How I Did Valentine’s Day Right For Less Than $25, With Dinner!

A quick lesson for all the guys reading this.  When a guy says he doesn’t want a gift for a holiday, it’s because we buy our own stuff throughout the year.  Now, when a girl says she doesn’t want a gift, this is purely a test for us fellas.  If you follow their suggestion for no gift, you fail.  Trust me, I know this from painful first-hand experiences.

What they really mean is they don’t want to tell you what they want, you have to figure that out on your own!  So with the recent Valentine’s Day fast approaching this week, I thought it would be a good idea to share this year’s experiment in frugal living mixed with creating a thoughtful and meaningful experience for my Valentine.

The Gift

And happy to say I passed with flying colors.  With my procrastinatorial habits, I managed to wait till the actual day to start shopping.  The first store I stopped at looking for some photo albums was running a sale on them.  While checking out, I happened to overhear someone talking about instant savings from the store app, which I didn’t have.  With Jason Bourne like skills, I rapidly downloaded it for a sweet 15% off coupon. Gift success was mine.  Money spent so far, $13.50.


I knew we would have to dine in to make this thing work and quite frankly, that was ok by us.  Nothing is worse than long waiting lines, crowded restaurants and overpriced food on Valentine’s Day.  So I set off to the grocery to grab a quick meal.  More success was waiting.   Asparagus was the green of choice, on sale.  Managed to get a 4 pack of potatoes for a decent price.

But I was struggling to find chicken for cheap.  I moseyed over to the butcher at the meat counter. I couldn’t believe my luck, chicken was $1.99/pound.  They thin sliced it for me and I was on my merry way.  Money spent at the grocery, only $6.81!


Making It Memorable

With the extinction of cameras we all carry photos in our phone.  If you’re like me, you forget about them until you want to create a memory.  I made one more stop by the closest store I could find with a photo printing service.  $3.31 later, I had some really good photos in hand to start the photo album she got for a gift.

I mustered up all the culinary skills I had and squeaked out a pretty decent meal.  Chicken was breaded in her favorite spices, potatoes were twice baked, and asparagus got the royal treatment of bacon wrapping.  The food was amazing.

Lesson Learned

This wasn’t an expensive endeavor, $13.50+6.81+3.31=23.62!  But life is about way more than just money.  The excitement we shared starting our first photo album together as a couple was absolutely priceless.  So the next time you are planning for an important day, challenge yourself to be frugal about it.

It made it for a really fun little experiment which turned into a challenge for me.  How frugal could I really be here and still have a decent meal and create a memory.  And sometimes, it doesn’t take an expensive gift to make a lasting impact.  On a side note, I actually made myself two meals for lunch the next couple of days out of leftovers!

Feel free to share your frugal Valentine experiment.  We would love to see what other folks did to save that dollar!

–The Fiscal Savant–






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