Cheap dates

Do you ever feel like the money is gone just about the time you want to go on a date with your spouse? I have.  Here are some things we have done to make the night more reasonable.

1. Budget date night. We decided a few years ago we needed to budget for this one.  Even though it is only $20 every 2 weeks we can have a lot of fun doing lots of different things.  This budget helped because I would always be secretly frustrated if my husband would order something more expensive than I would have hoped knowing we didn't have a lot of extra money at that time.  I would always order the cheapest thing on the menu to try to compensate.  Now the date money is what it is--I feel much less guilt about doing something fun or frivolous together.

2. Swap baby sitting. If you have kids ask another couple with kids if they would want to swap babysitting with you maybe even every month or every other month.  It makes it nice if you have the couple who is babysitting make dinner for all the kids so you don't have to do it before you go out. COST=FREE  (Or if you pay for it $5.00 an hour for 4 hours = $20.00)

3. Go to movies for the matinee.  The 5:00 hour at the movies—usually anything before 6pm is a matinee and is about $4-$6 cheaper for 2 people.  COST: Matinee for 2 persons (in my area) $11.00 after 6 the same movie costs $16.00

5. BYOC—Bring your own candy.  Buying candy at the local pharmacy, grocery, or discount store BEFORE you get to the theatre saves a bundle.  Talk about a rip off—the price of popcorn and candy at a theater. Some people even take a can of pop from home if needed.  As for popcorn it is not that healthy and makes too much noise—I am on the warpath to make quiet licorice the choice food of movie theatres everywhere!  Some theaters say they ban bringing your own food into their theaters.  You may have to test this rule if you follow my advice—but they have weak legs to stand on anyway with this self-serving rule.

COST: candy $1-2   at the theatre $4-5      Pop .40 from home $2.50 at the theatre   Popcorn--you aren't going to eat it anymore remember?!

6. How about a cheap dinner?  So after you have enjoyed a movie together it is likely between 7-8 pm.  Time to enjoy the dinner with your spouse at the later hour because you can!  If your kids were along you’d have eaten 2 hours ago at McDonalds®.  So, get out your Dinner coupons!  Coupons save money!  Some folk are embarrassed to give your waiter or waitress a coupon at the end of a sit down dinner.  Why?  YOU didn’t print the coupons—their company did.  Restaurants don’t print coupons hoping nobody uses them.  They are hoping to get them back—help them out!

Some say, "I can never find any coupons"—I’ll write some tips on this in itself separately.  But with coupons go to Applebees®  order water to drink and split a plate of fajitas then if you are still hungry go get ice cream down the street (maybe with another coupon :).  COST: Buy 1 get 1 free dinner from the Entertainment coupon book and 2 waters: dinner and tip $15   ($25-30 without the coupon)

If you ate too much or had too much ice cream (or are the active type) try your hand at Frisbee®  golf—a fun 2 person game.   Take 2 Frisbees®  and go to your local park.  Start anywhere.  Look at a landmark like a park bench, a large tree, a trash can and pick your first target.  Now take turns throwing your own Frisbee® to that mark.  Count how many times it takes for you to hit the mark and keep track like golf.  You can even choose what “par” will be.  This is fun if you are athletic or not.  We have had fun playing this in many locations over the years. COST: FREE

final costs for the “Cheap date” less than $28 and you saved $40!

Hope you enjoy your cheaper date!


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