This story has been updated from Feb. 11, 2014 to include online shopping trends in the seventh paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Men, listen up. Women like gifts. Women especially like gifts on Valentine's Day.
They don't have to be expensive or lavish, but most women (and some guys too) have a soft spot for being doted on and Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse to pour on the creativity.
According to a recent survey by digital coupon subscription service, RetailMeNot.com, when faced with a choice between the two, seven in 10 women in relationships would prefer a gift over sex for Valentine's Day. On the other hand, 66% of surveyed males making the choice opted for sex over a gift (shocking).
RetailMeNot is linking men's sex-over-gift preference to the reason why more than three in 10 want to stay home for Valentine's Day this year.
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Overall more people in relationships are content staying home (38% of this year's survey respondents compared to 28% last year), however most people (57%) still prefer to go out for the holiday.
Consumers plan to spend a total of $17.3 billion on Valentine's Day this year, with the average person spending approximately $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more, up slightly from last year's $130.97, according to the National Retail Federation.
In the week leading up to Valentine's Day, online shopping rose 8% over the same period last year, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. Mobile sales represented 17.2% of all online sales, up by 43% from last year, IBM said.
Despite the slight pickup in V-day spending, it's well known by now that consumers are being budget conscious, especially after the troubling holiday season.
BeFrugal.com founder Jon Lal offered some suggestions for consumers who are looking to save money this year on Valentine's Day.
- Make your own greeting card. Create an old-fashioned homemade paper valentine or doodle one on Snap Chat and send it privately.
- Skip dinner and go out for dessert only; it's much more cost-effective and just as indulgent.
- If you're giving a gift, buy online and check for a coupon code first; your date will never know how much you saved.
- Skip the snail mail Valentine's cards and send one over social media, it's free!
- Planning to go to a show or concert? Just create an iTunes playlist of love songs instead. You're loved one will love the originality.
That said, if you still want to buy a gift, here are five great gifts under $50 for your loved one.