Make A Fab Four-Course Valentine’s Dinner on a Budget

Let’s be real, we are college students and we cannot, by any means, afford a gourmet, four-course meal at any near-fancy restaurant.

Honestly, the majority of us think a dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings is considered “good” eating. Yes, their wings and the multiple options of sauces are amazing, but it is not an ideal Valentine’s dinner destination for you and your significant other.

Not to mention, we can’t all afford to eat out at Midori Sushi and Martini Lounge – did I mention we are college students?

Before you start counting your loose change, try making a home-cooked Valentine’s dinner this year.

Not only will your significant other be in “awe,” but this intimate meal will make them say “awwww.”

So, stay in, save money, pour a couple glasses of wine and make a special four-course meal this Valentine’s Day.

Drink: Wine

Start with the wine. Whether you prefer red or white, sweet or dry, you must buy wine.

It doesn’t have to be super expensive, especially since the majority of us live off Barefoot just about every Wednesday night.

Appetizer: Cheese and Cracker Tray

What goes better with cheese than wine?

The answer is crackers – in fact, all three are a perfect appetizer ensemble. Put together a simple cheese and cracker assortment by buying your favorite cheeses and a box of crackers, then placing them onto a plate.

Our favorite cheese and cracker trays include Table Water Crackers with Aged Cheddar, Gouda and Brie.

Side Salad: Caesar Salad

Probably one of the easiest salads to make and usually, a fan-favorite is caesar salad.

For this side salad, use romaine lettuce and add croutons. Drizzle and mix in caesar dressing. Once you serve it, top off the salad with shaved parmesan. Can you say “yum”?

Entree: Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

We’ve all had our fair share of butter noodles, and with a few extra steps, our go-to dinner can become an elegant one. Check out the recipe below to make the perfect main dish for two.


  • 4-ounces of fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups of baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and set them aside to marinate.
  • Start by boiling salted water and cooking the pasta. Once the noodles are completley cooked, drain them with a strainer.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of  butter in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Mix in the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Next, add in the seasoned shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is pink (about 3 minutes).
  • Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Then, stir in the cooked pasta, fresh arugula and parmesan until arugula begins to wilt (about 2 minutes).
  • Add in the shrimp, and serve while warm. (For that extra oomph, garnish the meal with parsley). Enjoy!

Dessert: Chocolate-covered Strawberries

The last, but never forgotten course – dessert.

Chocolate-covered strawberries are an inexpensive, but classic treat. Ever since we were young, we loved making this simple dessert (admit it, even reading about them immediately makes you want to make some).

Fortunately, it’s a quick treat to whip up. All it takes is a package of strawberries and melted semisweet chocolate.

Dip the strawberries into the chocolate and place on a cooking sheet. Let them cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

And, voila! You have made a four-course meal and didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg.

So, light some candles, turn on some music and enjoy your own, personalized Valentine’s Dinner.