Today is our anniversary, and it’s kind of a big one. After a rocky patch for, oh, let’s just say most of our marriage, we’re finally in a great place. Unfortunately, our finances aren’t doing quite so well these days.
Still, 15 years is worth celebrating! We’ll just have to be a little more creative about it. Over the last few years of rebuilding our marriage, it’s become obvious that date night is totally worth the time, money, and effort.
It helps us recharge and reconnect, but it can get expensive. Since it’s become so necessary, dating has been worked into the budget. So, we’ve gotten pretty good at frugal date nights. Here are a few of our favorites:
- At-Home Date: I’m a big fan of a strict bedtime for kids to give grownups time to connect and converse. Most evenings, we end up working side by side while watching television. Every now and then, though, we close the laptops and plan a real date — even if we are at home. A backyard bonfire, a walk around the neighborhood, board game night — it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, so long as we take the time to focus on one another.
- Lunch Date: Now that all three girls are in school, a lunch date allows us to spend quality time together without needing a babysitter. Lunch specials are less expensive than dinner, too. The hubby and I are going to lunch downtown tomorrow, just before we have to pickup the teen’s carpool after a half day of school. Combining a more frugal anniversary meal with a drive we have to make anyway — double bonus!
- Bargain Date: We use a lot of coupons and daily deals for date nights. I’ve found deals for fun activities like dance classes, concerts, and restaurants. We also use coupons for restaurants and frequently dine on meal specials to save even more. Tonight we’re going to a Colts preseason game — the tickets were free from a blog giveaway!
- Free & Frugal Dates: Sometimes the best things to do are completely free. We have enjoyed open mic nights and festivals. We’ve spent next to nothing at batting cages, arcades, and bowling. We’ve used our children’s museum membership — without the kids.
Bottom line, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to spend time together. As long as we are intentional about being together and focusing on one another, the activity itself doesn’t really matter. We’ll have a great time, together, and save our money for the really big stuff.
More from Heather:
Whale of a Tail: The Experience of a Lifetime My Frugality Almost Missed
More on Babble.com:
Unemployed and On Vacation