Marriage & Love
10 Ways to Save on your Date Night
1. Check out Restaurant.com. Type in your zip code and it will provide you a list of both local and chain restaurants in your area that are offering discounts (some up to 80%) on gift card purchases. Make sure you check the fine print. Some have minimum purchase requirements or restrictions - like "valid Mon-Thurs." You print the "gift card" at home so you can use it same day, or keep it for up to a year from the date of purchase. If you and your honey have a favorite restaurant, stock up and use them throughout the year.
2. Have some coffee talk. Head to a nearby coffee shop with iMOM's Fun Questions to Get to Know Him Better.
3. Eat at home first. A babysitter, dinner and a movie can break the bank for date night. Keep a little extra money for popcorn and soda by eating at home with the kids before you go. Make it a simple pizza night with paper plates so you don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning up.
4. Head out a little later. Many babysitters will lower their hourly rate by a couple of bucks after the kids are asleep. You just may need to take a shot of Espresso before you go.
5. Make it a date day. The weekends are full of free or super cheap events like food and music festivals, trade and antiques shows, garage sales and farmers' markets. Pack a picnic lunch ahead of time so you won't have to buy expensive concession food.
6. Play hooky during the week. It's an easy way to save on babysitting! Drop the kids off at school like you would any other day, then drive past the office and on to a museum, aquarium or theme park. Most places offer discounts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when it's not as busy. If you can't skip the whole day of work, meet your husband for breakfast or lunch.
7. Rotate babysitting with another couple every month. When it's your night to receive the babysitting, go ahead splurge a little on a nice dinner, wine or concert tickets with the extra money you saved in babysitting. You and your honey deserve it every once in a while.
8. Take your house back. If you have school-aged children, farm them out to neighbors, family or friends. If you have little ones, put them to bed early. Then, turn off the TVs, computers and cell phones, light the candles, and enjoy the house (maybe even naked) that used to be all yours.
9. Use your annual pass. Many families invest in annual or seasonal passes to their favorite museum, theme park, aquarium or zoo. Leave the kids at home, ditch the park map, and rediscover your favorite family spot with each other.
10. Put your tax dollars to work. Even with government budget cuts, chances are your county website is offering a multitude of instructional classes like cooking, painting, ceramics and even dancing. Sure you may have to meet in a musty old recreation center, but for only a few dollars per class, it more than makes up for the odd aroma.
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