Our (Cheap) Valentine’s Day Tradition


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Happy Valentine's Day

Today is the supposed most romantic day of the year. And what does our Valentine’s Day look like? Refer to the photo above and below.

We cook a roast. This will be our 6th year of having a Valentine’s dinner roast. And how did this tradition begin? It was our first year of marriage, and in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Johnny and I were discussing where we should get a reservation. We couldn’t afford a fancy schmancy place, but we still wanted the night to be special. So instead of going to a crowded restaurant, we decided to to make our own “fancy” (to us) meal at home. So we bought ingredients to make a dinner that included a roast, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, salad, and rolls. We set out our nicest dinner plates (i.e., not paper plates) and had a romantic, super low-key evening at home.

Valentine's Day roast

So fast forward six years, and the tradition has lived on! We could probably afford a nice restaurant now for this special occasion, but the roast is still what we prefer. And, let’s be honest, even if we wanted to, Baby Girl isn’t letting us go anywhere.

As far as Valentines day gifts go, we keep those pretty low key also. Johnny “surprises” me with flowers each year (in fact, buying flowers could warrant a He Says/She Says post since Johnny doesn’t like spending the money, but I’ve won this battle!). Lucky for Johnny, I’ve never been huge on chocolate, so that’s an expense he doesn’t have to worry with. And if there’s a special gift that one of us is wanting, we might exchange gifts, but for the most part, we just stick with little notes or inexpensive surprises.

And that’s it! Easy peasy. Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? Please share!

Also, yesterday we did a pre-Valentine’s Day Google Hangout with CreditCardGuide.com, so check it out here! Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Be sure to show that special someone lots of LOVE. XO!

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28 Comments

  • Reply Brian February 14, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Usually we do pizza and a movie of my choice on Valentine’s day. Past movies have included: Over the Top, Roadhouse, Bloodsport, Die Hard, Rambo, etc (basically anything that would have been shown on TBS’s Movies for Guys who like Movies). Of course this is balanced out by going to a decent dinner (usually a couple weeks ahead of time to coincide with Devour Downtown here) and a total chick flick,

    This year we aren’t doing anything. I’m going to spend some Daddy/Son time with my little guy and she is going to go out with her gay best friend to celebrate his birthday/getting a new job. We were going to see It’s a Good Day to Die Hard, but the little guy has been a little under the weather this week, so I am ok with this new plan

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Your wife is a saint for watching those movies on Valentine’s Day! I love that you both get your nights with a dinner and movie of your choosing. Very cool.

      And major points to you for staying home with your son while your wife goes out. That’s definitely showing her you love her. :)

  • Reply Michelle February 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Love your tradition! We usually do something different every year. I’m not a huge fan of the holiday so I don’t care what we do haha! :)

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      It definitely makes it easier on the guy when the girl isn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day… Lucky W! :)

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor February 14, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Aww, I love that tradition. bf and I don’t really have a set tradition. Typically he buys me some sort of chocolate or flowers (which every year I tell him not to do). Last year he brought me a mini cheesecake to my work. This year he bought me an iphone (gave it to me last weekend because I needed to be there to activate it)

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Your BF is smart for still buying you flowers or chocolate even when you tell him not to! He sounds like a keeper!

  • Reply Catherine February 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

    That’s sweet :) I’m not really into Valentines day at all, we used to boycott Vday by going to McDonalds, we would deliberately try and do the most unromantic thing, unbeknownst to us, we were actually creating a tradition by doing so…haha. We’ll start doing something for our daughter next year but nothing special for us :)

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      I love it! Even if it’s an anti-Valentine’s tradition, it’s still a way to have fun together. And I’m also excited for our girl to be old enough to get her involved in the day… for now, she just has to put up with her mom dressing her in lots of pink and red! 😀

  • Reply John S @ Frugal Rules February 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Great tradition! We don’t have one ourselves, but are generally low key about it. We generally make dinner at home or I grill and we exchange small gifts. Now that we have kids we like to involve them in it to make it more fun for everyone.

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Sounds perfect to me… we’re all about low key. And kids make every holiday a little more fun!

  • Reply Shellie February 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

    How cool, that’s just what we do! We go to the local butcher and get T-Bones to throw on the BBQ every year. Pair that with a bottle of sparkling apple cider (were not wine drinkers) and its my favorite day of the year!

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      MmmMmm. That sounds wonderful. And Johnny and I aren’t wine drinkers either (or drinkers at all), so we’ll be joining you with the sparkling cider tonight also! Twinners! :)

  • Reply Roo Ciambriello // NiceGirlNotes February 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

    What a fun tradition! Love that. I actually have *no* idea what we’re going to do tonight. Our littlest one sustained a minor injury last night, so we’ll probably be showing her a little TLC. I think we’re going to end up playing Battleship on the coffee table.

    That is not a euphemism.

