Can Romance Be Frugal?

Thanks to Joy at the Green Baby Guide and Valentine's Day I've been thinking about our date nights a little more lately. How frugal are our date nights? Well, I will admit that we do like to splurge on them from time to time. We are out of debt and do deserve a little "treat" every now and then. But for the most part we enjoy our cheap date nights as much as our expensive ones.

If you are struggling to come up with some frugal ideas for a date with your sweetheart here is a little help from the Not the Jet Set couple - 16 ideas for Valentine's Day.

What to do with your time together?

  • Take a deck of cards and a picnic lunch to the local beach or park and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
  • After getting the kids to bed early get a fire started (in the fireplace), play some Sinatra on the stereo, enjoy some wine and cheese along with some slow dancing by the fire light.
  • Go out for dessert and a movie at the discount theater.
  • Spend the evening together in the hammock watching the sun set and the stars shine.
  • Go shopping together (but stick to your budget!). Our favorites are estate sales and auctions.
  • A long hot soak together in a deep tub (granted, we have good size tub, and we're both skinny, so your mileage may vary on this one).
What to do with the kids?
  • If you have family you trust close by you can let the kids have a sleep over at Grammy's house. Or Grammy could come over to play.
  • Swap babysitting with a friend. I have several friends who I swap babysitting duties during the day for doctor's appointments and other non-child friendly events. You could do the same thing in the evening.
  • Sometimes we just "fast forward" the night and bedtime comes early for the kids. This gives us the ability to have a date night without leaving our home. To do this you want to make sure that the kids burn lots of energy during the day and dinner is early so they don't notice the difference in bedtimes!
What to give your loved one for a gift without breaking the bank?
  • Heart-shaped (homemade) cookies... or pancakes, or cupcakes, or......
  • A mixed CD or mp3 playlist for their iPod
  • I'd love a good back and shoulder massage (hint, hint...)
  • The Mr. makes me creme brulee and it melts my heart every time.
  • A love letter from the heart.
  • Homemade gift certificates for helping with chores or for date nights (or other things.. hint, hint).
  • Flowers are fine, but steer away from roses - far too cliche and over priced. 2 or 3 irises usually did the trick for me.

No matter what your income might be this year, there is always a way to show your love for to your spouse. How are you going to celebrate Valentine's day without breaking the bank?


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