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Not everyone is working with a Tiffany’s budget for. Even if you are, there’s no need to drop all that dough just to make Feb. 14 an extra special day. As a bonafide lover of all things edible, I’m always happy to receive something I can nibble, sip or cook and mix with versus more junk that’ll just take up space (in case anyone I know is listening).
If you’re scanning for tasty food or drink gifts this Valentine’s Day this year, you’ve made a wise choice, and you certainly don’t need to spend a ton of money to do it right. There are mountains of delicious gifts that work with any budget, but we’ve assembled the best.
From rose-shaped wine and sassy conversation candy to addicting condiments and cocktail mixers, these are the best Valentine’s Day food gifts under $25.
Sugarfina has the market nearly cornered when it comes to adorable sweets. As a bonus, they all taste great and the confectioner features some unusual flavors. For Valentine’s Day, nab a box of these charming Champagne flavored gummies. The price might seem steep for candy but that’s because they’re made with actual Dom Perignon Champagne, flavored with Brut and Rosé
If normal convo hearts candy seems a little tame and a tad boring, try a box of the adult version to get some giggles — and maybe more.
I’m far too dignified to list the saying out loud here. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t just order a few boxes.
Cotes de Roses
Rosé is already an easy Valentine’s Day win, but this Cote des Roses with a rose-shaped bottle bottom takes things a step further. The wine itself is from Languedoc in the South of France with “notes of raspberry and peony.” Best of all, the bottle takes on the appearance of a rose. Sneak one upside down nestled into a dozen roses for a most-charming presentation.
This salty-sweet treat also happens to be a cheeky way to let them know you think they’re the best. They can drizzle this honey on everything from fried chicken to cake, but if they’re more of a spicy little number, there’s also a Bees Knees hot honey with habanero peppers.
La Maison Du Chocolat
Chocolate on Valentine’s Day? Groundbreaking, I know. But if you’re going to give it, make the good stuff. I’m partial to creamy truffles and La Maison Du Chocolat takes its work very seriously. A two-pack is $9 or you can spring for a 13-piece box for $38.
Fly by Jing
This isn’t the first time I’ve sung the praises of mighty chili crisp, and it shan’t be the last. It is hard to keep this jar of slightly spicy, slightly sweet, slightly toasty condiment around for long so you might want to bag a few while you’re at it.
Marie Kondo’s line KonMari is all about streamlined and simple, as in this chic little indoor herb planter made of bamboo and rice fiber. It’ll fit on a windowsill or shelf but one that gets good light to grow most things.
If you do buy this for a Valentine who likes fresh basil and mint, be sure to include some potting soil and seeds or seedlings. Otherwise, you are giving the gift of more errands to run.
For a budding home mixologist, there are few gifts more fun than simple syrups to play around with. With Toasted Simple’s mix-n’-match sampler you can choose four flavors from favorites like pineapple-jalapeno, strawberry-basil and cinnamon-clove.
Delivery these vials of flavor alongside a bottle of whiskey or tequila. Then sit back and reap the benefits of their at-home cocktail expirementation.
If your Valentine likes the occasional steak or burger but hasn’t tapped into the wonder of cast iron yet, this is a perfect chance to alter the course of their cooking forever. Cast iron is the optimal indoor cooking material for most meats, as it gets screaming hot and holds heat for magazine-cover-worthy sear marks.
If your boo digs umami, this is the barbecue sauce to snag them for Valentine’s Day. The exact recipe is a carefully guarded family secret, but I can tell you it’s made from a pitch-perfect combination of mirin (rice wine vinegar), ginger, garlic and green onion. It also comes in a really cool bottle and I personally can’t stop putting it on everything I eat.
If someone got me this addictive sauce along with a few nice steaks, I’d be swooning for days. Just sayin’.
For the tea lover in your life who also appreciates minimalism, this ceramic cup comes with a lid and single-serving metal infuser insert, so they can brew in the same mug they drink from. It’s available in several solid colors as well as patterns, to suit anybody’s style. And the double-walled design keeps their tea hot and their hands comfortably warm (not scalded).
For tastes that skew savory, a set of nice cheese knives is a winning gift, especially if you include a wedge or two of decent fromage and a bottle of wine (which you might just be able to manage at this price). These modern slicers and servers come in a fancy gold or matte black finish.
This set of boutique lollipops (flavors include lavender lemongrass, vanilla hibiscus, Champagne and roses and strawberry basil) is already sweet enough, but don’t toss those sticks in the trash. Pot them in soil and they’ll sprout into various plants, from herbs to baby blue eyes blooms. Does this count as buying flowers?
Does it seem a little cheesy to give someone pizza socks for Valentine’s Day? We think not, especially for someone with a healthy sense of humor — and love of pepperoni, of course. (A whole pizza made of socks is even more incredible, but $1 over the $25 limit.) You can also get sushi socks, if that doesn’t seem too… fishy.
This punny line of date-sweetened spreads is perfect for sweethearts with a healthy bent. Free of refined sugar and oils, these vegan dessert spreads are paleo-friendly, and perfect for slathering on toast or whatever else you like. They’re sold separately in chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon flavors and are also available on Amazon.