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Oh no! Poor little sweetie. As this is our first Valentine’s with a kid, I’m starting to see that the romance kind of goes out the window. The day that Johnny and I have enough time alone to play a game of Battleship will be a very good day. That is not a euphemism, either.

  • Reply Chris February 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    That’s such a cool tradition! My ex and I had a tradition of (attempting) to cook some sort of luxury food like crab legs or lobster and then just get drunk on Sailor Jerry’s and watch movies. It was probably the most fun I ever had for Valentine’s day!

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Sounds like a perfect, laidback night. I love when you can do pretty much anything and have a good time because of who you’re with!

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls February 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    We got engaged 11 years ago today, but we are usually tapped out by the time it rolls around!

    We are sticking to low key. He left me and each of our girls a card and a rose today. I got him a card and some candy. We will have a yummy pasta dinner once the kids head to bed and we will probably finish watching Django Unchained (I know, romantic!). I got the girls some new additions to their extensive My Little Pony collection!

    I just love that we can all just be together and love each other. I don’t think gifts are necessary.

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Yup. Just being with the ones you love is the best part of Valentine’s Day. To me, a yummy dinner and a movie at home with the hubs pretty much can’t be beat. You guys have fun tonight!

  • Reply Stephen at SE February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I don’t normally comment much. But I love roast. I love when my wife cooks roast. I think I’ll actually send her a link to this post. She’ll get a kick out of it. We normally grill out some steaks at home but I might request one of her famous roasts this time! Thanks for the tip and happy valentines day

    • Reply Joanna February 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      It is hands down my husband’s favorite meal that I make. It makes him one happy guy. This is the first place we’ve lived that’s actually had a patio for grilling out, so I could see us trying out steaks next Valentine’s. We love us some red meat. :)

  • Reply Laurie February 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Love this, guys! We do a similar thing: Rick and I and all 4 of the kids settle in for a special dinner. This year it’ll be Mr. CBB’s Spinach and Ricotta fettucine, and chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. I wouldn’t trade it for a dinner out for the world. We love our special dinner in with the kids.

    • Reply Joanna February 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Sounds delicious! I hope you guys had a great night. From what I know it entailed, I’m sure you did! :)

  • Reply Sarah February 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    We are pretty laid back (sometimes a little *too* laid back. Ahem.), but it’s kind of the stage of life we’re in, now…tonight we’ll have spaghetti for dinner and exchange googly eyes over our toddler who will probably be throwing the spaghetti…and later we’ll catch up on the New Girl or the Big Bang Theory on our laptop in bed while I fidget my seven-month pregnant self around trying to get comfortable. I did get up early to make my man coffee before he left for work this morning…that’s romantic, right?

    • Reply Joanna February 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I’m learning all too well that adjustments have to be made depending on kids/pregnancy! But because of those adjustments, I think Johnny and I are stronger. And I’m sure you’ve found it to be the same with you and your husband. We might not have had the most romantic Valentine’s Days, but we’ll make up for it a few months from now with a vacation sans kids, amiright?!

  • Reply Diane February 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I LOVE your Valentine’s Day tradition~ I think that’s just perfect! My honey always buys me roses and I’ve finally convinced him I’d rather he pick them up at Sam’s than pay 4 times as much to have them delivered!

    Sometimes we go out for a Valentine’s lunch, then spend the evening at home, since restaurants tend to be so crowded on that night. One year he made reservations at a lovely exclusive restaurant and that was fun and romantic, but pricey.

    Friday night is our Pizza Date Night. We do this every week unless some obligation interferes. So we decided to have our regular pizza night tonight, which is my preference. I’m just not into crowded restaurants and Valentine’s Day is the worst night to go out~ we can do that any time.

    I have my beautiful roses and I bought him a cd and a bottle of red wine. On the way home from pizza tonight we’ll rent a movie at redbox. After 10 years together we can make anything into a romantic evening… :-)

    • Reply Joanna February 18, 2014 at 1:38 am

      We sound like two peas in a pod, Diane! Johnny and I are all about low-key evenings. They’re the best, in my opinion. It sounds like you and your man have figured out the perfect evening together… that’s the nice thing about being together long enough to know each other so well!

  • Reply jenlarson79 February 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Your valentine’s sounds great! We definitely do low-key, too. We’d much rather enjoy dinner at home with the kids than fight the crowds in the restaurants :) We got heart-shaped take & bake pizzas, and some strawberry shortcake for dessert, and watched “The Croods”. We don’t usually do gifts…we got the kids each a little bit of chocolate, but they surprised us with a gift certificate to the Cheesecake factory! (They had a little help getting to the store, from their grandma – our kids are 10 and 7, but they used their allowance money for our gifts.) So we plan on taking them there, to enjoy it with us…after the valentine’s crowds die down, of course!

    • Reply Joanna February 18, 2014 at 1:44 am

      Yes, Johnny and I both avoid crowds like the plague! What a perfect little evening you and your family had together! And that’s too cute that your kids got you guys a gift. That will be a fun family outing together!

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