Flat line the bank account or grab dinner with my husband to escape the craziness of parenthood for one night? What a quandary.
Unfortunately I’m afraid this is the sentiment of all too many people in recent months as it seems fraudulent CEOs are just about as plentiful as the steady decline in personal stocks, checking and savings accounts nationwide.
While maintaining some gross income for the family to eat and stay warm for the week are the top of my priority list, so too is the priority of my marriage. But how to do date night on as little cash as possible has become a challenge of sorts. Perhaps you too are thinking how it is possible to get out of the house to breathe away from the kids, pile of laundry, mountain of junk mail, and never-ending overly ambitious to-do list that popped up post-New Year’s.
Below find some cheap if not completely do-able date ideas as we approach the hallmark-y holiday of holidays: Valentine’s. [If you’re a VD-hater, opt any choice below for any time other than feb 14!]
Most would require you to find a babysitter which also implies more money spent which may leave you digging in the couch cushions before you head out the door. Instead, if you have friends with kids, trade off. One week is your night without kids as they watch your darlings and vice versa for the week after.
- Make a thermos of hot cocoa [perhaps with or without irish cream] and go for a scenic walk or drive
- Cook-in with each other AFTER the kids go to bed, and do a dinner with movie inside the comfort and warmth of your own home… perhaps even in your pjs. RedBox is now available in many grocery stores nationwide for as little as $1 a day for a DVD rental! [check out www.redbox.com to find a location near you!]
- Enjoy some local music at a coffee house, or the like, over a cheap cup of coffee, tea or chai
- Rise early on the weekend and visit the local farmer’s market, where fresh food, free samples and sometimes music abound
- Physical activities are always free, healthy and beautiful. Dust off the bike, slip on your running shoes, or pack up some hiking gear and do something together.
- After eating dinner “in” go out for dessert to share. Whether warm apple pie a la mode or crème brulèe.
- Visit the galleries of local art schools during year-end shows
- Volunteer for something together-- whether its an event for disease awareness or helping out at the soup kitchen once a week
- Post-bedtime for the kids, turn on some music and dance together. Okay so maybe I couldn’t take myself that seriously, but we can’t afford dance lesson so self-taught activities will have to suffice.
- Adult beverage on order? Mix your own cosmo and throw it in a mug, with your hubby’s Corona and take a walk down town, or around your neighborhood if you’re not that thrill seeking to drive with alcohol in the car. Who’s going to pull over your mini-van any way, in search of open adult beverages?
When in doubt, there’s always just good conversation on a comfortable cushion in the family room couch, but I do dare to live on the side of wild from time to time.
Go ahead. Be crazy, and indulge in the romantic life of a thrifty Juliet.