Here are some ideas gathered from around the frugal community.
a.. Fill a thermos with homemade cappuccino and go parking, to 'watch
the sunset' of course.
b.. Take a long, slow walk together, hand in hand.
c.. Have a picnic - at the beach, in a park, on the living room floor...
d.. Learn to slow dance, and do it, to the radio!
e.. Dress up and go to a free art gallery or museum.
f.. Pretend that you're going to buy a car and test drive the ones you
both like. (Take turns)
Other tips and ideas:
a.. We are a part of a babysitting coop, so we don't pay for childcare.
We often drop the kids off and then spend the date at home, doing a variety of
things, and then get them.
b.. My dh and I love to go to the bookstore (like Barnes and Noble) and
just spend hours browsing--maybe treating ourselves to a cup of coffee. I don't
know how it would be for V-day, but it's a nice escape on a Saturday afternoon.
c.. I haven't been on a date in awhile but what we do is use the free
blockbuster rentals for in home dates. They were part of a promotion that ragu
was offering earlier this year. We have 13 more to use before they expire in
d.. We don't go out ON Valentine's Day or get anywhere near a restaurant
because they are so crowded and it takes all the fun out of it. We designate our
day sometime that week that we will celebrate by going 'out' -- either to eat or
some kind of excursion. I think that would also help with babysitting
arrangements so that you're not trying to go out on the same night your
babysitter is! Then on Valentine's Day, we have our actual celebration at home
that includes the entire family -- kids and all.
e.. Check the Church news section of your local paper for Sweet Heart
Dinners sponsored by ministries such as Women Aglow, FGBM, and some larger
churches. They are usually nice with candlelight and soft music. Your only cost
would probably be to bring a covered dish or dessert. No prob for your OAMCers!
f.. Go out to breakfast (cheaper than evening meal).
g.. Go to a matinee show (not a movie), if you live near a theater. We
live near Myrtle Beach, a Branson, MO, wannabe!
h.. Check to see if your employer sells 1/2 price tickets to movies and
i.. Visit a local historical site in your area. Go to a museum (check
for free days!) Go to a near by aquarium site. (You know, the large buildings,
not a fish tank.) All of these places are usually either free or very
sourced from http://frugalliving.about.com/library/blfrugaldates.htm
When our last son reached the age where he did not want us watching
him in his Tae Kwon-Do classes that was our date time. For an hour
there was just us, a glass of wine & etc*. We continued to do this
when he went to college and had night classes.
*this was also a good time to work on bills & stuff together (not as
much fun though.)
If you have an AMC Theater near you, they have a program called "AMCinema"
Here is what the website says:
"Great movies. Great price.
A.M.Cinema invites moviegoers to visit their local AMC theatre before noon on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays to enjoy first-run movies for either $4.00, $5.00 or $6.00* depending on theatre and market. "
Check the website to find the price for your particular AMC Theater.
My husband and I almost always go to the movies in the morning now. We wake up on a Saturday morning & go around 10am or so. Its really nice! Its much cheaper & there aren't usually many people there! : )
1) I purchase video tapes (prices range from 25 cent to $1) from thrift stores and yard sales that are date night suitable. I pop corn, or open a bag of snacks like chips or cheese curls and I make a pitcher of iced tea. We send the kids to bed early and snuggle on the sofa. Total cost $1- $2.50 max
2) We attend movies and comedy nights at our church and leave the kids at the Grandparents- total cost free, except for the gas
3) We go to the discount theater for $3 a ticket and bring our own snacks (from dollar store) and drinks (water bottles filled from home) (allowed at our theater) Total cost- Less then $9 including car gas
4) Lunch date at the Chinese buffet. Lunch prices are $5.99 a piece, hot tea or water is free, there's always a discount coupon in the Clipper magazine for 10%-20% off Totol cost- $11 to $12 including car gas
My husband stays super busy, so I like to pack an early picnic breakfast on hot summer days. If he has time, we'll go the library afterwards to browse.
Around my city, there are LOTS of free or cheap plays, workshops, and events to attend. Look at calendars for churches, schools, libraries, and health food stores. The high school in my area puts on awesome plays for a fraction of what the local acting companies charge. Whole Foods often has free lectures, tours, events, etc. You can also check your newspaper or town's website for local events and festivals. Sure, people try to sell you plenty of things at festivals, but it's also fun to just browse.
"Cook like your life depends on it, because it does."
If you're readers, it can be fun going to local bookstore readings. Afterward you can discuss it and perhaps even check the book out from the library if you really liked it.
My local library has lots of free programs and they have them listed on their site.
You don't have to "go out" for a date night. Candles on the table, soft music, a slightly special menu, and an agreement to talk about absolutely NOTHING that has to do with kids, work, bills, or any non-date-like topics. The only thing you'd be spending extra money on is the slightly special menu and that's definitely going to be way, way less than eating anything "out." If you have kids, have appetizers early and wait to have dinner until they've gone to bed.
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