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9 Ways to Date Your Spouse Without Going Broke

My husband and I will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary this weekend. Between summer camp fees, vacation expenses, and some unexpected home repairs, we will be celebrating on a budget.

We went all out for last year’s 10 year wedding anniversary and took a vacation without the kids to the beach for several days. It was wonderful being able to get away, just the two of us. After our romantic getaway, we vowed to make date nights a regular part of every month. While we’ve tried to do just that, we have found that it’s difficult to not only make the time, but to afford regular date nights.

Here are a few ways that we’ve found to make dating affordable!

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  • Swap Babysitting Duties With Friends 1 of 9
    Swap Babysitting Duties With Friends
    With our babysitter charging $10 per hour -- ouch! -- we can only use her services occasionally. We also don't have family nearby, so to keep our dates affordable, we regularly swap babysitting duties with other friends who are in the same boat we are. One night they'll watch the kids for us while we go out and we watch their kids the next time they need a date night. It's a great deal all around since the kids love getting to spend time with their friends!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Take Advantage of Church-Sponsored Childcare 2 of 9
    Take Advantage of Church-Sponsored Childcare
    Another childcare option available to parents is to find a local church that offer babysitting services. Often called Parent's Night Out, volunteers watch the kids for a minimal fee. Kids get to play games, make crafts, and have snacks for several hours while parents are able to get away for the evening. One church close to my home offers a Parent's Night Out program for $15 for two children for three hours of babysitting and pizza and a snack.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Find Happy Hour and Dinner Specials 3 of 9
    Find Happy Hour and Dinner Specials
    Many restaurants offer half-price or reduced price appetizers and drinks during happy hour. One of my favorite food groups is appetizers, so this is always a good option for my husband and me! Another option is to take advantage of two-for-one coupons and other dinner specials at local eateries.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Go Out for Lunch or Dessert Instead of Dinner 4 of 9
    Go Out for Lunch or Dessert Instead of Dinner
    Eating dinner out can be expensive, but lunch menus usually offer the same food for less. Of course, the cheapest meal option is probably to eat at home, but that doesn't mean you can't splurge and get dessert. Try that local diner where they serve great pies or get a double scoop of your favorite ice cream.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Enjoy Dinner and a Movie…at Home 5 of 9
    Enjoy Dinner and a Movie...at Home
    Get a nice bottle of wine for under $15 and make your specialty lasagna or grill some steaks at home. Eat by candlelight then curl up on the couch after dinner with some Jiffy Pop and a movie on Netflix or rented from one of those movie rental kiosks. Since the kids aren't home and you aren't in public, you can even make out with your significant other!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Watching the Sunset is Totally FREE 6 of 9
    Watching the Sunset is Totally FREE
    So is taking a walk along one of your city's greenways or gazing at the stars through binoculars. Hold hands and just talk, uninterrupted by starving or fighting children and enjoy being alone.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Go for a Drive 7 of 9
    Go for a Drive
    Do a bit of sightseeing or drive through a neighborhood with gorgeous homes. Take a tour through a part of town where you don't normally spend time, you never know what treasures you'll find. Find a secluded spot and park!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Attend a Street Festival, Outdoor Show, or Concert 8 of 9
    Attend a Street Festival, Outdoor Show, or Concert
    Check out your local parks department for their events. Especially in the warmer months, there are often free outdoor performances that are also perfect for people watching!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
  • Volunteer With Your Spouse 9 of 9
    Volunteer With Your Spouse
    Working together for the greater good is an excellent way to connect with your partner. Whether you work at a food pantry, animal shelter, or help build a Habitat for Humanity house, choose something that both you and your partner are passionate about. And don't forget, getting your husband to wear a toolbelt doesn't hurt in the romance department, if you know what I mean!

    (photo credit: Flickr)

How do you keep your dates budget friendly?

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