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Friday, July 22, 2011

Frugal Living: Budget Friendly Dates

I strongly believe it is important for every couple to have time together without children underfoot. Like a garden, a marriage needs to be tended. Both need to be fed and watered and given attention. The weeds need to be pulled and the disagreements worked out. If either is ignored, they will suffer and eventually perish.
You can reconnect with your partner without spending a massive amount of money. Think outside the box. A date does not have to be dinner at an expensive restaurant.

At Home Dates


You can spend little to no money by having a date at home with that special someone. Put the kids to bed early and the two of you can be all alone.

- Spread out a blanket on the living room floor and have a picnic inside. Turn the lights down low, light some candles, play some soft music and talk to your sweetie.

-Have movie night at home. Get a movie from Red Box or Blockbuster Express for $1 (or free if you have a code). If you have a Netflix membership, order a movie in advance or watch an instant Netflix movie. If none of these options are available to you, many libraries also loan out movies to their patrons for no charge. Pop some popcorn and snuggle with your loved one.

-Break out the games. If you and your significant other enjoy board games, gather a few of your favorite games and have your own mini-tournament at the dining room table. My husband and I like to quiz each other using the Trivial Pursuit cards without playing the entire game. Make up your own rules. You can – you are a grown-up!

-Plan a spa night. Run a bubble bath. Pour a sparkly beverage. Bring out the body lotion and give each other massages.

-Play 20 questions. Whether you are newlyweds or have been together for decades, chances are there is something you do not know about each other. Take time to think about the questions and write them down ahead of time. Sit down together and listen, really listen, as you ask each other the questions aloud.

Out on the Town Dates

You can have a date out of the house without spending too much money. Many people spend the majority of their date money on babysitting, so send the kids off to Grandma’s house or organize a baby-sitting swap with a friend.

-Go to a bookstore and browse the books and magazines. Sit in the café and sip a drink. Maybe even share a dessert together.

-Plan your date for the afternoon. Take a walk in the park, while you hold hands and talk. You will spend nothing, get some exercise and breathe in some fresh air. Studies show that talking while walking side by side enhances communication because the conversation is viewed as more casual and less threatening.

-Plan a late night date after dinner and go out for drinks and dessert. You still get to treat yourselves, but you will spend less than if you were to go out for dinner.

-If you and your honey are sports fans, check out a local high school game or minor league event. You get the excitement that comes with watching live action at a fraction of the cost.

-Go to the mall. Before you go, vow not to buy anything and stick to it. (Skip this one if you do not have the willpower. ) My husband and I like to play the hat game in the department stores. We try silly hats on each other and model them. We get a good laugh and it costs nothing. You can sample the perfumes and colognes while there too.

-Check out local Open Houses. Dress up in your best outfits and check the realty section. Spend the day giggling at stranger’s decorating choices and find new ideas for your own abode.

-If you and your loved one are wine fans, take a tour of a local winery. Many offer tours and tastings for free and throw in advice as well.

Whatever you chose to do, whether it is at home or out on the town, have fun with it. Rejoice in spending time with your loved one. The morning will come soon enough and life will return to its normal crazy state.

Melissa Thornton is a moderator for TriangleMommies.com and shares tips at https://www.facebook.com/triangletips

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