Date Nights at Home

For many years we either could not afford a babysitter or we didn’t know a babysitter we could trust with our children. This meant date nights out of the house were few and far between for my husband and I. Then we reached the stage where our older children started babysitting for us. I have to say, this is a marvelous time! It is nice to have someone you trust (if you trust your children) watching your younger children.

In the beginning we didn’t leave our children very often, but as time as passed and our kids have grown, date nights out have become more frequent. This is good and bad. Good because I think all parents need time without their children, this helps you to actually have a conversation without being interrupted 17 times. Bad, because our date night budget has gone up drastically over the past several months.

If you have the money and you can go out several times a month, go for it, but we have bigger plans. We are trying to save to pay cash for a house. These trips out are taking money from our house fund and putting it in our stomachs, where we don’t really need anything extra. One reason we like to go out to dinner is to eat food our children don’t love. This doesn’t mean we can’t make these same great meals at home.

So, for the month of March I am going to attempt a weekly date night at home. I will plan a nice dinner and we can eat once the kids are in bed. We could even just send the kids upstairs to be watched by their older siblings while we spend time downstairs.

Each week I will post our date night menu and activity; such as movie, game, or blogging (kidding), as well as recipes and photos. Even an expensive meal at home is cheaper than a moderately priced meal out, plus we save on gas and wear and tear on our vehicle. I hope to add a dollar amount to the night as well to see how much money we save in March.

This week’s date night menu:

Just writing this menu is making me hungry. I cannot wait to try these recipes (with my own twist of course) and share them with you.

Note: Mary suggested I host a meme in March where my readers could link their frugal at home date night ideas. If you are interested in participating leave a comment, and if enough people want to participate I’ll put up a Mr. Linky in March.

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Comments

  1. Christi says:

    How fun! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  2. MNKristy says:

    I agree that the freedom from having older children is exhilarating! I love being able to run errands by myself and enjoy some time away with my husband for a date as we need one. There are many things that you can do for a date outside of the house that don’t require money…like taking a walk around the lake, star-gazing on a blanket, a picnic, etc. But I’m anxious to see your ideas as well. Thanks.

  3. Stacy says:

    That is a neat idea!

  4. Stephanie says:

    If it were warmer you could go on for a walk :) DH and I like to have a movie night, this usually happens at home after the kids are in bed. But it’s nice to spend that time with each other. On V-day weekend, he took me out for a nice dinner, and I talked to whole time. At one point I looked down and noticed he was done eating and I still had over half my food LEFT to eat. I think I talked so much because I could talk without being interrupted. Maybe?!?!

  5. Judy says:

    We have done many a date nights at home. Usually for us though I have hubby pick up take out from a local restaurant. Then we have a picnic on our bed and watch a movie (Redbox $1!!). It is nice just to set some time aside that it is just the two of us.

  6. NancyP says:

    It’s very satisfying to enjoy a lovely meal at home and know I’m not blowing your budget at the same time. I can really relax and enjoy myself. One of our big splurges is bison steaks from the commissary. They’re tasty!

  7. Oh my goodness! I just wrote about this same exact idea during Valentine’s week. It really works for us. It is the only way we would ever get a date. :) Good luck and enjoy! :)

  8. Yum! What kind of designing do you do? I would love to see some of it! :)

    I don’t have much time for it and certainly don’t get to design as much as I would like! But, it is my hobby so I do it any chance I get! :)

  9. I love this idea. We like date nights for the non-kid food too. Your menu sounds great – let us know how it goes. Maybe I should dig through my recipes and make a menu for our next date night….

  10. Stephanie says:

    Something else that you could do is make a nice dessert and eat it by candle light after the kids go to bed :)

  11. You and I have been on the same wave length and didn’t know it. I have been thinking sense Valentines day that the wow effect wasn’t that great going out and my other financial goals are worth so much more. I have been thinking my hubby and I need to make a date night a priority but not at a great cost. I look forward to reading about your date nights. I should do the same. [0= It would make a fun meme for you. I have too many meme’s already. [0;

    Blessing and ((HUGS)) my SSiC
    In Him<
    -Mary

  12. Lawanda says:

    I love it that Kela and Cassie (and even Faith) are all responsible enough that it doesn’t scare me to leave them home by themselves. Of course it helps that our neighbors are my parents and my brother! ;)

    Enjoy your date night IN! :)

  13. Tiffany says:

    A GREAT Idea & I can’t wait to read about it! Our kids aren’t old enough to babysit, and it is hard finding someone I’m comfortable leaving them with (not to mention how it adds to the budget!!) My husband and I recently had a date night watching the DVD “Fireproof”.. we rent movies and watch them together regularly, but this one we set a day & planned it in, so as soon as the kids were asleep, we were ready to watch, as opposed to more casual nights of “hey, ready to watch something?” ” no, lemme just finish this” kinda things. It was SOOOOO Fun! I am going to watch your series on this with pleasure and plan something like this for us!

