January 29, 2010

Frugal Friday: Rethinking Date Night

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Date_Night

When was the last time you went on a date?  CycleGuy and I tried to schedule them but lost track months ago when other things seemed to demand more of our attention.  Whether it was a late meeting, activities for BabyGirl, catching up on work, or just running late with errands it seems that Date Night took a back seat.  Another issue also was coming up and we couldn’t come to a conclusions:  What to do.

If you get back in the time machine with me and head back to the late 80s when CycleGuy and I were dating, there wasn’t much pressure because we were in college and neither of us had a car.  At least he had a bike!  So we were somewhat limited to where we could go.  Combine that with the college student bank account and it was a good thing we were so close to campus to enjoy the many free events.  The thing is, we really enjoyed them and always had a great time.

Now that we’re married with child, Date Night seems so complicated (and expensive).  Fortunately we have an awesome BabyGirl sitter (thanks, Auntie!) who accepts payment in the form of affection from her niece.  Yet we still can’t get out the door.  Part of it is the time crunch, but much of it has to do with not wanting to drop a C-note for a few hours of mediocre entertainment.

So, I’ve been thinking lately about what great things my city offers that are free or low cost yet offer that ‘high brow’ feeling of going on a date.  We’re not in college any more and I’m hoping for more than a burger, fries and dollar movie.  Nothing against dollar movies, since I never go to the movies they’re first run to me.  But, our local dollar movie theaters are just weird and smell like they’re serving popcorn that was made when it was a first run movie.  I can’t get past that, sorry!

We’re fortunate to live in a city that has nice art galleries, local musical venues, several fabulous museums and man more cultural activities.  What is even more amazing is that many of these events are free or minimal cost.  I even found out this evening that our local Steinway piano stores often host local or regional musicians and  invite the public free of charge.  Being a resort town also allows us access to gorgeous hotels that have lounges with terrific musicians.  Years ago I remember listening to a local flamenco guitar player and enjoying his music.  It wasn’t something I would  have thought to attend, but we were there and he was the entertainment.  That local artist is now world renown and charges big bucks for his concerts.  But I still remember when…..

Date night is important on so many levels, and it shouldn’t be cut out of the budget.  With planning and thinking outside the box you can plan a lovely, relaxing and romantic evening.  Instead of dinner, have dinner at home and go out and share a dessert or just have a glass of wine.  Head out early and catch the Happy Hour specials and be home to tuck the kids in bed.  There is no rule that says you have to be gone until midnight!

So check your local paper and see what’s going on in your town.  There is no book on what date night should or shouldn’t be. You get to do whatever it is that you both would enjoy.  Reconnect and spend time together.  You owe it to yourself, to each other and your family.  And you don’t have to break the bank in the process.  Rethink date night!

This post is linked to Frugal Friday.

{ 3 comments }

Hannah January 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

For us, we focus on the aspect of connecting and communicating, which you don’t even HAVE to leave the house for! Any date night adds up quickly if you have to hire a babysitter (we have no family nearby), so we usually have a date night in after the kids are in bed. Special dessert, movie, and really just time to spend together.

Sara January 30, 2010 at 3:53 am

Hannah, thank you for visiting my site. I’m so glad you have something special for your date night. You’re right that going out is not a necessity of date night. Babysitters can get expensive, but if you have the opportunity to have a night on the town there are many wonderful options that won’t add much to the cost of the evening.

Heather February 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for linking up to Money Saving Monday! It was awesome meeting you last week, and I love these tips. Date Night is so important, but it’s always one of the first things to get cut out of the budget.

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