Reconnect with Your Spouse
Is your relationship lacking that spark it once had? Do you feel the need to reconnect with your partner? If you are in this boat and looking for ways to reconnect, date night is the obvious choice! I know when my husband and I feel a little off-balance; nothing helps more than spending some quality alone time together. However, we try to stay on budget and going out to dinner and a movie, although a nice treat once in a while, can cost an upwards of $70, and that figure does not include a babysitter. We are now paying over $100 for a few hours of entertainment.
Unfortunately, many couples cannot afford to spend this amount of money on a night out and are left feeling like their marriage is in a rut. However, date night once a week can literally save your marriage. Yet, it doesn’t have to break your bank. There are many alternatives to dinner and a movie that are as frugal as your first kiss!
According to Dr. Charles D Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A Schmitz, marriage experts from “The Simple Things Matter,” one of the predictors of a successful marriage is finding joy in spending time together. Couples that spend alone time together are more likely to stay married. With a divorce rate of 40-50% in the United States alone (American Psychology Association), finding ways to stay together are extremely important.
Many couples, after having kids, forget how important it is to keep the romance alive. The marriage relationship is put on the back burner because the kids come first. Many couples fall into a rut and simply do not take the time because life happens. It may be a lack of sleep, long work hours, and/or finding time. However, sitting down with your spouse and planning out your weekly calendar to include a date night will help tremendously.
Tip: Plan and write your dates down on a calendar at the beginning of the month.
According to marriage.com the second most common reason for divorce is money. Therefore, it is imperative to find date night ideas that are within your budget. There are many ideas that are budget friendly and can keep you connected without spending over $400 per month going out. There are many simple date ideas listed below that will help you put the spark back in your relationship.
Frugal Date Ideas
Paying a babysitter can be one excuse not to have a weekly date night. Yet, if you do not have money to pay a babysitter there are alternative solutions. You can make use of a babysitting co-op or have your family watch the kids for free. If not, trade babysitting with friends and take turns babysitting for each other on different nights.
If you absolutely have to pay a babysitter, make sure you know their rates before hiring them and find someone you trust so you can enjoy yourselves. With that being said, let’s move on to the fun part! Here are my forty frugal date ideas! Enjoy your time with your loved one.
- Park date – Find a local park and bring a blanket.
- Picnic date – Pack up some sandwiches and visit a favorite spot.
- Nature walk – Find some nature trails in your area and hike them up!
- Zoo date (check your local zoo for an annual pass. We pay $79.00 a year for our zoo pass and we use it at least once a week. We got our monies worth after two visits.)
- Matinee – Movies before noon are cheaper. Also, pack a few snacks in your purse.
- Happy hour – My husband and I enjoy a glass of wine and cheers to our future
- Church – My husband and I used to go to the evening music mass together every Sunday (now it’s too late with the kids).
- Coffee date – Try a new local coffee shop. If you visit during open mic night, you can enjoy free entertainment.
- Ice cream date – Instead of paying for a pricey dinner, skip right to the ice-cream and don’t forget sprinkles and a cherry on top.
- Froyo – The latest craze! Frozen yogurt by the pound! You can each pick your favorite toppings.
- Free concert – Check your city’s website. Many cities or surrounding areas offer free summer concerts featuring local bands.
- Pizza – If you were able to read my “10 Outstanding Ways to Save on Dining Out“, pizza is a budget-friendly meal on the list.
- Beach date – Bring a blanket and snuggle with your honey, while watching the waves crash.
- Fireworks (June/July) – This is a free date during the Fourth of July time frame. How romantic!
- Drive – Take a scenic drive or drive to a scenic destination.
- Bike ride – Do you both like biking? Find a fun trail and stay in shape together too!
- Kayak or canoe trip – Pack the sunscreen and bring your own drinks.
- Support your hobby date (take turns supporting a hobby of your spouse) – Take turns picking a favorite hobby and have your spouse partake.
- Art fair – Walk through the art fair and find your favorite art medium.
- Art institute – Visit your local art institute and find your favorites.
- Library – Check your local library for free events or check out a book and read to each other. Try poetry.
- Walk in a downtown area – Stroll your local downtown and window shop.
- Breakfast – Breakfast is typically cheaper than dinner. Grab some eggs and pancakes.
- Split a meal – Go out to dinner and split a meal together.
- Window shop at the mall – Stroll around the mall and window shop.
- Candy store – Go to the candy store and pick out a few bulk items. You will both be like two kids in a candy store.
- Local events – Find the local events calendar and try a few new things.
- Walk around the local farmer’s market – Farmer’s markets are so much fun! Try some samples and get a great deal on local produce.
- Food truck rally – Split a meal at your local food truck rally.
- Last minute game at the ballpark (Stub Hub/Craigslist) – This was my husband suggestion and he usually has good luck with finding cheap last-minute tickets (although they may not be the best seat! Who cares, it is just fun to go to the game!)
- Utilize your state/local parks – Buy a state or local park pass and use it as your date night the entire summer.
- Arcade – Find a quarter arcade and challenge each other to a game of Ms. Pac-Man (Okay, showing my age here.)
- Bowling – Bowling is fun and doesn’t cost that much. You could even join a league if you are any good!
- Dessert date – Trying new desserts is so much fun!
- Strawberry picking – Try picking strawberries together at a local farm.
- Tennis – Many parks have free tennis courts. Although I wouldn’t be any good at this, my husband would love it.
- Baseball/softball team – Pick your favorite sport and join a team together. With this commitment, you will have to spend some time together. It will build comradery too.
- Go swimming – Find a local pool and take a dip with your honey!
- Groupon – Check your local Groupon for activity or food deals. Make sure you use Ebates when purchasing your Groupon. Not a member of Ebates? Click here to sign up and receive a $10 bonus.
- Redbox – Put the kids to bed and watch a movie together. Finally, a movie that is not cartoon based!
If you absolutely can’t find or afford a babysitter, take your kiddos to the local McDonald’s play area and enjoy a cup of coffee with your spouse while the kids play.
There you have it, my friends! Spend some time improving your marriage by giving your loved one some of your time. You do not need to spend a lot to build your relationship. After having kids, it is hard to find that time, but with these ideas, all you have to do is put your date on the calendar. You will be thankful you did. Your kids will notice the difference. Reconnect and you will be like my grandparents. They just celebrate 66 years of marriage. I wish this for all of you.
Please leave me a comment about how you reconnect with your spouse. I would love to hear from you!
Take care – Sarah
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