We never go out for Valentine’s Day.
It’s not that I have anything against the day, it’s just that it’s so much work and so expensive to go out for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day. Prices for everything increases in the days leading up to February 14th. Restaurants book up quickly, and the price of chocolates and flowers double or even triple. Who wants to pay $50 for roses when they cost $25 every other day of the year. Like I said, I don’t have anything against Valentine’s day; it’s just that I can’t justify the price.
We started a little tradition the first year we got married. Rather than going out for dinner, we’d splurge on ingredients and make ourselves a romantic candlelight dinner at home. We go all out, a full steak dinner with all the fixings. And honestly, we LOVE IT! It’s so nice, and something we look forward to all year. We have fun cooking our meal together, then eating a restaurant-worthy dinner all in the comfort of our own home. The best part…It costs us about a third of what we would have paid if we would have gone out.
So here’s how to have a romantic, Valentine’s dinner at home!
Setting the Scene
Make your dinner seem extra special by setting your table especially for the event. Use a pretty tablecloth or elegant placemats. Set each setting and make sure to include all your utensils, a pretty napkin, a wine glass as well as your plate. Even if you don’t drink, use a wine glass or another fancy glass because it makes everything seem fancier. Consider adding a simple centrepiece or at the very least some candles. You need candles for a candlelit dinner. Taking a few minutes to make your space look pretty and different than usual can make a homemade meal so much more romantic.
Consider the Menu
Picking your menu can be difficult. You want something special, but you don’t want to spend hours making a difficult meal, nor do you want to have to spend hours cleaning up afterwards.
We usually pick the same meal every year. It’s delicious and it’s easy; Steak with sauteed mushrooms, garlic roasted mini-potatoes, and green beans. We also splurge on a sweet dessert at the end as a treat.
Our traditional Menu includes:
- Marinaded Sirloin steaks from our local butcher (they marinade them in their own recipe and then vacuum seal them. I usually pick mine up anywhere from 3-7 days before so they have lots of time to soak, and they are perfectly safe sealed in the fridge)
- Garlic Roasted Mini-Potatoes
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- A green vegetable of some kind (usually steamed broccoli or green beans)
- Chocolate Brownie Supreme for dessert
A Fun Post-Dinner Activity
There are really 2 parts of any date; the food and the fun. Having some kind of activity to enjoy as a couple after dinner is a key to making this a very romantic date at home. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. The last several years we’ve had a movie night, enjoying a variety of choices from Guardians of the Galaxy to a comedy special on Netflix. But if you want to mix it up, you can check out my post about 10 at-home date ideas.
There you have it! Planning a great Valentines dinner date at home comes down to these 3 simple keys. It’s quieter, more intimate and easier on the wallet. I did the math and the cost our meal for 2, dessert and a decent bottle of wine would cost us about $60 (we splurge an buy really, really good streaks) at home. And we have Netflix so our movie is free. After a recent dinner date out to a local steakhouse, I can say that a similar date (dinner, dessert and drinks) would have cost us over $135 and that’s before we went to the movies (thank goodness for gift certificates!) So, enjoy your Valentine’s at home and spend time with the ones you love.