Our Fun and Frugal Valentines Day Menu

As you might have suspected  🙂 , there’ll be no going out to a fancy restaurant for us this Valentines Day.  For the past few years we’ve chosen to celebrate this holiday at home.  Our usual menu consists of lasagna and homemade chocolate cake, but this year we’re venturing out in favor of change for something different.  Don’t worry, though, we’ll still do our Valentine’s Day menu frugally.  Here’s what we’re serving:

A Mini Pasta Bar

Really mini.  Guests (i.e. me, Rick, our four kids and Rick’s mom 🙂 ) will have their choice of eating fettuccine noodles or cheese ravioli – yum!  For sauce, I’ll use our favorite red sauce: Rinaldi’s Traditional Meat-Flavored Sauce, and we’ll also serve this copycat recipe I found for Olive Garden’s Alfredo Recipe.  Luckily, the family can take or leave meat, so no one will be traumatized if I don’t serve meatballs.

Better Than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce. Photo by run for your lifeID-10065350

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 A Great Salad

This will cost us ZERO.  Rick’s mom is bringing a great veggie salad along with her homemade Italian dressing.  Score!






Photo Credit


Yummy Bread

We always buy either French bread or Baguette bread (super cheap at the warehouse clubs), slice it up, smother it with real butter, garlic powder and salt, and then bake it in a 425-450 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.


For Valentines Day dessert we usually use this chocolate cake recipe with this awesome homemade frosting, but this year we’re doing something different.  Check out these yummy-looking desserts:

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake  Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

 Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars 

Are these delicious-looking or what?  My goal was to serve one or the other, but since I couldn’t choose between the two, we’re just making both.  The desserts call for more expensive ingredients in some places, but we’ll likely substitute frugal ones instead. Also, the Icebox cake calls for Mascarpone cheese, which is spendy, but I found a cheap and just as yummy substitute online. Go, frugal! 🙂

SO, with the food, small gifts for the kids, greeting cards and everything, we spent roughly $60 and change for everything, which works out to $8.57 per person, including gifts! You can’t eat out at a fine restaurant, especially on Valentines Day, for that kind of cash, and yes, you’re welcome to join us.  Just be prepared for freezing cold weather and a busy, semi-loud home.  We all love to do our fair share of talking.   🙂


  1. Who needs fine dining when you can whip that up at home! That really looks delicious…I’m getting hungry just looking at it. My wife and I rarely go out to eat on Valentine’s Day…the prices are usually jacked up for the occasion and it’s busy with so many other couples there that the service isn’t as great.

    • Laurie says:

      Oh, believe me, there are benefits too, like not having to deal with a husband who refuses to put his dishes in the sink or pick up his underwear. 😉 Make sure to indulge yourself in a nice, chocolately treat, my friend, and know that you are loved by many. 🙂

  2. Looks delicious! You had me at chocolate. I LOVE chocolate. 🙂 It truly sounds like a wonderful evening that will be full of laughter and love. What more could you want on Valentine’s Day? Have a great weekend!

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, yes, me too. If I had to pick between Rick and chocolate, I can’t guarantee that Rick would win. 😉 You have a great weekend too, Shannon. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Cool, Shannon!! Yes, Rick’s mom isn’t married or attached, so we like to share the love with her that day. Have fun with your MIL too. 🙂

  3. Oh, my God! That chocolate cheescake looks amazing! This year we won’t be able to go our as Baby Romanian is too young to take with us (usually in Romania it is allowed to smoke in all restaurants) and my wife doesn’t have the heart to let him at home with my mom. So we’ll celebrate at home too and we might just give it a try with the chocolate cheesecake candy cane bars!

    • Laurie says:

      I know – doesn’t it? I think a nice celebration at home with all of you will be perfect. You’ll have to let me know how you like the cheesecake bars. 🙂

  4. OMG! Your Valentine’s Day meal sounds so yummy! Pasta is one of my favorite foods and I love the idea of a pasta bar. The alfredo sauces looks so rich and I love the addition of mozzarella cheese. 🙂 And the chocolate cheesecake candy cane bar … yes, please! You have to let me know how those turn out because I swear I almost licked the screen when I saw them. Chocolate and peppermint are two of my favorite combos. One of my others is chocolate and coffee. The desserts look great and I’m with you on making two!

    • Laurie says:

      I know!!! Don’t they look awesome? The Food Network site has some seriously amazing recipes on it. I’ll for sure let ya’ll know, probably on the Saturday post, how they turn out. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Tell me!! I just Google searched “substitute for mascarpone cheese” and found a couple of recipes for a mix of heavy cream, sour cream and cream cheese, I think it was, all of which we already have on hand. 🙂

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