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rosesValentine’s Day is tomorrow, and you want to do something special for your significant other. But you realize you did something special for your significant other for Christmas. Now you have to decide a budget.  $126.03 is the average that a person is going to spend on Valentine’s Day with the majority of people purchasing some type of jewelry as their token of affection.

If you’re still reading, then you decided to cook dinner at home and avoid the millions of people who will be at a swanky restaurant paying inflated valentines prices &, the battling crowd.  As of late, Valentine’s Day has become such a Hallmark holiday. But don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely into being romantic, but personally I’m not the type of person to wait for a specific date to show my affection. 

So I came up with the scenario of: What if a person only had 20 bucks.  How far would that get them?

Here is a step-by-step guide to having a Happy Valentine’s Day on a $20 budget.

In order to pull this off, you’re going to have to do some research.  Start by checking out all the local grocery sales papers.  Immediately you’ll find that “Everywhere” has a Valentines special on food, gifts, clothing, etc…  You want to choose you’re your cut of meat wisely because your choice of meat is going to be a significant part of your budget.  We looked at all major grocery stores and decided to choose two bone-in Rib Eye steaks from Stater Bros. , which happen to be the most cost effective for our $20 budget, but remember; you don’t want to sacrifice quality in this area because you can always choose less expensive sides based on your choice meat.  Other options we looked into were; Salmon, and Boneless Chicken Breast.    

For our sides, we choose garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus.  We found a 3 pound bag of red potatoes for .99¢ from the 99 Cent Only Stores, now I know many of you may frown at the 99 cent store, but here you’ll find a lot of the supermarket brands marked down to 99 cents; and if you pay close attention and read labels, a lot of these 99 cent products are produced and manufactured by the same farms as the supermarket chains.  Next, I had to find a green veggie to go with steak & tatters.  I went to Sprouts which are normally higher, but today we got our asparagus for $1.99 a pound which happened to be significantly cheaper than its competitors.  (We found prices ranging from $3.99 – $5.99 a pound).

No dinner is complete with a bottle of wine right?  If you’re looking for a great tasting wine at an affordable price then I recommend Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw brand.  These wines are great tasting for the price point, affordable, and have an average score of 82 points out of 100.  Finally, we decided to forego the dessert because when you prepare this meal. You’ll be the dessert. 

Remember, this is a recipe for success on a $20 budget, be creative and keep in mind that this dinner can be prepared on any budget, for any special occasion and with very little culinary skills.


Price breakdown:

  • Two Rib Eye Steaks – Stater Bros. 7.63
  • 1 pound Asparagus – Sprouts $1.77
  • 3 pound bag of red potatoes – 99 Cent Only Stores .99
  • Bottle of Charles Shaw Merlot, Wine- Trader Joe’s $1.99 (California Price)
  • 1 Dozen of Red Roses – $5.00 (from the man on the freeway exit)
  • Total spent: $17.55 (including tax) 

Did you know:
Teachers receive more valentine cards than anyone else, even children.