as those of you who have been reading me here for the past five years know, I’m a huge proponent of making “date night” a priority. It’s far too easy to be caught up in work and in school and in diapers and in after-school activities and in LIFE. You and your spouse could be doing all you can to keep your family running smoothly, but in doing so, you may easily neglect the foundation on which your family was built. You look up from the dishes only to see that the person who is your “partner” is someone with whom you no longer feel connected to.
One of the key things to keeping that connection is to spend time with your spouse, without your kids. The hours you are fast asleep do not count. You need time to talk without interruption, and time to remember why you said “I do” in the first place.
Going on a date doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few ideas for a budget-friendly date night:
1. Go for coffee (or lunch) during the day. If your kids are all in school, you can meet for coffee or lunch without the added cost of a babysitter.
2. Trade babysitting with a friend. Date nights don’t have to run late into the evening. Talk to friends who have kids and arrange to take each other’s kids for two hours, on different days. You can go for dinner — just the two of you — and save babysitting fees. Yes, you still have to deal with bedtime, but the time away helps you keep your cool.
3. Check out local festivals. Spend your money on a babysitter, then wander around local (free) events. Hear good music, treat yourself to some snacks, and have time to talk to friends you run into.
4. Don’t knock that walk on the beach. Pack some snacks, and head to a local beach. Walk and talk, sit and chat, and just revel in the beauty of being together in a beautiful setting.
5. Have a date night IN. Get the kids to bed, and then sit down for a dinner for just the two of you. Or dessert for just the two of you. Or a glass of wine for just the two of you. We don’t usually do the separate dinner — I need to eat around 5 pm — but we’ll sit on the couch with dessert and wine and take that time to connect.
Do you have any budget-friendly date night ideas to add?
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