How to: Valentine’s Day on a budget

By Gabby Nti            Edited by Blake Campbell

Here we are at that special, love-filled time of the year again. Whether you are single, fresh in a new relationship, or going on your five-year anniversary soon, the day of love is worth celebrating. But what if the money situation is a little tight?

Being a college student usually means money being splurged goes to books, not Valentine’s Day festivities. That does not mean an affordable Vday is not in reach. Check out some yummy cheap food ideas  for you and your plus one, or two or three!

  1. Make Valentine’s Themed Puppy Chow  

This recipe is a great after meal and a fun way to spend time with someone you care about. Puppy chow is a classic quick and easy dessert consisting of simple ingredients like powdered sugar, melted milk chocolate, Chex cereal, vanilla, butter, Valentine’s themed chocolate candy, melted white chocolate, and a few drops of red food colouring! While making this over the weekend with my friend Leanne,junior at Miami University, we couldn’t help but realise that the meal became more delicious with the more missteps we would make. When I asked Leanne, junior at Miami University about her favourite part of making the puppy chow she replied,

“The pink and red colouring. We kind of put way too much but it looked and tasted so good. Plus it gave the puppy chow such a fun twist”.

A fun twist was added to say the least. Have fun making this easy to follow recipe with a housemate, best friend, or loved one.


photo source-


  • 5 ounces  white chocolate
  • 5 ounces red candy melts
  • 5 cups Rice Chex
  • 1 cup strawberry cake mix
  • 1 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate candy

Recipe (serves 10-15)

  1. Put 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup cake mix 1 gallon size zip-lock bag, do to another bag.
  2. Put 2 1/2 cups rice chex cereal into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Melt white chocolate and stir into cereal (be careful not to break cereal).
  4. Pour white chocolate cereal into 1 of the powder sugar bags, and shake until all are coated.
  5. Do the same process to the red melts and rest of cereal.
  6. Mix both cereals, and M&Ms in a large bowl.

2. Heart-Shaped- Anything!

A true food lover knows that presentation is everything! But what if that presentation included a heart-shaped cookie cutter? Making any meal or dessert that can be cut into a heart automatically makes it Valentine’s Day certified. Try doing something fun like heart-shaped pancakes, a chocolate pizza, a sandwich or even calzones.


photo source –   

3. Bottoms up 

Splurging on a home-cooked meal already? Why not save and mix it up with a signature drink? For all my 21+ readers out there, mixing Sprite or strawberry soda with raspberry or strawberry flavored vodka, and adding in a personal favorite flavor or fruit, can be just what you need. Get creative or stick with something more practical.  And if you’re under age, you can always make it a virgin.


photo source-

Now that you have the magic (inexpensive) tools to a successful Valentine’s Day, go and spread love and deliciousness to everyone you care about!

Edited by Annie-Laurie Blair and Blake Campbell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s