Inexpensive date night tips

By Stew

date night

Mrs. Stew and I are the proud parents of three children ages six and under. We love our kids, but we still look forward to those times when it is just the two of us. Date night can get expensive, however. By the time you add up the cost of a babysitter, a movie, dinner and gas . . . well, I don’t want to think about it. Here are a few ideas that we use to keep the monetary cost of investment in our marriage low.

Get a deal on dinner

Often, Mrs. Stew and I will eat supper at home before going out in order to save money, but sometimes it is really nice to sit and talk over a restaurant meal. If you must eat out, keep a stack out coupons handy. Always be on the lookout for reduced prices to restaurants where you like to go. We have also had some luck purchasing gift certificates from restaurants.com. Some of the establishments on the site are off the beaten path, but if you do your homework, you can get a real deal. We sometimes do other things to hold the line on spending – no drinks or we split an entree.

Low cost entertainment

Mrs. Stew and I like to go to movies, but lately there just does not seem to be anything playing that we like. I only spend money on a movie if I have read all the reviews and I am confident that it is worth the cash. Sometimes we go to the first-run theaters, but we also have a couple of movie complexes in our area that only charge one or two bucks.

Movies are great, but we also enjoy going on a long drive through the countryside together. I really like to check out new roads back in the hills to find out where they lead.

I know it does not sound exciting, but a walk through a nice park always ends up being a great evening for my bride and I. The other thing we like is to take a Friday or Saturday night and walk through downtown. We do not spend any money, we take our time and get a little exercise. There is no end of things to discuss as we pass all different kinds of people. We can spend hours in just about any downtown area and not spend money on anything except for maybe a coffee.

Sports

I am a big sports fan, so this might be a little self-serving, but Mrs. Stew and I really do enjoy attending low-key sporting events. Pro sports tickets are well out of our reach, to say nothing of parking and food. Pro sports just do not make any sense for us, but tickets to minor league or college athletics are usually pretty cheap. A minor league baseball game offers real entertainment value in the event itself and my wife can do all the people watching she wants. A game like this also offers a chance to talk and maybe even cuddle a little . . . Look around for sporting events in your area. Sometimes minor league and college sports are the best kept secrets in certain areas of the country. The other advantage is that smaller sporting venues can be closer to your house and getting out of the parking lot is easier.

Babysitting

This is a tough one for us, there is just no way to get around the cost of a babysitter. Sometimes people offer to do it for free, but we always pay because the safety of our children is important to us and we do not want to take advantage of family or friends. The best solution to this problem that we have found, is to “trade” babysitting with another couple who have children that are similar in age to ours. We watch their kids for an evening for free and they watch ours at the next opportunity. The nice thing about it is that the kids usually play together so well, that my wife and I do not really have to do much more than feed the little buggers and make sure that they do not wander away.

Got any more tips? Please share! - Article by Stew

Photo by sneakerdog


8 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Inexpensive date night tips”

  1. Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth Says:

    Bartering babysitting is the way to go. We had a neighbor that occasionally used our car in exchange for babysitting. We really trusted her and our kid loved her. We both felt like we got the better end of the deal on that one.

  2. Miranda Says:

    We rarely barter babysitting, since we have one child, who is quite well-behaved, and all those around us have two or three. A great deal for our neighbors, not so great for us, since we are not used to having so many kids. Most of our dates, as a result, are “date afternoons”. We save money by meeting for lunch (which is less expensive than dinner), going to local art fairs and gallery walks, or seeing a cheap matinee.

  3. Stew Says:

    So . . . your child is well-behaved? Likely story . . .

    :) Just kidding, couldn’t resist.

  4. Craig Says:

    For going out a cheaper way is to just split apps and get drinks instead of full dinners. Will save money and more social since you pick at multiple apps.

  5. Mr. Not the Jet Set Says:

    We’ve been trading babysitting with another couple for about 4 months and it’s great…. so long as you make the time to do it.

    Also, we live near a beach, so dinner on the beach is always a good pick and inexpensive scenery.

  6. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    Date nights can happen at home.

    Have the kids eat and go to bed, then serve a late dinner for two.

    Rent a movie or not . . .

    Of course both of us are divorced, so we get kid-free weekends every other weekend . . .

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