First Person: We're Celebrating Valentine's Day for $50

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As Valentine's Day approaches, I have planned an amazing night for my husband and me. We are still on a pretty tight budget these days, but this is an occasion where I want him to feel appreciated and loved. I have $50 to spend and have put together something incredibly special. This is what I plan to do for my husband, and where the money will be spent.


My husband will have to work on Valentine's Day this year. I have asked him what he would like for dinner, and he has not given me a definite answer. I decided to plan out one of his favorites, which happens to be chicken alfredo. I estimate all the ingredients will cost around $9 for the two of us. That includes four chicken breasts, sauce, and noodles. There will be more than enough food for leftovers, which is another bonus to a nice home-cooked meal.


It is incredibly hard to buy for my husband, but this year, I planned ahead! I remember him mentioning a few things he needed, including a favorite movie he wanted. I went out and bought the boxed set of "Three Stooges" DVDs he was missing from his collection. The cost was a little under $22, including tax. I then went over to the local big box store and purchased candies and a pair of boxers with hearts and kisses all over them. My total there was $12, which also included a card.

The set-up

I have a babysitter in place for the evening. I plan to have candles on the table and dinner waiting when he gets home. I found some really nice, long red candlesticks at the dollar store, and glass-like holders as well. I am going to have a few heart balloons around the house, which I will blow up myself. I will have mood music from an online radio stream set up in the living room so we can listen while we eat. The set-up will cost just under $6.

Valentine's Day can be an expensive holiday if you aren't careful. This year I planned in advance and budgeted my money so that I was able to do what I wanted for my husband and not feel the burn of the pocketbook. It is not about the amount spent, but the quality of the thought behind the gifts and presentation. I planned a nice evening, and spent just under $50.

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