I LOVE date night! We are foodies, and enjoy trying new restaurants and seasonal specials. However, with three kids, a mortgage, and other expenses, Chad and I have to be careful balancing this in our budget. So here are a few frugal ideas that have helped us continue our tradition of a regular couple’s outing:
- Go out for breakfast or lunch instead. The overall cost will be less, and many upscale restaurants offer meals at this time of day, so couples can visit new restaurants without breaking the budget.
- When going out for dinner, skip or limit alcoholic drinks. Adding a few drinks greatly increases the bill by the end of the night.
- Instead of a meal, try going out for a few drinks and appetizers. This is a fun alternative and usually combines well with other outings.
- Look for opportunities and adventure in your area! A few years ago, we found a cocktail hour at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. We received free admission, bought a few glasses of wine, sampled the complimentary hors d’oeuvre (Thank goodness for spell check!), and spent an hour or so enjoying the art work while listening to a talented classical pianist.
- Try a stay at home date! Sometimes we purchase some of our favorite meat, cheese, and wine, and just enjoy hanging out together at home.
What are some of your fun, yet affordable outings?
I love the post. Lately our date nights are Redbox and a pint of ice-cream, or (when it’s warm) a child free walk through our favorite park by the water followed by a trip to the coffee shop.
Is Redbox the kiosk DVD rental system? Do you have trouble returning them the next day? I worry I would forget and run up a large bill.
We like to go hiking in the Yankee Springs area during the spring and fall. Of course we also have those rare evenings (when the weather’s a bit warmer), when just the two of us can sit in the back yard and enjoy a bon fire, good music and a couple drinks.
Hiking and bon fires are favorite activities for us, too!
These are some really good ideas. My wife and I like to cook together and we have a recipe for pizza that’s we both love. So often times, well just stay in and make one of our favorite meals. We also like to visit our local dollar theater or the used DVD store to see if we can watch a movie for $3-4.
I wish we had a dollar theater near us! Do you make your own pizza crust?
Actually, we use tortillas. We use two for each pizza, sandwiching a little cheese in between. Then we top with homemade pizza sauce and toppings. Our favorite topping combo is BBQ chicken, crumbled bacon, sliced apple, and mozzarella cheese.
We’ve been doing the at-home dates lately. We are planning a wine-and-cheese date for the Saturday after Valentine’s Day.
That’s a good idea! That way you can try fancier wine and cheese choices too (instead of paying big bucks in a restaurant).