One of the biggest expenses in our lives used to be eating out or seeking outside entertainment. We’d go to dinner and a movie and spend our entire week’s food budget on one evening, sometimes to the tune of $75 for the date. We never went to fancy places, but once children came along we didn’t have as much energy to stay up late nor additional income to toss away on one night. Once child number two entered our lives, it became even more apparent the choices we make on how to spend our income.
Some great changes we’ve made have been to take advantage of free childcare through grandparents who love to spend time with the kids, but still want to have their evenings free for their own entertainment. Chris’ parents are always willing to take the kids during the day, or morning, but they do have an evening social life they enjoy otherwise.
We’ve made it work to go to the movies in the morning and enjoy a light lunch after. For example, we recently saw the Superman movie at opening at 10am for $11 for our two tickets. Next time, I will make sure we pay that extra $1 for recliner seats, though!
For our lunch, we took advantage of a local lunch special and our total date cost around half the usual at $30. What was great was that we weren’t tired the next day and we could spend the rest of the day talking about the movie, too.
Another way we make time for each other is through free outdoor activities. Going for a bike ride keeps the kids busy, and we get time to talk to each other mostly without interruption.
Going for a hike is another great outdoor activity we like to do as a family or with friends. It costs nothing, there is no rush, and we get to talk as little or as much as we’d like.
Lastly, a fun cheap date might involve a little friendly competition. We recently ran a 5k as a family in the rain, with our oldest doing a kid’s race and getting a medal. While races aren’t always inexpensive, you can find a local small one for less than a larger main race. You can train together and then have a great story to share later. For me, this race was a Mommy/Son date since we did it together and talked throughout. Chris ended up bringing the baby home since it was raining harder as time went on. What was great was we lived a quarter mile away so it wasn’t a huge issue when they left us.
A lot of dates can be had for free or frugal costs. Timing is everything, weather as well. I love going to the movies now in the morning, as I like to go to bed early.
Consider a lunch date instead of dinner. It’s an inexpensive way to get a great price on the same food, without the crowds and the rush. Then go for a walk outdoors after to wrap up your time together.
What do you do for a fun frugal date?