  14. Krista says:

    It is odd that you blogged about this today because we’ve recently started doing the same thing. My kids are older than yours, but on some Friday nights they have started going over to a young adults house (we go to church with him) and play games. That gives me & Charlie a chance to spend time together. We started this last Friday. It was a lot of fun. We made a meal together, and then watched a movie…where we promptly fell asleep on the sofa! I guess work, no kids, quiet house equals good snoozing! LOL, but we did enjoy it never the less! BTW, I am hosting a giveaway this week to celebrate my 1st blog birthday. Come by and enter!

  15. Maria says:

    We always enjoy date nights at home! Great ideas!!

  16. steadymom says:

    We love Date Nights at home – so much simpler and less stress. Although since cooking isn’t my passion, we usually head for take out.

  17. Tammy says:

    Good luck with your date night, keep us posted. We did that a while back and we ate bruchetta, salad, steak fetticini alfredo and breadsticks. I spent just as much as if we would have went to Olive Garden and I would not have had to cook.

  18. We also do date night on the frugal side.

  19. Marni says:

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to read more!

  20. kaycee says:

    I think that’s a great meme idea. I will participate.

  21. This sounds like a great idea! I’d be interested in participating. We rarely have anyone who will watch all three kids and we really need to spend more time with each other.
    God bless,
    Amanda

  22. Kristen says:

    What a wonderful idea – I would definitely participate in a meme. This seems like a great challenge….

  23. missy says:

    great idea I will participate!!

  24. Audrey says:

    What a really wonderful idea. During college days, we would take walks and share a bag of M&M’s type of thing as money was so tight. How neat that you’re saving for a new house. Wondering how old your kids are. I stopped by today as I’m working on visiting the many blogs from Bloggy Carnival now that I have time to read and comment.

  25. Alyson says:

    Great plan! You are so good to stick to a plan!

    We had no time together for about fifteen years, then had the past 8 to plan weekends for ourselves…. now we just adopted a 2-year old so are starting over (can we call her our retirement project?).
    We DO miss our date nights. Will now wait a few years…..
    Love your blog; glad I “found” you.

    Alyzabeth’s Mommy for FIVE Months!

  26. We put the kids to bed early last night and it was AWESOME. Dinner alone was so nice. I thought, why don’t we do this more often? We actually talked to each other and not about kindergarten and poopy diapers! ha. Great post. Keep it up:-)

  27. Amy Walton says:

    Far too many couples allow their sacred relationship to fall by the wayside in the years of child rearing, paying mortgages, etc. My late husband and I did weekly date nights, sometimes at home and sometimes out. We also took annual vacations together, and my parents would drive up and stay with the boys. We never wanted to wake up when the boys were grown, and ask, “Who are you?” Now I’m a 48-years- young widow with an empty nest, and I savor everyone of those date memories.

  28. Sherry says:

    I know we definitely don’t do date nights as often as we should probably once every few months.

  29. Wani says:

    This is great! I’m curious to see how your dates come together! We’ve done this a few times but not regularly. We may need to start doing it more though! Thanks!

  30. Date nights, what are those?

    I know we’ll get back into our groove here in a few months.

    Just having a 2 month old kinda cramps that style.

    We did have a fabulous time on Valentines Day just sitting on our couch, with the baby, watching a movie on TV, laughing, joking, giggling and having a great time together.

    Nell

  31. momstheword says:

    It really is amazing when you reach the point where you can feel comfortable leaving your kids home alone. It does feel wierd at first though.

    Hey, if you find a way to have a blogging date night with your hubby let me know how you did it, lol!

  32. Jamie says:

    Sounds awesome! But what do you do with the kids on your date nights at home?

  33. Katherine says:

    I think a meme on frugal date night at home would be great! I would love to participate.

  34. Sounds like a wonderful date meal.
    We’ve been discussing doing the same thing here & would certainly participate if you do a meme!

  35. Megs says:

    Every week my husband and I have a date night granted we don’t have kids yet so it isn’t hard yet. But my favorite date nights are the nights we take our air mattress to the living room he gets a fire going and we talk and usually fall asleep. Some nights we play would you rather(just reading the cards).

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