Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Date Night on the Cheap

Parents need date nights on a regular basis.  It’s not a question, a suggestion, or an idea; it’s a fact.   To keep a relationship afloat with your spouse or partner, you need quality alone time.  That time comes at a cost, though, and if your household is anything like mine, you don’t always have money growing from trees to use for dinners out, shows, and babysitters.  All is not lost, though, as a little creativity and planning can save the day.  
Date Night on the Cheap - StacySaysIt - Stacy Snyder

  1. Don’t plan a date around drinking.  It’s expensive to buy liquor out, so either don’t drink on your date, plan a daytime date where drinking is less the norm, or have a drink before you go on your date or after you get home.  If you want to go to dinner and have a drink, plan to visit a BYOB establishment where you can take your own wine or beer and make sure to pick them up at Aldi or Trader Joe’s where the going is good and cheap.
  2. Attend free events on your date.  Pack a picnic and attend a free movie in the park, downtown or at the library, check out a free concert in the park or in your city’s freespace, or boogie down with free dance lessons offered throughout your area.  Subscribe to your city’s free newsletters to get the most up to date info on free events in your area.  If you’re close to a beach or body of water, pack a blanket and a frisbee or paddle ball and go chill waterside with your date.  Go to book-signings for authors you both love, attend art exhibits, or watch the sunrise or sunset with some romantic music piping through your phone.
  3. Use discount sites to purchase discounted food, events, and performances at restaurants, theatres, and venues closeby.  From LivingSocial, Groupon, Cheaptickets, and your city’s local free and discounted sites and newsletters, there’s almost no reason to ever pay full price. Buy discounted items when you see them and let them accumulate to choose from at a later date.
    Date Night on the Cheap - StacySaysIt - Stacy Snyder - Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  4. Don’t spend tons of money on babysitting.  While of course there’s always a “going rate” for babysitting, you don’t have to pay what the Jones’ do.  Establish a rate you’re willing and able to pay and when contacting childcare professionals or babysitters, verify that they can work for that rate.  Recruit younger sitters that are not already enmeshed in working and help them learn to be a good babysitter in exchange for a lower rate than a tried and true professional.  Utilize older siblings, friends, family, and coordinated playdates at other playmates’ homes when planning childcare for your date.  If all else fails, put the kids to bed early or sequester them to another part of the home, while you have your date night right at home….dance to your favorite music, watch a flick, cook a romantic dinner together, or play a game of cards.
  5. My last, and probably most favorite date trick is to exercise together.  If you already have a gym membership, utilize it and go take a class together or switch off weight circuits, or work out side by side on a machine.  No gym - no problem.  Take a long walk, bike ride, or run; rent a paddle board, kayak, canoe, or surfboard to work the water.  Dancing is fun and cheap.  Many venues don't charge a cover and don’t force you to eat or drink:  just go and dance the night away! 
Living Large can be so easy with a few tweaks from the norm!