought, especially for those thinking Valentine’s Day has too much commercialism associated with it. You can choose a gift that has extra meaning for your loved one or a gift that he or she has been dreaming about. This could be anything from a journal to hand tools depending on your loved one’s personal hobbies and interests. With so many mystery shopping assignments available, you can almost certainly find something for your loved one at one of the available assignments.
Going Out. Valentine’s Day is about more than just gifts, of course. You also will want to spend time with your loved one, either with a romantic dinner or maybe with a movie. It may seem slightly unrealistic to have a romantic date with your loved one while you are constantly watching the wait staff and scrutinizing the food, but if you are short on cash and you have an understanding loved one, you may be able to pull it off. Many restaurants are not going to be doing mystery shopping checks on one of their busiest nights, so you may need to schedule your big date night on a night close to Valentine’s Day rather than on the specific day.
It may seem like a waste of money to buy gifts and go out to eat when the economy is in so much turmoil. But you can still create a romantic day for your loved one on a budget with some thought, preparation, and a couple of mystery shopping assignments.