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Valentine’s Day Mash-up


Valentine's Day Mash-upHappy Valentine’s Day weekend! Or as a parent with small children see it – another nonevent day. Life is just too exhausting when you have a young child to celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, it seems most people disagree with me because Valentine’s Day spending is approaching $19 billion! Wow, that’s a lot of money.

I can believe it because going out on Valentine’s Day is getting to be a very expensive proposition. Many restaurants in Portland now only offer prix fixe dinners for the special evening, starting at $65 per person. Of course, wine pairing will cost $50 extra. I don’t feel the need to shell out that type of money just to go out on Valentine’s Day. Restaurants will be jam packed and noisy. That’s not the environment I’m looking for. I’d rather go out on normal days when the waiters aren’t slammed and the full menu is available.

Valentine’s Day Dinner

So instead of going out this weekend, we’ll splurge by cooking a nice meal at home. We’ll go shopping on Sunday and pick up a few luxurious ingredients that we usually don’t buy. Hopefully, we can make some of these dishes.

  • Oysters Rockefeller – Yum. I’ve been meaning to learn how to cook this dish. (Mrs. RB40 knows how)
  • Steak – We haven’t had steak for quite a while.
  • Lobster tail with clarified butter – I haven’t made this in a long time. RB40Jr loved it the last time we cooked this.
  • Dungeness crab – If we can’t find lobster, then we’ll go with Dungeness crab. The price is pretty reasonable this year.
  • Dessert? Maybe Mrs. RB40 can go pick up a few treats from Saint Cupcake for us. I don’t know how to make dessert.

I’m skipping gifts on Valentine’s Day. Actually, it would be nice if I can go get some nice dark chocolate for Mrs. RB40, but I don’t think I’ll have time to do it. Maybe we’ll all take a field trip to Cacoa, a local chocolatier, on Monday.

If you’re the gift giving type, here are some budget friendly Valentine gift ideas from Kristi.

Presidents Day

Monday is also Presidents Day. I hope you get the day off to rest a bit. It’s going to be a long while until the next 3 day weekend. Presidents Day is a bit more interesting this year because we’re in the midst of the presidential primaries.

Normally, I don’t pay much attention to the presidential primaries because the race is usually decided by the time Oregonians vote in May. This year is quite interesting, though. Bernie Sanders is doing well at the early stage and I wonder if he can keep it up.

The train wreck on the Republican side is fun to watch as well. Can Trump really win the GOP nomination? I don’t buy his “too rich to be bought” rhetoric. People like him never have enough. I’m pretty sure his main priority is to enrich himself. I don’t trust him to represent the regular people at all. Anyway, the next few weeks will be interesting to watch.

What about you? How are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Image credit zoe magee

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Paul Dabuco February 19, 2016, 4:47 am

    Anything done in a “personal” way, even if cheap, really turns out as something special.
    I believe we don’t need to celebrate Valentines in a lavish way by having a dinner outside at expensive restaurants. We could prepare a special dish at home and it would still be better than dining out.

    Two advantages: you can save a lot and you will be appreciated more by your partner for the effort 🙂

  • No Nonsense Landlord February 14, 2016, 8:33 am

    Sounds like a nice dinner.

    Never underestimate the Trump popularity. He draws from all sides, mostly people with incomes under 100K. The rich folks are going for the establishment Hillary. They do not want to have hire american workers and do business here in the USA,.

  • Thuy February 12, 2016, 1:33 pm

    I am happy to report that we mutually agreed at the start of our relationship to skip celebrating Valentine’s Day. We both felt it was overly commercial. And eating out on Valentine’s is awful. Crowds, poor service, etc. do not make for a romantic meal. We are going to chill out at home. I am gonna make some homemade Vietnamese dishes my husband really likes. I do like to pick up some luxury items like steak and seafood this week because the grocery stores have great sales on them. Also my husband has been known to pick up V day chocolates at the store the day when they go on clearance. Otherwise, we pretty much ignore it.

    The election politics this year has been fascinating. The Democratic race has been tight and I would be happy with either candidate. The Republican race has been a complete circus. Pass the popcorn because it just keeps getting better in train wreck fashion!

    • retirebyforty February 15, 2016, 8:26 am

      That’s a great agreement. When we started dating, Valentine wasn’t a huge deal like it is today. The restaurants had regular menu and gifts weren’t so ridiculously expensive. We picked up a huge crab and some oysters. Didn’t get the steak or lobster, though.

  • Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life February 12, 2016, 6:49 am

    We decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day yesterday since it’s finals week for my husband and he works all weekend. We went out to eat at a favorite restaurant, and he got a me a mini rose bush to try and keep alive until I can plant it in the spring!

    • retirebyforty February 12, 2016, 10:32 am

      That’s great! Celebrating early is a great idea. The mini rose bush is really good too.

  • Maria February 12, 2016, 6:44 am

    On Sat. , Feb. 13th we will go to Antoninos’ for dinner for firewood chipotle spicy chicken pizza, orange beer and antipasta salad . For dessert we will have canollis or taramasu followed by Saturday Church Service. Then we will sleep in on Valentine Sunday and have heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries, honey, whip cream, coffee and mimosas. We will then watch a good movie on our big screen!!! Zero crowds and a Happy Valentines ‘ Day!

    • retirebyforty February 12, 2016, 10:31 am

      That’s a great plan. Going out a day early is the perfect way to avoid the crowd. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

  • Pennypincher February 12, 2016, 4:15 am

    Announcement- Joe & Mr. Tako are worth their weight in gold-they cook!
    I cannot stand paying for a restaurant meal and getting mediocre or lousy service. Hate it! I can make just about anything on the menu at home.
    Trump is out there running off at the mouth for entertainment value. He is good friends w/the Clinton’s. His antics will help Hillary get elected. Just watch.
    And don’t forget the dark chocolate for hardworking Mrs. RB40!

    • retirebyforty February 12, 2016, 10:31 am

      I hate mediocre service too. I don’t want to tip with bad service, but still feel like I have to.
      I don’t trust Trump at all. He’s best at being in a show. I don’t think he has any substance. We’ll try to remember chocolate. It might be delay until Monday, though.

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes February 12, 2016, 3:28 am

    Hi Joe. Like you, we now skip the dinners out, and the gifts. Just part of having kids I guess. It’s too hard to get a reservation and a baby-sitter anyway. Usually I just make a nice dinner at home for the family too.

    I’m not certain what I’ll make this year.

    • retirebyforty February 12, 2016, 10:29 am

      Getting a babysitter is very tough. Enjoy your Valentine dinner. We’ll see what ingredients they have at the market and cook accordingly.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert February 12, 2016, 1:09 am

    Wow Joe, your V-day menu sounds delicious!!

    I’m taking my wife on a surprise trip to Sedona, AZ tomorrow for a couple nights. We’re gonna do some hiking in the rock canyons and get a couples massage before dinner on Sunday.

    I thought I’d change it up a bit this year since we usually just lay low at home. I’ve got the grandparents watching the kids this weekend, so I’m looking forward to some time alone (rare these days)… although, I know we’ll miss em’ a lot.

    Have a great V-day with your family!

    • retirebyforty February 12, 2016, 10:28 am

      That’s a great surprise. Mrs. RB40 does not like surprises, though. I’ve surprised her a few times and it didn’t turn out well. 🙂
      Enjoy your trip!

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