A Valentine’s meal on a budget

Valentines meal on a budget

Valentine’s Day can be an expensive time. Even if you are careful, you could spend £60 plus on a meal out with a glass of fizz, another £30 on flowers, £60 on some aftershave… whatever takes your fancy. Of course, you could just choose to ignore it altogether and save your money! We tend to go for the mid ground and eat a treat meal at home. So, if you want a Valentine’s meal on a budget, what could you go for?

I don’t want to have to do a lot of fancy cooking for a meal in. It’s not a treat if I have to spend ages preparing and clearing up. So I will be looking at easy options at the discount supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl. We will have two courses with some nice olives and nibbles to start with and, of course, some fizz.

Nibbles/starter

Aldi do a nice pot of Greek olives with feta or some stuffed cherry peppers with ricotta, both for a mere £1.49. We have eaten these before and they are lovely. Alternatively we might chop up some cantaloupe melon from Lidl for 99p.

Main course

Lidl do a delicious looking Cheese and dill salmon wellington at £3.99. Fish would be a good choice for us, as I eat fish but not meat. Mr S eats pretty much anything!

Another Lidl choice might be two Deluxe salmon fillets for £3.75.

If you prefer a steak, as Mr S would, Lidl have two rump steaks with mustard butter for £4.99.

All of the above could be teamed with Aldi’s steak cut chips for 99p, or some baby potatoes from Lidl for 72p. Lidl also do a nice speciality broccoli for £1.15.

Dessert

Lidl Deluxe continental apple tart for £1.99 or maybe a Deluxe Belgian chocolate cheesecake for 2.99.

Aldi offers a heavenly chocolate fudge cake for a mere £1.29 or a double chocolate gateau for £1.69.

Belgian chocolate luxury mousses are only 49p each at Aldi.

Bubbles

Aldi’s cheapest Prosecco is pretty good – we had some at Christmas. Castellore Prosecco Frizzante DOC comes in at just £5.49 a bottle. If you prefer your bubbles to be pink, Lidl do a very good Cava Rosado Brut at just £4.99.

Our Valentine’s meal on a budget

Valentines meal on a budget

This is what we have chosen for our Valentine’s meal on a budget this year.

Starter

Greek olives with feta          £1.49

Main course

Salmon fillets (Lidl)              £3.75

Baby potatoes (Lidl)             72p

Hollandaise sauce (Lidl)     65p

Speciality broccoli                £1.15

Dessert

Aldi heavenly chocolate cake   £1.29

Drinks

Castellore Prosecco Frizzante DOC  £5.49

Our pretty luxurious three course meal with fizz comes in at £14.54. OK, we have to do the washing up ourselves, but it should be pretty minimal! A meal like this would cost a lot more in a restaurant, so I am happy with our Valentine’s meal on a budget.

As reader Laura points out, Tesco also does a mean meal deal of a main, a side, a pud and a drink for a tenner so it’s worth seeing if you fancy the choice there. We have tried both the Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer’s meal deals in the past and they are pretty good and excellent value.

Alternatively, you could go super cheap and have pizza and cola for £1.92, as suggested by Skint Dad in this post! Don’t think Mr S would be too impressed, but in the end if you were with your one true love…

Do you aim to save money on Valentine’s day, ignore it all together, or push the boat out on a restaurant meal?

Showing love on a budget ❤️ 

A friend told me proudly how her lovely son had taken her to London on Mother’s Day, with tea in a posh hotel, followed by some sightseeing and a meal in the evening. He is clearly a kind and generous son who loves his Mum, but it must have cost a fortune!

As I said in yesterday’s post, I had the loveliest Mother’s Day but I am sure it cost a fraction of the price of my friend’s day. It got me thinking. It is easy to have fun and show somebody that you love them without breaking the budget.  With a bit of planning and creativity you can help friends and family celebrate any event without them thinking you are a cheapskate!

Bake a cake: give a home made cake, cookies or sweets. This works for birthdays, anniversaries,  Christmas, house warmings – even weddings if you are an ace baker and offer to make the wedding cake as your present, as my friend did for me.

Make your own gift: if you knit, sew, paint, make soap or candles or even if you grow stuff, many people appreciate a thoughtful home spun present. How about a hamper of home grown produce, a couple of pots of delicious home made jam or some potted plants grown from seeds or cuttings?

Keep a present box: It is also useful to buy gifts on offer and keep a present box so you always have a present to give. The January sales are great for this when retailers are keen to shift excess stock after Christmas.

If you are seriously skint, offer a service: gardening, babysitting, grass cutting, car cleaning. Design a voucher and put it in a card,then make sure you keep your promise! This works well if your child wants to offer a present for a relative.

Host a meal: have your loved one round for a special meal. Get out the best tablecloth and china, put flowers or candles on the table and don’t let them wash up!

Take a tour: have a look in the tourist information centre for the free attractions locally and take your loved one on a guided tour . Pack a flask and a posh picnic for a midday break: salmon and cucumber sandwiches, scones and cream, hummus and crudités, etc, and perhaps even a bottle of fizz.

Have a date night: if the celebration is for your other half, cook a meal and add a massage and/or a film.

Spend your points: I love collecting Boots Advantage Card points to spend on gifts, but you can do the same with your Sainsbury’s Nectar Card or Tesco Club Card.

There are so many ways to show you care that don’t involve spending much money and won’t break the bank. For me, the thought really does count!