Valentine’s Day is like Chinese New Year Eve Dinner to me. Restaurants tend to be crowded, you will have to book way in advance and it can often be pretty expensive; setting you back about $100 per person on average. For either occasion, I would rather avoid the crowds and stay at home. Although this may seem a bit boring, it doesn’t have to be. A cozy night at home with your significant other can be pretty magical if you go the extra mile to differentiate it from regular weeknight dinners. Best of all, it’ll cost you less than $100.
Clean Up The House
Although cleaning up the house may seem unsexy, it actually can benefit your love life. When surveyed by Liquid Plumr, 1000 women over the age of 18 stated that they felt positive feelings after household problems were solved. This put them in the mood for a romantic rendezvous.
- 33% of the women confessed that they had fantasies about their spouse doing housework.
- 38% also ranked having their house in order as important as buying a new outfit or being in a familiar place when it comes to relaxing on a date.
In general, we all want homes that are clean and orderly. This is nothing new – but the positive effects the state of the home can have on your relationship is all the more important for a special occasion like Valentine’s day.
Cost: $0 (Blood, sweat, and tears)
Set The Table Right
If you consume all your meals at the dining table, Valentine’s Day is the night when you’ll want to declutter and set the table right. By clearing out the surrounding clutter around the dining table and adding a few extras, you can transform the ambiance. But first, here is how to do a basic table setup courtesy of the folks over at Real Simple.
- Lay the placemat onto the table.
- Fold the napkin neatly and put it to the left of the placemat.
- Place your dinner fork on the napkin.
- Stack the dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl in the middle.
- Lay the dinner knife and soup spoon beside the plates.
- Place the water glass next to the wine glass and you’re done.
To improve the ambiance further, you can grab a small bouquet of your special one’s favorite flowers in a vase.
This exquisite vase will work great as a centerpiece on your table. Turn the lights down and burn some scented candles to improve the atmosphere further.
Cost: $13 for candles and $30 for the flowers.
Pick a Playlist to Set The Mood
Now that we are in the 21st century, all you need is your phone to make a playlist of your favorite love songs. Try and remember the songs that both you and your significant other love and add them to this thoughtfully curated playlist. If you are pressed for time, this playlist of modern and classic love songs will do the trick. For a more chilled out vibe check out this lo-fi Valentine’s Day playlist.
The drink does not have to be too expensive, however, you’ll need to be more thoughtful about what drink to get. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Wine for tips on how to chose the perfect bottle of wine for this experience. A bottle of Winemakers Reserve Syrah which has received rave reviews for its value will only set you back $15 at Giant.
For those of you that don’t like alcohol, here’s a recipe you can follow. The taste for this is exceptional and it can be used for special occasions that call for champagne.
1 cup chilled club soda or carbonated water
1 cup chilled ginger ale
1.5 cups chilled white grape juice
Mix thoroughly and pour the drink into chilled glasses.
Cost: $15 for a bottle of wine
Total: $58 ($53 if you opt for the non-alcoholic drink)
Prepare a Restaurant Quality Meal
Time for you to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay. For those who are at home in the kitchen, you can skip this part altogether. Otherwise here is a lovely beginner friendly steak recipe with fries. As for the accompanying salad, you can get it at the supermarket when buying the ingredients for the meal. Prepare the ingredients for both the fries and oven before you proceed.
Oven Steak Fries
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Servings: 2
1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 potatoes cut into wedges.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Place potato wedges in the bowl and coat with spices.
- Transfer potato wedges to a large ungreased baking sheet (do not overcrowd).
- Bake until the potato wedges are golden and crisp (about 40 minutes). Serve immediately!
After putting the fries into the oven, move on to preparing the steak.
Gordon Ramsay’s Steak
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Servings: 2
400 grams rib-eye steaks out from the fridge for at least 30 minutes
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
- Take out the steak from the fridge and leave it for 30 mins to defrost.
- Season the steak with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Spread salt and pepper evenly over the steak.
- Heat pan on the stove at medium heat.
- Add olive oil to the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, place the meat on the pan.
- This is how long you should cook a rib-eye steak that is about 3.5cm thick
- Blue: 1½ mins each side
- Rare: 2¼ mins each side
- Medium-rare: 3¼ mins each side
- Medium: 4½ mins each side
Serve the fries, steak, and salad on this Beech Wood Pizza Board to complete the restaurant experience.
Cost: $19 for the ribeye steaks, $6 for the salad and $16 for the potatoes and spices.
There you have it! Just follow these five easy steps and you’ll be able to create a ridiculously romantic date experience for you and your significant other this Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t already gotten your special someone a gift take a look at our Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For All The Stages of The Relationship.
Also, You’ll be glad to know that our prices remain the same year-round and we have a sweet sweet offer for you and your loved one. Check out this online exclusive deal where you will get a free gift with purchase when you buy your gifts with us. Happy Valentine’s Day!