When my husband and I were dating, we didn’t have much money for entertainment. When we went out, we did not do expensive things. On Valentine’s Day, we ate at Red Lobster. He gave me flowers and I gave him a CD. I think that night cost as much as all of our dates combined!
Being married doesn’t have to be any different! Here are just a few ideas for some date night frugality.
Relatives: Obviously the cheapest babysitter is a free one. If you can get grandma and grandpa to watch them instead of paying a babysitter, that’s the best!
Kid swap: Make a deal with friends to watch their kids one Friday or Saturday night a month so they can go out and then plan a night for them to watch yours.
Babysitting Group: I have not done this, but we had friends in our last neighborhood who did. Four families each take 1 turn watching the other 3 families’ kids one Fri. or Sat. a month so each couple gets to go out 3 times and then spends one turn watching everyone’s kids (for free, of course!). If you can find couples and kids that mesh well together, I think this idea is brilliant!
We never pay to see new releases. We wait until movies hit the dollar theater or Red Box. As long as I’m with my husband, sans kids, I almost don’t care where we are!
#3: Eating Out
Use Coupons: Need I say more? There are always restaurant coupons circulating, not to mention Restaurant.com!
Going Out for Dessert: Instead of going out to dinner, go out for dessert. Our last date was to a movie and then went and got pie afterward. By eating at home before we left, we saved money on dinner and only spent $8 on dessert.
#4 Getting Creative
What did you do when you were dating? Do it again! We played Nintendo 64, now we have a Wii. We once took the kids to my in-laws and came back home and played games, just the two of us. Summer is a great time for free dates: go on a hike and eat a picnic dinner you made at home. Or go on an early morning hike and watch the sun rise. Whatever you love, do it together. It doesn’t have to be expensive to help you stay connected.
One of my friends used to say “it’s cheaper to pay for a date than a marriage therapist.” And it’s even cheaper NOT to pay for a date, but still go on one!
What are your frugal date night ideas?