Forget diamonds. Just give us all the cheese and chocolate this Valentine's Day.
This time of year, when the holiday craze has subsided, some brands begin planning for the next commercialized holiday: Valentine's Day. Whether Feb. 14 is an excuse to cuddle up on the couch and gift ourselves flowers and chocolate like Cher in "Clueless" or a special day to celebrate with a partner, kids or friend, this love-filled holiday is certainly an excuse toenjoy some sweet — and savory! — treats.
Luckily, the folks at Hershey's, Target and other companies have gotten into the romantic spirit when it comes to food. And if none of these are creative enough for you, there's always the option of making a pickle or pizza bouquet.
Here are eight products available nationwide that make it easy to skip the big date night out.
Win a personalized cheese box
Love cheese or know someone who does? The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (aka "The State of Cheese") sponsored a contest to award free, yes free, personalized, heart-shaped cheese boxes to 500 lucky winners. The online contest runs between Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Jan. 31. Just head over to the website, nominate someone you like or love (including yourself) with a reason why and the lucky winners will receive the cheesy gift by Feb. 14. The cheese box, valued at $100 with five cheeses and personalized notes, includes varieties like chocolate mascarpone and black truffle cheddar-Gruyere to delight any cheesehead's palate.
Wear a wine purse
For the wine lover in your life, this Porto Vino purse is a low-key storage facility for up to two bottles of wine. Whether you're picnicking in the park or just don't want to get up from that rom-com movie marathon for a refill (this is a judgement-free zone, people), the bag is lined with a BPA-free plastic container, similar to the ones in boxed wine, with a spout that pops through a space in the bottom. It also has cup and wine bottle holders if you don't want to use the bag. Folks can get the red or pink vegan leather purses on their own for $75, or in a Valentine's Day bundle for $86, which also comes with a red velvet wine holder, three refill bags and two silicone, stemless wine glasses.
Butter 'em up with bonbons
Sam's Club members can get one box of 20 heart-shaped bonbons by the women-owned, fair-trade chocolatier Wild Ophelia for just $9 leading up to Valentine's Day. The chocolate morsels come in strawberry, cherry cordial, sea salt caramel and toasted coconut, all wrapped up with a red bow.
Chocolate for every meal
Exclusively at Target, these boxes of chocolate have a unique edge because each rich confection is disguised as an avocado, steak dinner with broccoli or banana. Aptly titled "Let's Avo-Cuddle," "Dinner Date" and "Bananas for You," these chocolates really take the cake. Each box is priced between $6 and $8.
Make wine your valentine
Valentine's Day wine gift boxes are also on shelves at Targets nationwide, where alcohol is sold. For $10, gift a wine-tasting package called "Wine is my Valentine." Each one includes a smaller, 187-milliliter bottle of rosé, chardonnay and a red blend with food pairing recommendations.
There's more Goldfish in the sea
For snackers young and old, Goldfish is honoring two iconic lovebirds for a limited-time this season: Mickey and Minnie Mouse. On shelves now and available for a limited time, people can enjoy snack packs of 24 (1-ounce) individual bags of Goldfish, mixed in with red and pink Mickey- and Minnie-shaped cheddar crackers. They're available at Target stores nationwide for $8.69.
Send a message on a bottle
Windsor Vineyards has created a wonderful way to send a love note — on wine! For no extra charge, people can create a personalized Valentine's Day message that will serve as the label on the bottle of wine of their choice. On the vineyard's website, select one of their Valentine's Day card layouts, create your own or upload a photo, pick which type of wine you'd like it on, and order. For $23 extra, folks can even get their special someone's name or a sweet message etched into the glass.
Get chocolaty with Kisses, Kit Kats or Reese's
Hershey's dropped its line of Valentine's Day chocolates in three fan favorite varieties. Available for a limited time and already on shelves, chocolate lovers can snag bags Hershey's Kisses Lava Cake, Kit Kat Raspberry Creme or Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts. In addition, the company launched a Hershey's milk chocolate bear holding a heart and a nearly 4-ounce Reese's in the shape of a rose, available at retailers nationwide.