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Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Guest Posts | 0 comments

Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget: Dinner for 2 for $14

What’s a better way to enjoy “2/14″ than to enjoy dinner and decor for “2″ for only “$14.00″ or less? Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day does not have to be expensive or over the top to be fun, meaningful, and worth remembering. With just a little careful planning, you too can enjoy a beautiful Valentine’s Day on a shoestring budget. Take a peek at how you can create “2″ for “$14″ yourself!

Valentine's Day Dinner on a Budget

First, let’s peek at the dinner menu -

  • Sesame Chicken
  • Rice with Grilled Corn

Sesame Chicken & Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, nearly thawed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice cooking wine (aji mirin), or white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Rice, for serving
Valentine's Day Dinner on a Budget: Dinner for 2 for $14

Photo Credit: Food Network

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes (easiest when not completely thawed). In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange marmalade, wine, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss in the chicken cubes and marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. In another bowl or plastic bag, mix together the flour and sesame seeds. Drain the chicken cubes and blot any excess liquid, and then toss in the flour to coat lightly. Spread the chicken cubes on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake until the chicken is crispy but not dry, about 20 minutes, turning the cubes halfway through. Serve with rice!

Grilled Corn

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked (husk and silk removed)

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the butter, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt, and pepper, to taste.
  2. Rub the spiced butter on the corn, coating completely.
  3. Wrap each ear of corn in aluminum foil and place on the grill.
  4. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, turning several times for even cooking. Carefully remove the foil before serving.
Valentine's Day Dinner on a Budget: Dinner for 2 for $14

Photo Credit: Food Network

You can easily pair a simple green salad with this meal if you wish or add a simple and inexpensive dessert such as ice cream or sugar cookies! As you can see, most of the ingredients used in these recipes are items you may already have around the kitchen. Just add your fresh ingredients and you’re all set!

Now that dinner is decided, let’s take a peek at some decor options! The first place you might want to stop is your local dollar store for simple candles, candle holders, and other Valentine’s Day themed decor. In fact, a simple package of paper doilies and ribbon are the perfect ingredients for a Valentine’s Day banner. Take a look at how to create your own!

Supplies needed

  • Clear tape
  • Ribbon (One package at $1.00 is plenty)
  • One package of paper doilies (available in packages of 10-12 for $1.00 at local dollar store.)
  • Scissors

Directions

  1. Simply fold your paper doilies over the ribbon and secure with tape.
  2. You can make your banner as long or as short as you wish.
  3. Use your scissors to cut out optional heart shapes if you wish.
  4. It will look beautiful draped from a doorway or even a fireplace mantel if you have one!
Valentine's Day Dinner on a Budget: Dinner for 2 for $14

Photo Credit: Primp Junktion

As you can see, a great meal and whimsical decor can all be enjoyed on a budget with a little creativity and careful planning. Create a Valentine’s Day to remember for two, for $14 or less with these tips and have fun seeing what you can come up with!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks to Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinner for these great recipe inspirations!

Guest blogger Ryan Preston is a Savings.com DealPro and founder of Ultimate Coupon Club, a website helping others learn how to cut their grocery bill.

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