Date night? You seem to remember having those “back in the day”, but now that you have children (and a budget) it seems they have gone to the wayside. There is really no reason to miss spending time with your spouse (or significant other) even if the budget seems to be standing in your way. A little creativity and you can make an ordinary Saturday evening something special. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Sitter Swap. If you are friends with another couple who has friends, arrange for a babysitting swap. You will watch their kids one Saturday evening and then they’ll return the favor. This way, you can have dinner out without dolling out all of that money for a babysitter.
Dinner In. Make two meals on Saturday evening. First, feed the kids early and then wait until they are in bed (if it isn’t too late), or send them to the family room with video games or a movie and then have dinner alone with your spouse. My husband and I do this most Saturday evenings. It is so nice to be able to eat a meal without someone making a noise, asking for milk, spilling the milk and then needing more milk.
Unplug from it all. Sometimes, when the kids are in bed, we will actually turn off the TV, computers and cell phones and just talk. We talk about all sorts of things from news to dreams. We will reminisce and many times, we’ll talk about when we met and how much fun we had dating. It takes us back and helps to reconnect as a couple and NOT just as Mom and Dad.
Use your daily deals and coupons. Of course, how could I recommend a date night out without talking about getting a good deal. Many times, when you sign up for email alerts or newsletters at your favorite restaurant, you can get coupons for free entrees or appetizers just for doing so. Sign up and let the offers come to you. You can watch the GroupOn deals in your own backyard and get meals for 1/2 price. You can even pick up certificates on restaurant.com. Just keep those eyes open for deals at your favorite dining establishments.
The point of date night is not about spending money. It is about remembering who you are as a couple and enjoying time alone — and remembering why you are together.