This year, Valentine’s Day equates to big numbers. It’s expected that Americans will spend a collective $30 billion dollars for the occasion. While this is impressive, we’d rather stick to more cost-effective choices. Get ready to surprise your sweetheart and keep your budget all at the same time. Here are 6 affordable dinner ideas when cooking for two.
1: One-pan chicken meals
To begin, one-pan meals require less meat, making them super affordable. You can usually create a large meal for under $10. With so many inexpensive homemade dinners available it’s hard to pick just one. We suggest starting with this easy recipe for Southwest chicken here.
2: Outdoor sandwiches
This Valentine’s day, let nature do all of the work. Pack some sandwiches for you and your date, then head outside. Outdoor picnics are a good way to bond and get a little fresh air. Additionally, take-along food is generally low in price. Nosh on fresh fruit, cool beverages, and tasty sandwiches while staying reasonably within budget.
3: Homemade pizzas
Cooking for two can be fun! Inspire your date by creating dinner together. Homemade pizzas make their mark on our list of affordable romantic dinner ideas. Not only are they fun, but you can make this recipe from The Penny Hoarder for under a $1 per serving.
4: Spaghetti and meatballs
Pasta is always on sale. Stores typically offer their best deals for boxed pasta right before Valentine’s Day. Also, keep in mind that things like garlic, mushrooms, and roasted peppers can add up. To keep the cost of your spaghetti and meatballs down, try to purchase sauces that already have those flavors mixed in.
5: Steak and spinach salad
For some, Valentine’s day isn’t complete without a steak. To max out our list of affordable romantic dinner ideas, we’re staying away from traditional cuts. Instead, opt for 1/4 lb. of top sirloin and ask the butcher to trim it thinly. Once you’re home, mix it with fresh spinach, blue cheese, and vinaigrette. Steak and spinach salad is the perfect date night meal that’s both simple and satisfying.
6: Parchment paper fish
Oven-baked meals are flavorful and easy to make. If seafood is on your mind, read over these tips for saving money on fish. To make a parchment paper-style dinner, simply place 2 pieces of filet on top of parchment paper. Sprinkle with seasonings and cover with an additional sheet of paper. Roll up the sides to create a seal then bake for 20 minutes.
These affordable romantic dinner ideas not only save money, but they also allow you to celebrate in style. Cooking for two doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive. This Valentine’s Day, catch Cupid’s arrow by using the tips above.