Scallops do not have to be a special occasion food. Why not make them for absolutely no reason? On a Tuesday? We recently spent $10 on some local scallops (much less than we'd spend on steak) and they were ready to eat in five minutes.
Scallops are a great option for a fast, weeknight meal. They really need nothing more than a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a quick sear in a frying pan. You can place them over rice, mashed potatoes, or roasted vegetables—or top them with a quick salsa a la Phoebe's Scallops with Tomatillo Guacamole and Corn Salsa.
As for the price... Yes, scallops are more expensive than eating a scrambled egg or a chicken breast. The ones we bought a few nights ago were $14.99 a pound, and we bought $10 worth for two people. It was plenty, and the rest of dinner (risotto with some chopped bacon and leftover corn) was cheap.
Why not treat yourself on a weeknight? Or, at the very least, keep scallops in mind as an alternative to red meat if you want something that feels fancy but takes zero effort to make.
Read this tutorial before you head to the store: How to Buy, Clean, and Cook Scallops
Related: What's the Difference? Wet, Dry, and Diver Scallops
(Image: Flickr member FotoosVanRobin, licensed for use under Creative Commons)