The Harbinger Online

Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Photo by Ellie Thoma


Bella Napoli

With all of the pressures of planning the “perfect evening,” Valentine’s Day dinners are known for being an expensive let down. An overpriced salad, which looks much too small to be considered an entree, and a substandard bowl of spaghetti add up to create a pretty hefty bill. What’s a couple on a budget to do?

Brookside’s Bella Napoli is the answer. They have everything one could want for a laid back, yet special, Valentine’s Day dinner. Known for its delicious and authentic Northern Italian cuisine, Bella Napoli offers a variety of high-quality and potentially shareable pizzas – my favorite being the Margarita – averaging about $10 each. All of their pasta dishes, like Carbonara and Bolognese, are under $20 and absolutely worth their price. No need to be wallet-weary when Feb. 14 rolls around, Bella Napoli’s great food, comfortable atmosphere and affordable prices will save the (Valentine’s) day.


Dolce Bakery

Desserts’ expensive prices often make their sweet flavor seem awfully sour. Luckily, some of  Dolce Bakery’s celebratory delicacies are reasonably priced. Offered exclusively on Valentine’s Day, these treats are as beautiful as they are mouth-watering. In an assortment of flavors such as Chocolate Blackout, Raspberry Cream, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Naked Red Velvet, Dolce’s 4-inch layer cakes for two are just $12 each. Whether you’re sharing these lovely cakes with a loved one or keeping them for yourself, Dolce’s Valentine’s Day specialities are sure to bring even more sweetness to this lovely season.


Make your own Bouquetflower

Flowers can be extremely costly; a Valentine’s Day bouquet from Village Flower Company can cost anywhere from $100 to $230. Even Hen House has some steep prices, with a small bundle of red roses costing $17. So instead of emptying your wallet for specialty flower arrangements, make your own. This affordable and easy DIY is also the perfect way to make a Valentine’s Day bouquet personal, and here’s how to do it:


– Flowers of coordinating colors from Trader Joe’s (I bought two bundles costing $2.99 and $3.99 respectively)
– 1 empty 28 ounce can

– 1 12 X 7 inch piece of paper

– Ruler

– Scissors

– Scotch tape

  1. Fill the can with about an two inches of water.
  2. Choose flowers of various sizes. Remove the majority of the leaves from the stems, leaving a few near the buds.
  3. Measure and trim the flower’s stems, making sure they are between 5 to 6 inches long and not all the same length.
  4. Place into the can, making sure that they are spread out evenly in size.
  5. Tape your 12 X 7 inch piece of paper around the 28 ounce can.
  6. Attach details of choice (I made hearts out of color- coordinated  construction paper).
  7. Gift to a special someone within 24 hours to keep the flowers fresh.


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