Looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your special sweetie without spending a fortune? Aldi can help you prepare a restaurant-quality meal at a fraction of the price you’d pay going out. Some of the items below are only offered seasonally, while others can bring home a nice “date night” any time of the year. Pick your budget and plan your menu from the options below. Feel free to mix and match according to your taste and budget.
And yes, all of these estimates include a bottle of wine! Though you can always pick up a bottle of sparkling juice for only $2.49 if you’d rather not consume alcohol. Price estimates are all before tax and are based on current prices at my home store in St. Louis, MO; prices on meat and produce can vary regionally.
Under $10: Pork Tenderloin
Don’t think you can make a “fancy” dinner for two– including wine!– for less than $10? Think again. Start with a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin ($3.29 per lb. — many run close to a pound exactly, so I’m using this number for my budget). These are best grilled, but they’re easy to cook in the oven or stove, too. Pork tenderloin is easy, delicious, and versatile, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made it. Serve with a side of Fusia Asian flavored rice or noodles (79 cents) and steam up a bag of Season’s Choice Frozen Peas (95 cents).
With the money you’ve saved on dinner, you can still afford wine (Winking Owl Pinot Grigio, $2.89, serve very cold) and dessert (frozen cheesecake twin pack, $1.49).
Total budget: $9.41
Under $15: Shrimp Alfredo
Yes, you can serve seafood for two for under $15! Total! Not only is this meal ridiculously cheap, but it’s the best choice on this list for people who don’t like to cook. Start with a box of Simply Nature Organic Linguine ($1.09) and toss with Primo Creamy Alfredo Sauce, $1.69. Defrost a bag of Sea Queen medium-sized shrimp (cooked and peeled, $4.49) and mix in with the cooked pasta and sauce. Toss a Little Salad Bar Caesar Salad Kit ($1.99) for an easy side dish and pair with a lightly chilled bottle of Winking Owl Chardonnay ($2.89). Side note: I find that Winking Owl’s white wines are better than their red wines, and their chardonnay rivals much more expensive brands for warm, vanilla flavors.
Looking for an easy no-prep dessert? Try a box of Deutche Kuche marble or plain pound cake ($1.99) or try the Special Buy heart-shaped shortbread cookies (cherry or strawberry flavors, dipped in chocolate), also $1.99.
Total budget: $14.14
Under $25: Surf n’ Turf
Want a slightly more expensive meal that’s both festive and decadent? Pick up just one whole lobster ($9.99) and also buy a Black Angus USDA Choice Ribeye Steak ($8.89/ lb, but many come in 1/2-3/4 lb sizes, so I’m budgeting $6.50). Whip up an easy gourmet side with Earthly Grains flavored grain mix for $1.69, available in three flavors: spelt with mushrooms and black truffle, barley with butternut squash and shallots, or farro with button and porcini mushrooms. Then, steam up a bag of Season’s Choice Frozen Broccoli ($1.19). Pair this meal with a versatile light red wine, such as Flirty Bird Red Blend ($3.99).
Got room for dessert? Whip up a batch of Baker’s Corner Brownie Mix for only 85 cents.
Total budget: $24.21
Under $35: Lobster for Two
This week Aldi is selling whole (!) frozen Maine lobsters for $9.99 each. Wow! They’re surprisingly easy to cook on the stove or in the oven, and there are instructions on the bag. Serve these with lots of butter plus Special Buy heart-shaped pasta ($1.99) tossed in butter, olive oil, and garlic. Steam up a side of Season’s Choice steamable frozen asparagus ($2.49) (with more butter!) for an easy vegetable dish. Serve with a bottle of Belletti Prosecco ($6.99) because bubbles = special.
What’s for dessert? After all that butter, you might want something a little light. How about strawberries ($1.49) dipped in melted Baker’s Choice Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips ($1.79)?
Total budget: $34.73
However you celebrate, have a happy and safe Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget: Aldi sells flowers and boxed chocolates, too!