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14 February 2020 18:47

Papa John’s: Heart-shaped pizza is available for a limited time.

View this post on Instagram The person you said you'd "never go out with" shows up at your door on Valentine's Day holding this, WYD? Valentine's Day free food, deals: Save at Starbucks, Olive Garden, Papa John's, Dunkin' and more 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. Plus, you can eat your heart out with heart-shaped treats and meals. Brad Plothow, vice president of corporate marketing and communications for Womply, a small-business software provider, said the holiday is a fairly typical day for local restaurants.

"While we're projecting Valentine's Day to be extremely busy for upscale restaurants, it also looks to be a fairly average foot traffic day at most other local spots," Plothow said. "You'll need a reservation for a high-end experience with a significant other, but unattached diners will find light crowds at more casual eateries." Spend better, save better: All the money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here According to the National Retail Federation's annual Valentine's Day survey, spending for the holiday is up. The survey found that those celebrating the holiday said they plan to spend an average of $196.31, up 21% over last year's previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32% from last year's record $20.7 billion.

Shoppers plan to spend $4.3 billion on an evening out, according to the survey. This is no sweetheart deal: How to shield yourself from cyber criminals' arrows on Valentine's Day Valentine's Day freebies and deals The following offers are available Valentine's Day and others through the weekend. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out. Applebee's: The February drink of the month is the $1 Vodka Strawberry Lemonade, which is pink. Baskin-Robbins: Get $3 on cake purchases $15 or more through Friday online and with the mobile app using promo code BEMINE. Burger King: This is not a nationwide promotion and is only taking place at four select locations posted at www.bk.com. But scorned lovers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston can bring in a printed photo of their ex to the restaurant's "breakup boxes" for a free Whopper. The fast-food chain also has offers nationwide on its mobile app. Carrabba's Italian Grill: Through Sunday, Carrabba's has a four-course Surf & Turf dinner for two for $60. Chili's: There's a $25 meal for two Friday and the February Margarita of the Month is the Hearts on Fire 'Rita, which costs $5. Chuck E. Cheese: Through Friday, purchase any large pizza and get a free upgrade to an xlarge pizza. Cicis: Get a free kids buffet with purchase of an adult buffet, large drink and coupon Friday. Find the coupon at www.cicis.com. Firehouse Subs: After 4 p.m. Friday, get a free medium sub with a coupon and purchase of additional medium or large sub, chips and a drink. Freebirds World Burrito: Dine in Friday and get free queso on top of any burrito, bowl, taco or salad or on the side. Hardee's: Use passcode "Say Cheese" and get a free Big Fried Cheese Frisco Breakfast Sandwich with the purchase of the sandwich during breakfast hours or a free Big Fried Cheese half-pound Angus Thickburger with the purchase of the same burger during lunch and dinner hours. McAlister's Deli: Kids eat free Friday for dine-in or carry out orders. Get up to two free kids' meals per adult entrée purchase. McDonald's: The fast-food chain said it's trying to start a new tradition: Palentine's Day. Through Monday, get $5 off a $15 purchase with McDelivery with DoorDash and promo code LOVEMCD in the DoorDash app. Moe's Southwest Grill: Get a free side of queso with a burrito purchase Friday when ordered through the restaurant's app. O'Charley's Restaurant + Bar: The $39 Valentine's Dine & Wine meal for two is available through Sunday. Romano's Macaroni Grill: Through Sunday, the chain has a Valentine's dinner for two that includes an appetizer to share, two entrees and choice of shared dessert for $45. Starbucks Uber Eats: Through Feb. 20, get 14% off Starbucks orders over $14 on the Uber Eats app with promo code VDAYCOFFEE. Waffle House: The chain is taking reservations for Valentine's Day where they will serve a a special menu that includes a T-bone dinner, waffles and more. Find participating locations and how to make reservations at www.wafflehouse.com. Hooters' free wings to 'Shred Your Ex' Shred a picture of your ex at participating Hooters' locations or online at www.hooters.com/ShredYourEx and get 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of 10 wings Friday. Heart-shaped eats Hungry Howie's: Get a one-topping heart-shaped pizza for $6.99 Thursday and Friday. Papa John's: Heart-shaped pizza is available for a limited time. Order using promo code VALENTINE to get for $11. Get the heart-shaped pizza with a heart-shaped brownie for $16 with promo code BEMINE. The pizza comes uncut. Papa Murphy's: The HeartBaker Pizza is available through Sunday. Pizza Hut: Heart-shaped pizza is back through Sunday. Get a large heart-shaped pizza on its own for $11.99 or bundle it with a dessert for $17.99. Bojangles': For a limited time, Bojangles' has Heart-Shaped Bo-Berry Biscuits. Chick-fil-A: Through Feb. 29, get 30-count nuggets, 10-count Chick-n-Minis or six-count chocolate chunk cookies in heart-shaped containers. Cinnabon: Heart-shaped CinnaPacks are available for a limited time at mall bakeries and Pilot Flying J locations nationwide. Dairy Queen: Special February items include the Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard and the heart-shaped Double Fudge Cookie Dough TreatHeart Cakes. Dunkin': Get heart-shaped donuts and Valentine's Day pink drinks – the Pink Velvet Macchiato and Pink Velvet Signature Latte. Through Saturday, get a free half dozen of donuts with free delivery when you place a $10 minimum order through Grubhub. Plus, for a limited time, get a 10-count box of Munchkins donut hole treats for $2. Krispy Kreme: Get heart-shaped Conversation Heart doughnuts through Valentine's Day with a limited-edition gift box, while supplies last. The heart-shaped doughnuts have four different fillings and are topped with one of 24 sayings. Red Lobster: The chain has limited-edition "You're My Lobster" heart-shaped boxes with Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Slim Chickens: Through Saturday, the chain has heart-shaped waffles. Popeyes' Red Velvet Cake Cup For a limited time starting with Valentine's Day Friday, Popeyes has a new seasonal dessert – the Red Velvet Cake Cup. The dessert features red velvet cake covered with vanilla frosting. It's available in Popeyes restaurants nationwide at a suggested price of $2.49. Contributing: Megan Marples, Arizona Republic Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko