Budget Friendly Date Night

When was the last time you dated your spouse? No, Christmas shopping for your relatives doesn’t count. Neither does the drive to church. I know not everyone is married who reads this blog, but I wanted to give a little budget friendly date idea for those of you who are. Many people will spend a small fortune while dating on dinner, movies, flowers. However, it is very easy after marriage to forsake the romance for convenience.

Especially after children come along, you can easily become a partnership of survival. Poopy diapers, snotty noses, and even homework can suck every romantic impulse from your marriage. Date nights can seem like an olympic event to co-ordinate: organizing the babysitter, feeding the kids, tidying the house from the day, trying to feel like a woman again instead of a snot covered jungle-gym in sweat pants. There are times when I have left the house for a date with Matt feeling like I have survived a war and all I wanted to do is drive around the block and go back home.

Dating is also one of the quickest categories to drop when you are trying to make room in your budget. These days, dating can be even more expensive than before we were married. Matt and I are so blessed to have our wonderful Moms in town who often babysit for us, but did you know that babysitters are now charging $10 an hour? Just seeing a movie can cost us about $40 for the babysitter and the movie!!! Aaaahhh!!

However, if all this sounds eerily familiar to you, I have a great budget friendly idea for you. My friend Amy introduced me to the idea and I loved it. Matt and I have started having “Date night at home” once a week. We get pizza or an easy meal for the kids. Then while the kids are eating we have apetizers so that we aren’t starving. We then bathe the kids and put them to bed, and after they are asleep we cook together. Without the kids around, cooking together can be a relaxing time to have great conversation and a lot of flirtation.

Matt and I actually decided what we were going to make early in the week (this week’s menu was spring rolls for appetizers, chicken pad thai for the main course, and FREE Ben and Jerry’s icecream from last weeks Walgreen’s deal for dessert). It was perfect for us, fun, and incredibly budget friendly. We talked, laughed, played, and remembered what we love about each other… which is the whole point of a date after all.

So try a date at home. It takes some planning, and minimal cooking skills, but even making a mess of a new recipe can be fun if you are doing it together. You can always eat the left over pizza from the kids if things go horribly wrong. Regardless, you will have made a memory together, and you won’t have burned your budget to do it.