Valentine’s Day, like so many other couple holidays, is surrounded with gifts, food and love. While I can’t help you with the love, I can certainly help you in the food department. Over the past 22 years, most of which was spent with little children and very little money, I’ve learned how to make Cheap Romantic Dinner. And to be honest, it always comes down to food, well at least for my husband.
The choice to stay home
I must admit, when my oldest 2 were little, I really didn’t want to stay home. As a stay at home mom, that was ALL I did was stay home. I wanted out of the house. I wanted a meal that I not only didn’t have to plan, but also didn’t have to clean up. We didn’t have a dishwasher, need I say more? Money was tight back then, so unless this holiday fell on a Kids Eat Free at Fazoli’s we were eating at home.
Once, I finally made the choice that we were staying home, I was challenged with how to make it special with little to no money. At this point in time, we lived in a small town that when they opened a Super Walmart, people were so excited, that there was a traffic accident there. No, really there was, I was in it. Ok, so maybe I was the one who hit the car in front of me. The man was a co-worker of my husband’s and it was on my oldest daughter’s due date and she still didn’t come. But I digress.
Oh, and this was WAY before Pinterest, Facebook, and Google. Yes, I’m that old. So I was stuck with my imagination and whatever I could find. Having a Cheap Romantic Dinner doesn’t mean you have to go out to eat.
What am I supposed to do with my kids
When we lived in this small town the closest family was about 2 hours away. If I couldn’t afford to go out for a fancy dinner, I certainly couldn’t afford a babysitter. So I had to get creative.
When my oldest 2 were little, I would put them to bed early and then we would have our dinner. As they got older that got harder. This is when I came up with the idea of the Perfect Family Valentine’s Day Party. We have stuck to this ever since then and love it.
The thing is now that I have built in babysitters, my husband and I are able to go out to dinner alone more often, so if we miss those couple holidays we don’t mind as much. Also, our children are only with us for a short time, and we are intentional about enjoying every moment with them, even Valentine’s day. You can feed them with these Cheap Romantic Dinner ideas too.
Setting the mood
Nothing sets the mood like candles. I love the smell of candles, but I couldn’t afford the pretty smelling ones, so I just bought plain ones. If I remember correctly, I found some red ones at Salvation Army, and 2 candle stick holders as well. I spent a total of $1. The great thing about this was that the smell of the candle didn’t take away from the smell of the food, which was far more important to him than the candles.
I pulled out the nicest dishes I had, Corellware. I grabbed the green water goblets, that I had bought from Arby’s a long time ago, and filled them with tea. If I was willing to splurge, I bought a vynal table cloth to cover my table.
Don’t forget the music. This was WAY before Pandora or Amazon Prime music, but I did have some cassette tapes of our favorite music recorded.
So with these tools in my belt, candles, nicest dishes (sometimes were paper plates), green Christmas water goblets from Arby’s, a new table cloth and a cassette tape of recorded music, I was going to have the best romantic valentine’s day I could have.
Finding the right gift
You may find my husband and I odd, but that’s ok. You see he isn’t a huge sweet eater, and I don’t like chocolate. So for dessert, I would make something yummy, but this would make giving chocolate hard. Also, if there was no money to go out to eat, you can bet there was no money for flowers either. So gifts had to be creative.
I think my favorite year was when Valentine’s Day was on a Monday, and we went out of Tuesday to go to the movies, because they had a deal for movies on Tuesday. While it may not have been exactly on Valentine’s Day, it was still special as we still don’t go to the movies often.
The key to finding the right gift is to know the person you are with and what they would enjoy. Maybe you go to the mall and spend a few dollars on the massage chairs there, and call it a couples massage. We did that once on our anniversary. We still laugh about it, and smile at the fond memories. When people would look at us oddly, we’d say “couple’s massage for our anniversary.” They’d smile and walk on.
I didn’t plan that, but when we walked by it, the idea came to me. One of my best ideas ever.
So think about something the 2 of you enjoy doing together and if you can’t afford it now, set a date to do it later. Sometimes the anticipation of a thing is as much fun as doing it.
Cheap Romantic Dinner
Girls, you know I wouldn’t leave you hanging. Food is the way to a man’s heart, well at least my man’s heart. A loaf of freshly baked bread, chocolate chip cookie baking in the oven, or the house smelling of dinner are great ways to make my man happy.
Italian Dinner for 2
Mexican Dinner for 2
Chips and Salsa
Tres Leche cake
Salmon Dinner for 2
Cheesecake Filled Strawberries
I’m not going to leave you there. If you click HERE, you will find a link to be able to down load not only the recipes for the Cheap Romantic Dinner for 2, but a grocery list as well. This is for an intimate dinner for 2 with a little left over if you want.
Living in the Moment
So what happens if your children refuse to go to bed. Give them popcorn to eat in their own bed while you have your dinner. At least you don’t have to sleep on it.
Put in a movie that you are sick of watching and they could watch over and over.
Make it a drive in movie night, by letting them eat their dinner or snack in a box while they watch a movie.
This would be the perfect time to let them play a video game or even a game on their tablet.
The key here is to keep them busy for a while. If all else fails, there is always after they are asleep and then you can make your night even more fun. Lots of babies are conceived in January and February when the weather is cold.
Just remember your children are the perfect example of your love for your spouse. I promise they won’t be little forever. So just make the best of your situation, whatever it happens to be and enjoy it. I promise you won’t regret it.
How to have a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner with Kids
If you just can’t get away from your kids for the night, and you want to have your own Valentine’s Day party, check out How to Have the perfect Family Valentine’s Day Party.
If you are looking for cheap date nights. check out Katie Hornor of Paradise Praises post
5 Intimate Dates (Even with a Houseful of Kids).
But if you are just wanting a Cheap Romantic dinner for 2, then don’t pass up on this free menu and grocery list. Clink on the picture below to grab your free menu and grocery list.