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Plus, they'd make a perfect gift for a teacher, galentine or valentine.

Karla Walsh
February 03, 2021
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Getty / Geri Lavrov / Contributor
| Credit: Getty / Geri Lavrov / Contributor

Just like with doorstep pie drop-offs on Thanksgiving and virtual cookie baking parties for Christmas, we're all about starting some new traditions this February 14. Since this is the first pandemic-impacted Valentine's Day, many of us are skipping the fancy restaurant date night dinner and commemorating the day of love with a reservation for two at the best spot in town: Chez Dinner Table. Whether with takeout from a locally owned gem or a DIY feast (perhaps complete with a lobster tail bouquet?) a home-based holiday can still feel special.

Especially if you combine a tip from Ina Garten with some affordable Trader Joe's finds for one epic tablescape...our hearts are already going pitter-patter!

When you have smaller gatherings or need to space them out for safe distancing, Garten suggested back in October to fill in the gaps on the table with flowers and candles. And as in many cases that are related to food, drink, entertaining or gifting, Trader Joe's has our backs here.

Spotted by @traderjoesobsessed at her Montrose, California market, these $3.99 Valentine's flowers come in pretty pink and red pots adorned with a white heart-shaped tag. We recommend stocking up on several for a "table runner" of sorts, sprinkle around some of the $3.99 Trader Joe's scented candles (carefully positioned away from the flowers and anything that could get set aflame, of course) and your date night will be oh-so lovely even before you add the food and drink!

While you're at TJ's, you can round out that portion of the evening, too, with one of these best sparkling wines. Any should pair beautifully with our best easy and romantic Valentine's Day dinner recipes.

Not quite in the mood for such a couple-y evening and are enjoying the evening solo? We suggest gifting yourself a planter, listening to some upbeat music and whipping up some of our best anti-Valentine's day recipes. We bet Ina Garten would approve of that, too.