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He Bought, She Bought: Valentine’s Day Edition


Consumers are expected to spend a whopping $88 on their significant other/spouse this Valentine’s Day, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Let’s be real: Does proving your love really have to be so expensive? What if you could show your Valentine how much you care by spending way less on a thoughtful gift from a gas station convenience store?

We put this idea to the test.

Meet Frank and Sam from Des Moines, Iowa. They’ve been a happy couple for the past 7 months. You might recognize Frank, GasBuddy’s convenience store evangelist/analyst.

We sent Frank and Sam on the ultimate challenge: get Valentine’s Day gifts for each other at a gas station convenience store. The rules were simple:

  • Go into a gas station convenience store separately – you don’t want to ruin the surprise!
  • No gag gifts. You have pick out thoughtful gifts, the other individual will (hopefully) like.
  • Budget: $20 per person
  • So what did they end up getting? And more importantly…are they still together?!


    Store: Pilot Travel Center

    I walked into the store with no clue what to buy Frank. As I was walking around I found a bunch of goofy, fun truck stop t-shirts and a shelf of Disney characters, including Mickey and Donald.

    Inside secret: On a recent trip to Disneyland together, I found out that Donald Duck was Frank’s FAVORITE character as a kid. Donald, you’re coming with me!

    So what else could I get? Frank loves chocolate, so I was able to squeeze in some extra acai and blueberry-flavored dark chocolate bites.

    TOTAL: $19.06

    Store: QuikTrip

    When I walked in I didn’t see any Valentine’s Day cards, stuffed animals, flowers or other items that would be easy to get.

    I walked around the store trying to find something Sam would like. Then I saw it. Sam loves wine, especially sauvignon blanc. Options were a bit limited but I was a man on a budget, so that’s okay.

    So what goes good with wine? After a few laps around the store I settled on some red grapes, Cracker Barrel Cheese Squares and and some parmesan and garlic pretzel crisps (yum). And chocolate!

    TOTAL: $19.52


    These pretzel and cheese bites are delicious! And WINE! Thank you!


    I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that she actually found a Donald Duck plushie. It was incredibly thoughtful. Love it.

    Instead of an overcrowded, overpriced restaurant with dozens of other couples, just take $20 and visit your local gas station. We did and we loved it!

    Have you ever done anything like Frank and Sam for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments!

    GasBuddy is a smartphone app connecting drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. GasBuddy is the leader in crowdsourced information to help drivers find the best gas prices, closest stations, friendliest service, cleanest restrooms, tastiest coffee and much more. GasBuddy is the leading source for the most accurate, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada and Australia.