When you start dating, Valentine’s Day is pretty easy. But once kids enter the scene? Well, it’s not hard for intimacy to take a back seat. And when you’re on a budget, date night can be an even bigger challenge. The good news is that it’s really easy to stay within your budget and celebrate the sweetest day of the year with a few budget-friendly date ideas that are sure to spice up your celebration! (And for the sake of disclosure, this post is brought to you by #CollectiveBias and K-Y couples lubricant. Adults only, please!)
In addition to being known for their health benefits, many spices are believed to enhance the sexytime, if you know what I mean. True or not, there’s no question that spices add depth and interest to your culinary creations, and everything seems just a little more special when you spice it up.
A few easy ways to add a little spice:
Spice up a special meal: Surf and turf is great, but so predictable. Try perking up a pork loin with a sauce made from cherries and Carribean jerk spice, or creating a crust for salmon using cinnamon and honey. Everyday pizza can even fit the occasion when you craft a heart-shaped crust and top with a spicy Arrabbiata sauce!
Spice up your wine: Go with the less expensive bottle (I prefer a red), then warm with mulling spices and serve in pretty glasses with slices of orange, berries or cinnamon sticks. You can do the whole thing for less than ten bucks.
Spice up your cocktails: There seems to be no end to the selection of flavored vodkas and spiced rums these days – the aisles look like a grown-up candy store! Get creative at home with spiced liqueurs, spice-rimmed glasses and infused simple syrups. Try a spiced tea (like Good Earth Sweet & Spicy blend), brewed strong, with a splash of bourbon and sugar. For sweeter drinks, like apple pie shots or fun flavored martinis, a simple spritz of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar (or red hots!) on top can take your cocktail from ho-hum to HOT! (Not to mention the fact that you can buy the whole bottle for the same price as a restaurant drink, and you won’t have to worry about driving home. So have two! )
Spice up dessert: Strawberries might be the standard, but hey…been there, done that, right? Try cardamom-poached pears or sauteed apples with nutmeg and cinnamon-spiked whipped cream. Or, make it even easier on yourself and create a tasting platter with dessert cheeses, grapes, berries and a spiced chocolate. Lindt makes a chili-infused bar that’s available at most grocery retailers, or look for specialty bars that include everything from saffron to Ceylon cinnamon, sea salt and smoked chipotle.
The thing about great food is that it leads to great conversation, which, in turn, leads to what the folks at K-Y call “intimacy enhancement.” What parents couldn’t use a little of that, right? And the good news is that their new K-Y Yours+Mine Couples Lubricant can be found at your local Walmart, where you can spot it easily, drop it into your cart quick and just keep on walkin’… ((whistles))
(And if you run into your very friendly neighbor at Walmart, just toss it under something completely innocent, like baby jammies. Or not. Your call.)
BUDGET-FRIENDLY BONUS: Thrifty spenders will still be in good shape, because right now, specially marked Valentine’s Day Yours+Mine packages contain a $40 coupon for dinner (Plated.com) and a movie (Vudu.com)! Use it for the holiday, or use it to plan ahead for your next date night in.
Just look for the seal on the box:
So, try something new this Valentine’s Day! (Food. I’m talking about the food.)
Or not. Your call.
And with that, this is your friendly neighborhood #KYdatenight Guide, signing off. Over and out. Now go plan a Happy Valentine’s Day!