Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to Be Cheap {13}

Last Thursday, I blogged about ideas for inexpensive and easy Girls' Nights Out. I thought that this week, I'd continue the theme, but extend it to Date Night.

When T and I first started dating, we were in college, and sometimes dates didn't start until 9 or 10 pm. I remember thinking, "The night is young! It's only 11 pm." That's a huge turnaround from date nights these days. They end around 10 pm, because we have to get home and release Mimi from her indentured servitude in child care. There's also quite a bit less alcohol involved in this era of date nights. These days, a cocktail just makes me want to go to sleep instead of dance like crazy.

We've been trying to be better about planning to do some things together as a couple. T works a lot and our family time hours are short. I think for us, it's important to have some fun without the kids every once in awhile. When they are grown and (hopefully??!) out of the nest, I don't want to look at him and think, "What do we have in common now?"

So...I think planning for some couple time can really help keep us connected. We're not very creative in planning date nights, but I do have a few ideas. Some are from a MOPS newsletter article I wrote awhile back.

~I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream! If you live in a town with a nice walking strip, get some ice cream with your significant other and take a stroll. There is a beautiful "old town" where we live with several ice cream shops. Sometimes it's fun to just sit and people watch as well.

~If you're short on time or if the weather is not cooperating, try a new restaurant and go for Coffee and Dessert. Much easier on the budget than T's favorite lobster tail and shrimp entreƩ!

~Take a class together! Ballroom dancing (don’t laugh, I know of at least one mom who got her husband to go with her!), foreign language, cooking, etc. Some spots may be offering deals now for those of us (all of us?) watching our budgets. I would really, really have to push for this, but it would so be worth it to make T learn to dance.

~Suck it up and try something your significant other enjoys! (The street goes both ways, though!) For me, this might mean going to look at plasma screens at Best Buy with T or watching him play indoor soccer. T and I don't have many similar hobbies (he is a "man's man" and I am about as girlie as you can get), but we do both enjoy target shooting. This is a win-win, provided we don't shoot for too long, because I get bored quickly.

~Try live entertainment instead of a movie. I love going to the movies, but it does kind of defeat the purpose of Date Night, if there's only going to be one that month! Many towns have coffee shops or restaurants that feature musicians and/or dancing!

~Double date! We did this with my MOPS group earlier this month, and it. was. a. blast. T, who can be sort of a hermit, really enjoyed chatting up some of the guys he knew from church. We all had a great time "touring" a historic dining/shopping area in a city not too far from our own. We also got to carpool, which was fun...especially the part where L's husband had to keep re-routing the GPS to keep us away from the gridlocked interstate.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a night on the town (or neighborhood!) with your spouse. If all you do is grab a popsicle from the freezer and go on a walk while a teen watches the kids, it will be time well spent!

We're going to a birthday party for a grown-up friend tomorrow night, and I'm counting that as our date night! Can't wait!

The days of luxury "dates" to Paradise Island are over for now. We need to start thinking about frugal ways to go out and have some fun as a couple!

{Do you have any ideas for a Date Night? If so, please leave me a comment, and I'll feature you in Saturday's Spend Less post!}

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  1. Date night...what's that? It's been a while. Actually, I swore off dates a couple months back. We had a few disastrous ones with big fatty fights that ended in tears and I just plain gave up! Thanks for giving me that date night spark again. Great ideas.


    p.s. I had a date with my little ol' self last night. Went to the movies solo and it was FABULOUS! I needed some ME time.

  2. I think an awesome way to connect would be volunteering together.

    There are so many service opportunites around, and working together for a cause that is important can really create some good conversation time, as well as just the good feelings of serving together...and it's pretty much free! I'm totally going to do this now!

    Also, before kiddos, Hubby and I used to take long drives up in the mountains. We so need to start doing that again...thanks for reminding me!

  3. Amanda, burlap has been around forever, but it's now becoming chic, so I'm sure you can find it at those fabric stores. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, using a 40% off coupon. Regular price is only $2.99 a yard, so this stuff is really cheap.

  4. Amanda, I love that you blogged about "Date Nites". I believe it is vital in a children all know the term "Date Nite" and that its reserved for daddy and mommy! :) Yes, sometimes we run errands but we also: go to our favorite restraunt (tapas mmmm...), but always end up going to Marshalls or TJ Maxx, then peruse the books and mags at Barnes and Noble. The best part is just talking together without being the phone, computer, children, neighbors, work etc,! Plus no matter where we go...if its just me and my man I glam up! :)

  5. Loved this post, Amanda! Date nights certainly have changed since the college years, you're right. Ha.

    Great ideas. I like the ice cream one. We have a new ice cream parlor that opened nearby and we really should ditch the kids--er, leave the kids home--one of these days and go try it. :-)


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