When I wrote my “Super Bowl Savings” post, I was a bit dismissive of Valentine’s Day as a Holiday…I mentioned it’s a great time to buy chocolate. It’s also a great time to buy cards and flowers, but there are a few surprises – scroll down!
It’s a good thing that I decided to rethink as I looked at the sales at my grocery store this week. Check your local ad and see if you don’t find some of these special items for sale in your neighborhood store.
- Many greeting cards are on special
- Some card companies are making special offers – buy 3 get one free, etc.
Flowers and flowering plants:
- Rather a no brainer, but I saw not only flowers on sale, but several flowering plants. And at some surprising locations like Home Depot. Even if you don’t have a sweetheart, consider treating yourself.
- Yes, chocolate was on sale and on special almost everywhere, and other candies, too.
- It will be even cheaper AFTER Valentine’s Day – if you’re a baker, consider that sales priced bags of good chocolate can be used instead of baking chocolate, and may be much less expensive!
Seafood, Steaks and Cornish Hens:
- I noticed the above on sale at my store, for the romantic dinners, I guess. If you like to entertain or just like to treat yourself, consider picking these items up at a sales price and throwing them in your freezer.
- If you’re craving lobster, shrimp or crab, it might be on sale for a great price. Salmon, too, was on sale at my store.
- Steaks – a number of the “fancier” cuts were on sale as well as the “no names.”
- Cornish Game Hens, if picked up on sale can be a great option for a dinner party, especially if you use a recipe where they are cut in half.
- Lettuce: Look for great prices on the “pricier” lettuces. Red, Curly and Romaine were at rock bottom prices.
- Sexy Vegetables: Asparagus was at a really good price. Not in season yet, I’m pretty sure my store must have conscripted a big shipment – and big shipments usually travel fast. It looked beautiful and fresh. Broccoli was at a bottom price and Baby Portabellas were, too!
- Romantic Fruit: Strawberries and Pears were both on sale at very low prices. What says “I love you” more than Strawberries and Champagne or Wine Poached pears?
Miscellaneous “Luxury” type items:
- Throughout the store, I saw great prices on some of the higher end products: Olives, Nuts, jars of little fancy items that go great in cocktails…
- Some of the cheeses were on sale in the “near deli” aisle. Goat cheese, for one.
- Flour, Sugar, Whipping Cream were all on sale
- Bakery Cakes and several individual desserts were on special
Crackers were on sale in nearly every store I was in this week – one store had a great price on Ritz and another on their fancier Water Crackers.
The lesson here: Don’t be dismissive of the marketability of any Holiday – and take advantage of whatever sales it generates!
What to Cook for V-Day?
Recipes so Elegant, No One Will Know You’re on a Budget: – A few budget-minded recipes to think about making for your sweetie or your family for Valentine’s Day…
Think about Chicken Piccata: Easy to make, it can be ready in minutes. The bright, lemony flavor is a perfect palate pleaser for the mid-February Doldrums!
Pork Tenderloin with a wine reduction, adapted from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, simplified a bit and brought in at a Budget Price it is supremely delicious and one of our favorite special occasion meals.
It’s hard to believe that Shrimp can be a budget dinner, but these Shrimp and Kale Packets with White Beans are amazing. This recipe is served in Parchment “purses” and is so elegant! And so healthy!
The parchment seals in the flavor and does AMAZING things to the sauce that forms with the steam…so healthy you won’t have to worry about splurging on dessert. So easy, it’s a GREAT beginner dish!
How about a little something sweet for your sweetheart? Chocolate Pots de Crème – this one made in minutes in the blender with a two-hour chill time…
Cyclic Changes in the Market
So many Holidays have great sales – while it “seems” to make sense sometimes to budget a set amount of money per week for food, food doesn’t cost the same every week! The amount of savings can be much greater if you can identify when to expect great sales on items, and what those items are and budget a bit extra for those weeks.
Then beat the grocer at their own game! Instead of passively being drawn into a store to pick up one or two specials and then buy whatever else you need for the week, buy as much as possible of the specials for the Holiday week and weeks or months beyond. Make up the rest of your meal from low-priced staples and such you have “banked” at home. Of course, only buy what you can store and use in a reasonable time period.
If you made it this far, what am I missing, guys? What bargains do you look for in this extended Holiday season?