Last week we talked about finding ways to reconnect with your spouse and finding ways to communicate with the kids. What better way than a date night or afternoon? More times than not, we want to spend time with our loved ones, but either life happens or money is an issue. I am here to say, first and foremost, schedule a date night on the calendar, right now, in pen. Don’t change it for just anything. You need to tend your marriage just as you tend the needs of your children. Trust me when I say, I understand that once you have catered to the needs, wants, and social calendars of your children, you have very little left, but try. It doesn’t take much, but gets huge dividends as opposed to not. Do you remember when you and your spouse were dating and you looked forward to going out? It probably didn’t matter where you were going, just that you were going to be together. Yeah, it really is that simple. So when preparing for this week, I faced the challenge of dates on $20 or less. Here are some of my suggestions, but I would challenge each of you to post your greatest date on $20 or less. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Let those creative juices flow and don’t keep it a secret!
- Walking along the down town mall, window shopping, and getting some ice cream. Either leaving a sitter at a park with the kids on a Sunday afternoon or asking an neighbor to swap watching the kiddos for an afternoon. ** I found when I had really little ones (under a year or so) it was easier for me to leave during an afternoon as opposed to an evening. If you tend to have younger/teen sitters, they feel more confident in the afternoon as opposed to an evening; especially if they haven’t babysat for you very long. My kids were wanting to know that I was at home with them at night…and that way, I could tell them that I would be back to tuck them in and they were a little more willing to not throw a fit and let me go.
- Signing up for AMF bowling certificates on line at AMF.com and sign up for the eClub or in Keglers – they look like business cards, but it allows you to bowl a free game. The cost of two adult shoe rentals, a pitcher of soda and a large popcorn would be under $20. Because they are open late, maybe grandma or a neighbor could come over hang out at the house after kiddos in bed and you can offer to make dinner in return or swap with another set of parents – one staying home with their kiddos, of course
- Again, using the services of a neighbor or friend and offering some sort of swap/exchange to keep sitting costs low, go to a nearby lake, or park. Pack a picnic lunch or supper, turn on the car radio or bring your iPod with external speakers, a blanket and enjoy a meal outside. Feel free to dance, snuggle, or communicate uninterrupted!
- Dunkin’ Donuts has coupons in the local papers and I just talked to our local DD and the manager said she would honor the ones that are in the Richmond paper even though they say on them for participating DD locations in the Greater Norfolk/Newport News, Richmond,VA, and Outerbanks, NC area. Coffee and donuts or a muffin, some time with the man – what more could a girl ask for?
It doesn’t have to be THAT hard. Think about how you dated in college. No frills. Low cost. Perhaps you can challenge your spouse to see who can come up with the most creative idea for date night under $20. Don’t underestimate them, ladies, given a chance to recapture their girls’ heart and they are on it – it’s a challenge after all and don’t forget to share!