When Being a Cheap Date Is a Good Thing on a Budget

Ariana Taylor

This April, my husband and I went on our first “date night” in three years.

What can I say? Two little kids + nursing mama + tight budget = no date nights. Now we have a goal to go on one date night a month-but that budget is still a big factor. What to do?

Run some errands

For our first night out, we got a babysitter, I did my hair, and we went out….to the furniture store. To buy a couch.

Then we went to the Culvers across the street for a burger and stopped at the grocery store on the way home. And you know what? It was fun! We had time alone to talk about issues, chat about our feelings, and we got to go shopping and eat out with no little ones. It was a little slice of vacation.

Using your date night to take care of mediocre errands may sound boring, but the fact is that some things are just easier to do without kids. Why not do them without kids, but with your spouse?

Explore new places

Whether you are new in town or a long-time resident, chances are there are local attractions that you haven’t checked out yet. This is the perfect use for a date night! Walk around a different mall, visit that farmer’s market you never make it to or hit a “don’t miss” tourist spot.

Honestly, with two small children, I like to stick to my routine. I don’t like to go to new places because I don’t know if they will have carts, be kid-friendly, be accommodating to a stroller, etc. Date night is the perfect chance to be kid-free and scout out new places to take the kids.

Pack it up

Supposedly, spring is coming soon, and with that, the flowers will bloom and the grass will grow. When was the last time you were on a picnic? A real one, with a cloth on the ground and a basket, not a McDonald’s bag on a picnic table at the playground. Packing your own food and going somewhere to eat it is fun and economical. There is also the added bonus of being able to stick to your diet!

Use a coupon

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Follow them on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or check out their website. Chances are they will post a coupon you can make good use of. You can also look for deals on sites like Living Social or Groupon, and many coupon/deal sites like Money Saving Mom post restaurant deals as well.

Offline, make sure you keep an eye on your mailbox! I get a little flyer of local ads every week, and there are often coupons in there. If you can be flexible and plan around the expiration dates, you might be able to get a substantial discount.

Try a different time

This is my favorite tip! If you just can’t make a date night work, whether it’s due to finances, schedule, or some other factor, what’s stopping you from taking your date at another time of day? Right now, we do a date afternoon. It’s the time that works best for our littlest, who is still nursing and needs mom fairly often.

If you don’t want to go out to eat, a morning or afternoon date might be better for you. You won’t be hungry and it will be easy to skip the food entirely, or make do with a snack. Matinees at the movie theater are cheaper, and taking a nice morning stroll is very romantic!

With a little ingenuity, you can make date night (or day!) work for you. What are your favorite thrifty date tips?

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Ariana Taylor a health, fitness expert and personal trainer, life coach, blogger, my mission is to cut through the sound in the health and fitness industry and to empower women to create supportable solutions for mental health, happiness, and self-as

Los Angeles County, CA

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