Valentine's Day

14 Little Luxuries to Pick Up at H Mart for Valentine’s Day (They’re All $5 or Less)

published Feb 12, 2023
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H Mart, Asian food, Korean Grocery Store in Portland
Credit: Shutterstock/ARTYOORAN

For me, every day with my husband is a day to show love and kindness, so we tend to swing hard the opposite way on February 14 by keeping it real cheap and focusing on spending quality time together. It’s with this mindset that I set out to my local H Mart to find the items with big “Be My Valentine” energy and small price tags.  

Unsurprisingly, there was a lot to choose from, and I narrowed down the list to 14 (get it!) of my favorite finds. These are perfectly sweet (and perfectly cheap!) gifts for your sweetheart, including a few budget date-night ideas that are right on the money. 

Credit: Irene Yoo

1. Sumo Mandarin, $3.49 per pound

The sumo mandarin is regarded by many as the platonic ideal of an orange — big, juicy, easy to peel, and super sweet. I’d dig through this whole pile to pick the most perfect orb as a gift for my sweetie.

Credit: Irene Yoo

2. Yakult Nonfat Probiotic Drink, $3.49 for 5 drinks

When Peter showed up with Lara Jean’s favorite drink, Yakult, in the movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, audiences everywhere swooned. It hits home for so many Asian kids and adults alike who have enjoyed this petite drink since childhood. Best of all? It comes in packs of five!

Credit: Irene Yoo

3. Indomie Mi Goreng Fried Noodles, $3.49 for 5 packs

My best friend is an instant-ramen enthusiast, and this is hands-down his top pick. For Valentine’s Day this year I’m going to be gifting him this five-pack, so we can share in our mutual noodle love together.

Credit: Irene Yoo

4. Sangrime Goji Berry Tea, $4.99 for 15 tea bags

Research shows that goji berries are high in antioxidants, so I think this lightly fruity herbal tea will be just the type of gift my tea-loving sister would really appreciate as a sweet Galentine’s Day gift. The pink packaging is adorably festive, to boot.

Credit: Irene Yoo

5. Lotte Choco Pie, $2.49 for 6 moon pies

This mini pack of the classic Korean moon pie (containing six instead of the standard 12) puts it well under our $5 mark! I love how the packaging encourages us to share “happy moments” over a Choco Pie, resplendent with a heart.

Credit: Irene Yoo

6. Orion Chamboongeo Cake, $4.99 for 8 cakes

What is Valentine’s Day for if not for a good pun? So I can just imagine gifting this box of boongeobbang with the following message: “Of all the fish in the sea, I choose you!” Don’t worry, there’s no fish in this box. Instead, the fish-shaped pastry is made with chewy mochi and filled with chocolate. 

Credit: Irene Yoo

7. Kopiko Coffee Candy, $0.99 for 1.13 ounces

This coffee-flavored hard candy is incredibly popular in K-dramas — you’ll often see this product placement as the protagonist pops a candy for their soon-to-be-requited love interest. Sidle up to yours and offer them one of these.

Credit: Irene Yoo

8. Hello! Jumbo Smoothie Straws, $2.99 for 50 straws

If your love loves boba tea, then this is the gift for them. This pack of 50 (!) fluorescent-colored wide straws are made specifically for the little tapioca pearls to be sipped through.

Credit: Irene Yoo

9. Japan Stainless Handy Tea Strainer, $2.99 per strainer

Is your Valentine more of a classic tea lover? Then this adorable tea strainer is a perfect cheap luxury to give, falling squarely in that “would never buy for themselves but would use all the time” category. For extra credit, pair with a box of that goji berry tea!

Credit: Irene Yoo

10. Twin Marquis Veggie Wonton Wrappers, $2.99 for 14 ounces

I’m a big fan of at-home date nights. Cooking something special together allows a couple to spend more time with each other, brings them closer, and results in a (hopefully delicious!) meal. These wonton wrappers would be just the thing for a dumpling-making night, made extra special with the unique green color.

Credit: Irene Yoo

11. BCD House Foods Soon Tofu Soup Kit, $3.49 for 13 ounces

Legendary Korean soft tofu restaurant BCD Tofu House teamed up with House Foods to create this at-home meal kit of its iconic soon tofu. It serves two, making it a perfect Valentine’s meal to fire up at home while avoiding those long restaurant lines.

Credit: Irene Yoo

12. Wang Frozen Boiled Clams, $4.99 for 12 ounces

I was shocked to see how cost-effective these frozen clams are. They’d make the perfect soup to pair with a bottle of soju or a bottle of wine. Better yet, combine them with the soft tofu kit from above and you’ve got yourself an A+ meal.

Credit: Irene Yoo

13. Bamboo Sushi Rolls, $2.49

Here’s another date-night idea: DIY sushi! These sushi rolling mats are a must-have for at-home gimbap or maki rolling. Plus, you can use this year-round, whether you’re prepping for family picnics or putting together after-school snacks for the kids.

Credit: Irene Yoo

14. B&B Bokbunja, $4.49 for 12.68 fl ounces

You gotta have a bottle of wine to go with your romantic meal, right? Bokbunja is a Korean black raspberry wine with a gorgeous, deep-red color that I think will hit just the right note on February 14. Cheers!

What little luxuries are you picking up at H Mart right now? Tell us in the comments below.