It's true. I cooked. And saved a ton of dough.

This year for Valentine's Day, my husband and I decided to skip the crowded restaurant/getting dressed up/pomp and circumstance required to dine out in a decent restaurant. Honestly, by the end of the weekend, we are both ready to kick up our feet and catch up on Netflix.

One of the tricks we used at the grocery store was to pick up a fancy dessert and the side dishes. A small chocolate ganache mousse cake was $5.99, which breaks down to less than $1.00/serving. The cake was amazing and cost much less than you'd find in any restaurant, especially on a holiday. The fresh pasta salads from the deli department had roughly the same cost of $1.00/serving. Delicious!

As a person who lives with Fibromyalgia, cooking is a rare occurrence for me. Were it not for the pain that comes from prolonged standing, chopping, stirring, etc., I would be whipping things up in my kitchen every day. Fortunately, Praise the Lord, Sunday was a good day good me and I was able to cook our meal. It took a bit longer than I would have liked, and I took a break in the middle, but it was an overall success. My hubby was uber-helpful and volunteered to dip the strawberries in chocolate {{yumm}} and clean the kitchen afterwards. He was also incredibly patient while I cooked. [Side note: Extra points for the man. Years of standing point that he'll never buy me roses because of the expense, mark-up, how quickly they die, etc., etc. He brought home a dozen red roses!]

Aside from getting to spend time with my husband and cooking on a good pain-free day for me, I get to figure out how much money I saved. This is an ongoing joke around our house. It's never about how much I spent, it's about how much I SAVED. For instance, if I go into a store and spend $23.00 but save $149.50, how could I not brag about that?? I know there are many of you in agreement out there. You know which stores show you how much you saved on your receipts, and which ones circle it for you. I just LOVE this!

So here's the breakdown on our stay-at-home Valentine's Day meal. If you went out to eat and had a meal similar to this, compare what you paid at the end of the night. You'll have to include the tip you paid because service is a luxury that comes with dining out. We served ourselves.

Per Person Price

$2.42  Salmon
$0.42  Fresh mango salsa
$1.16  Pasta salad
$0.99  Chocolate ganache cake
$0.70  Chocolate covered strawberries
$0.59  Moscato wine

Subtotal =  $6.28
               +  $5.69 (hubby drank water)

TOTAL    = $11.97

Not bad, I'd say.

BONUS: The luxury of eating on a comfy couch with our feet up while watching a movie.

Worth every penny.

Grilled Salmon.
All fresh ingredient salsa: Mangoes, apples, clementines, onions & basil, reduced with Moscato.
Bowtie pasta salad with broccolini, grape tomatoes and fresh parmesean
Triple chocolate mousse cake
Hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries


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