No, this is not going anywhere dirty.
I’m not sure if it’s our age or the fact that my husband and I now have a child, but wow are we lame! We have become such homebodies and find it so much more fun to do cheap date nights at home than to go out.
This may have something to do with the fact that we don’t have family nearby and no formal babysitter. So we’re still hesitant, even though our daughter is 2-1/2 years old, to do an actual date night out with a stranger watching her.
We’ve done date nights when a grandparent has been visiting or a close neighbor offers. But it’s not something we do regularly.
How dates used to be
I can recall back in the day my husband and I would love our date nights out.
A pre-dinner cocktail at the bar. Getting seated for a nice dinner. Enjoying a glass of wine and a nice email. Bellying up to the bar post-dinner for another cocktail. We had so much fun together. I’d shower, dress up nicely and put on makeup. What happened to that girl?
These days we are so much more apt to simply stay home. We love to eat as a family and do nearly every night of the week. But, on Saturdays, we sometimes will feed our daughter dinner, put her to bed, and have a later dinner with just the two of us.
It’s a time we can use to put away our cell phones turn on some music, light some candles (yes, we light candles) and have a date night at home.
I figure treating ourselves to some amazingly overpriced groceries and wine is still cheaper than going out. Although if you’re interested in going out, make sure you save money every time you do using these tips.
A few of our favorite date nights at home
1. Fondue (cheese or broth)
Yes, at least a few times a year we dust off the ole fondue pot that was a must-have on our wedding registry. My sister was the one who gave it to us and I’m happy to report to her that yes, this kitchen gadget gets used. My
husband picked up some fancy forks for the pot on a work trip to Switzerland, and those are the ones we have been using lately.
I prefer to do cheese fondue. You have to use high-quality cheese which is typically synonymous with expensive and therefore out of my couponing budget, but I make an exception!
The fondue is all hot, melty and delicious! We’ll eat it with fresh veggies like broccoli and cauliflower and some awesome crusty bread.
I’ve been off my workout kick the last few months. I have no good reason for it but simply haven’t had the motivation to get out of bed early in the morning. So lately we’ve been doing a broth fondue. It’s not quite as satisfying compared to the gooey-melty-cheesy fondue but hits the spot. We will use a nice quality steak and veggies and cook it in the broth. So delicious!
The broth requires some wine, and I have no problem enjoy the rest of it with dinner. We’ll pour in some stemless glasses we got for our wedding and enjoy!
We light some candles, turn on some music and enjoy a longer, slower-paced dinner with just the two of us.
2. Break out the board games!
Yahtzee is one of our favorites and one of the few games we have that we can play with two people. We light a fire, move the game board in front of it, crack some beers or a bottle of wine and let the competition begin.
It’s relaxing and allows for some friendly competition. At some point, my husband called the game “Stephanie Wins” because every time we played it seemed like I came out victorious. But he’s recently been making a comeback and giving me a run for my money.
Note: my husband also made yard Yahtzee for some fun summer nights. He decided to make them but you can purchase something similar here.
We had some scorecards laminated and use dry erase markers in the lawn. The yard version takes our winter date nights outdoors in the summer and is a lot of fun!
3. The classic movie night
This isn’t just any sit-down and watch a movie scenario. For me especially, this is actually watching a movie without my phone in my face. Too often I’m on the couch preoccupied with the latest social media post or news article that I’m not truly even watching the movie. I feel bad when my husband laughs or comments on what’s on the screen in front of me and I haven’t been paying attention.
My husband forces me to have a say in what movie is chosen so I’m interested in and committed to watching it. Then we put it on and actually watch it. Usually snuggling under an old college sweatshirt blanket from my alma mater U.W.E.C.
4. Paging through picture albums
You go through all the trouble of making the photo albums, but then they just collect dust on a shelf? Why not break those bad boys out and reminisce!
At least annually around our anniversary, we will crack a bottle of wine, pull out our wedding album and go through it. We also have a few albums of our daughter that we enjoy looking at or the mini albums from vacations we’ve taken together.
Truly experiences and spending time with loved ones is so much more valuable to me than any of my possessions, so looking through them brings me right back to the good times!
Spending cheap date nights at home has become more the norm for our family these days. While I do miss our nice nights on the town, we’ve grown to love our intimate nights in just as much. Looking for other ways to save money? Check out 30 little ways to save big and 15 money-saving apps you can use to save hundreds!
How do you like to spend a night in?
Take one small step today – to help your finances tomorrow,