Have a date after the kids go to bed.This used to be my very favorite thing to do when the kids were young and had earlier bedtimes. We would get them ready for bed and settle them in- often with a movie so they could have their own special movie night. One of us would call in a take out order from a decent restaurant and go pick it up. Earlier in the day I would have rented a movie that we wanted to see or we would have picked out a board game to play. While the kids were sung and ready for bed, we'd eat supper together and then just have some fun time to be together...mostly uninterrupted.
This date night eliminates paying a sitter- also good if you don't like to leave your kids. Supper ordered and picked up is less expensive because you're not paying for drinks or extras. And a movie rental is a much more frugal choice than a night at the movies. We enjoyed these date nights often when you our children were young. And if we couldn't swing the nice restaurant meal, we'd drop that part and just hang out after the kids were in bed.
Sometimes having a night alone at home is even better than a night out- especially as I get older. And it can definitely be more frugal. Occasionally we trade kids with friends' families. Our kids will go and spend the night, and we'll have the house to ourselves- no major cooking and cleaning up, no having to wait around to put kids in bed. We can just enjoy time together with interruption. We may choose to order something special for supper, but we often just don't spend any money.
Trade kids with another family and stay in.
We're pretty selective about who the kids spend the night with and who we let spend the night at our house, so we only have a couple of families we do this with. But it's a nice date night once in a while.
Go out on a free date.Occasionally when the kids were young we would pay a sitter. We had one teen from our church that we allowed to babysit, and we had my niece or, possibly, grandparents. We'd have a sitter come and we'd go on a free date. We would walk around the mall, go to the park, walk around a favorite store. The point was never to do anything particular but to just enjoy being together.
If we had a little money to spend, we would add something like ice cream to our free date. Sitting in the park with our ice cream, we could just talk without the presence of kids.
Have a double date with another family with kids.Our kids have always enjoyed having a night to hang out with their friends while we hung out with the parents- our friends. When the kids are all together, they keep each other occupied, and we can have a great time visiting with other adults.
We've had many nights spent sitting and playing board games or chatting late into the night while the kids think it is wonderful to have a long night playing with friends. It's a winning deal for all of us.
It's not always easy to find time or money to date your spouse. But it's an important thing to do. With a little creativity, you can come up with dates that are frugal and doable for your family.
Do you have a favorite date night with your spouse?