Hi there Frugal Mamas!! Today’s topic is a good one! One of my favorites actually!
I spent years and years not knowing the importance of a weekly date night. I would roll my eyes when I heard people talk about how vital and amazing it was. In my head I thought “who can afford that?” and I had this image in my head of how a date night was supposed to go down. A fancy dinner, something fun and exciting to do, we both get dressed up, and it has to be magical and perfect. If things didn’t go according to plan, I was upset. And worse yet, I didn’t budget monthly for dates. It wasn’t a priority because in my head, it was all or nothing and if we couldn’t afford the most amazing date ever, then why try? Well, after almost 15 years of marriage I have learned A LOT! I’ve learned to take what I can get and enjoy and make the most of our time together: no matter what that entails.
I now put a line item in my budget for our dates. To me, it is worth saving a tiny bit less per month and investing in our marriage, then be debt free or have a bigger savings account faster and be strangers in our home. Date nights give us a way to reconnect, we throw out expectations, we unwind and breath a little without a thousand interruptions, we laugh with each other, we remember how we are best friends, we talk and dream, we make goals, we talk out the tough stuff. We become closer to being one.
Choose a night and try to stick to it! Sure, there will be events that fall on that particular night and sometimes you have to work around those, but try to be vigilant in sticking to that particular night. For us, it’s Saturday nights. Put your phones on silent or better yet, turn it off. And connect with the man, whom you said “I do” to!
Date nights can mean a lot of things, but one thing it does not have to mean, is spending an exorbitant amount of money. Last week, we went to our local Arboretum and sat in the cool of the evening, I opened a bottle of wine and for reals, we ate goldfish crackers. I’m sure some wine connoisseur somewhere would have had a heart attack, but it was lovely to laugh and talk and hide wine and yes, eat goldfish crackers.
Use your creativity and imagination. It can be totally free or very inexpensive.
Here’s a list of some fun ones to try!
- bicycle ride and picnic
- make your bedroom into a restaurant: clean it up, make it pretty, find room to put a small table with a white tablecloth. Make it a theme (Parisian, Greek, Italian,etc) Light candles everywhere, play music (Pandora, or Youtube) that goes with your theme and cook food that fits the occasion.(You can buy crab legs for a fraction of the cost at what it costs in a restaurant…. just sayin’)
- game night: play chess, have individual pints of ice cream, or a mug of tea, or a bowl of his favorite candy.
- Movie night: make popcorn, cozy in and share a blanket
- Campfire and smores: make a fire in the firepit, make grownup smores (we add bacon and sea salt dark chocolate!)
- Blow up a kiddie pool, fill with blankets and pillows, spray yourselves with bug spray, look up at the stars and talk about your dreams.
- play sports: what does he like to play? My husband plays tennis, I’m terrible, he’s fantastic, but he’s patient enough to play with me anyway, and we have a blast. The other day we were driving somewhere and we saw a couple walking back from playing basketball with each other. She was pregnant, they were adorable, we both said “that’s so cute!!”
- Sunset or Sunrise walks
- have a book club and read books together
- Have a music tasting night where you introduce one another to new music and listen intently.
Date nights with other couples
- Couples Karaoke! Youtube has hundreds of options, and there is nothing more fun the belting out a tune from the 80’s.
- Host a chocolate and wine tasting: hide the labels, rate them from 1-10, have other couples each bring a bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine.
- pub night: get some local craft brew and play darts, pool, ping pong tournament!
- Fancy dinner party: dress up, make cocktails, choose a theme for the night and have everyone bring something tasty! Chocolate mousse, fine cheese, french bread, bacon wrapped dates, nice olives, walnuts, etc.
- Movie night: popcorn, red vines, old fashioned soda and a thought provoking movie you can all discuss afterwards. Or watch a murder mystery and guess “who done it!”
There are lots of things that you can do with one another on a weekly basis that involve spending very little money, but investing ten-fold in something worth keeping, worth preserving, and growing. Your marriage needs to be watered weekly!
What are some date nights you love to do? I’d love to hear more fun ideas!