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Date Night - Creative Ways Without Breaking the Bank

Updated on March 26, 2012
Enjoying the outdoors
Enjoying the outdoors | Source

In September 1987 I went from being a stay at home mom, to a divorced working mom with two children ages 4 and 6 years old. I thought I had to budget myself before, that was nothing compared to what I was about to experience. I used the little gimics for planning inexpensive " dates " with my daughters to planning inexpensive " Date Nights " with my suffnicifent others. Below I've listed the ideas I've had, how they were planned, arrangeed and carried out. I will tell you that each of these were successful, fun and somewhat child in some ways.

1. Dinner & Movie @ home: I arranged to have a waiter and at times a waitress -- this idea has been used on a few occasions. I create a menu, using various names for the resturant we would be going to. I decorate the kitchen based off the type of restaurant where we were dining out. The menu always considered of an appetizer, a salad, an entree, dessert and few beverages from soda to coffee, tea and milk, plain or chocolate. Sometimes we even had milkshakes. At our meals completion we would take our beverage and head into the " Movie Theater" where there was a billboard, listing the movies and the cost. The cost went anywhere from a hug, kiss, back rub, washing dishes, drying dishes, etc ... use your imaganation.

Game Night: We would each pick a card game and a board game to play. Sometimes we would decide just to play cards like Uno, Cribbage, Gin Rummy or Skip Bo. The board games range from drawing games like Win, Lose or Draw, to Trival Pursuit, Life, Scrabble, Manopoly to name a few. And yes, we even played games on a game system. Not many of your will know about this but one of the first game systems was Atari. We would have snack and drinks.

During the winter we've filled thermous's with hot chocolate or a hot toddy and gone for walks during snow storms, stopping once in while to make snow angels. This brings me back to my childhood when I loved being outside in the snow and never wanting to go in because we had so much fun. We even built our own forts and had snowball fights. Sometimes the entire neighborhood woud join in.

We've had indoor picnics in my living room where we would lay blanket down and enjoy our favortie picnic foods, from peanut butter sandwhiches to cold fried chicken with potato and macaroni salads to grapes and a glass of wine. We've also gone to the local park for picnics on nice sunny days.

We've gone to local game centers where we've played arcade games, pinball games, pretty much anything we could for under $20. We would usually see a family with small children and give them the tickets we won and go home with a smile on our face.

Now, we sometimes go on line to see if there are any places in the area with discounts, buy one get one at local restuarents. Some website like social life and groupon have really good deals that you could check out. If you have a library in your area they sometimes have passes for movies, meuseums and aquariums. Your town or city may also have free concerts in the summer. My area has an ice cream stand that sponsors free concerts on Monday nights from Memorial Day until Labor Day. We bring a blanket, chairs and a picnic dinner. For the most part the evening only cost us maybe $10. The ajoining city has free concerts a few times a week. That area was once a booming mill industry and they give free tours and have various events that highlight the history of the cotton mills, the mill girls and what life was like during that time period.

I hope I was able to give you some ideas that you can try out and wish you like with your Date Nights!! My favorite was always the Dinner & Movie Night at home, because it gave me free rein with my artistic ability and imaganation.

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    • Catzgendron profile image
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      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      That's an awesome idea .. will add that to my date nite list .. Thanks

    • Irob profile image

      Irob 5 years ago from St. Charles

      Move the TV to the patio on a nice spring/summer night and have an outdoor movie witha fire