Cheap Dates

Cutting back on your budget does not mean you have to cut out your date nights, you just need to get creative. In fact, being in debt can be extremely stressful on relationships so it is important to frequently carve out time to spend with your significant other.

Here are a few ideas for free or under $20 date nights.

cheap date nights

Library Movie

Check out a movie from the library. Put the kids to bed. Pop a huge bowl of popcorn, drink soda, and watch a movie. Total cost around $1 depending on how much you paid for the food. (This was our most often used idea, and the cheapest.)

Dinner for Two

Put the kids to bed and make a special dinner for the two of you. Even if you splurge at the grocery store, you can make a pretty nice dinner for under $10. Use your best plates, cloth napkins, and place mats. Light some candles and put on some music that doesn’t have to do with learning the alphabet or times tables.

Chinese Takeout

Put the kids to bed and get takeout from a Chinese restaurant. Once again, this can be very cheap. You can usually get take out for under $10.

Go Out for Coffee

If you have access to free babysitting (trade off with another family), go to Starbucks and get a coffee. Even better, convince him to go to a Starbucks in a Target. Then you can browse the clearance areas while you enjoy your coffee. Total cost around $10.

Find Free Nights in Your Local Area

Many museums have hours where admission is free. Usually the local paper or the museum website will have more information about their free admission days.

Find Local Restaurants

Find the local restaurants in your area. Everywhere we have lived (and I have lived up and down the east coast) there is always a mom and pop Mexican restaurant that serves great food, really fast, for really cheap. This is also true for Asian and Greek food as well.

Avoid Having to Tip

Go to a place where you don’t have to tip. These places are sprouting up everywhere–Panera, Jason’s Deli, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Potbelly–the possibilities are endless. My husband and I eat at Potbelly for under $13 including a bag of chips and drink.

Free Events

If you live in a medium to larger size city, check out the free events. Many museums have a free night or afternoon one day a week or month. Many local parks sponsor free entertainment, concerts, craft fairs, etc.

Scavenger Hunt

My teenagers do these all the time with their friends. Make up a list of fun things to “find” around your town. Get together with a group of friends or another couple and try to find everything on your list, sharing your finds on social media or via group text.

Game Night

Even if you only have a deck of cards you can plan a fun date night, game night. Get out of a few of your favorite games, make some snacks, and have some friendly competition.

Attend Open Mic Night or Battle of the Bands

Admission is usually quite cheap or free to these events and you might discover some great local talent too!

People Watching

This is one of my favorite things to do! Go to a crowded place like a shopping mall or park and observe. Make up stories about the people you see around you.

Garage Sale/ Thrift Store Shopping

This is a fun way to “shop” without spending a ton of money. Head out on a Saturday morning and hit some garage sales and thrift stores. See who can get the best deals for less.

Get Outside

Enjoy the great outdoors. Take a walk or bike ride together. This might be more challenging in the winter depending on where you live.

 


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Free and Fun Family Activities in Your Local Area 1/30 – 2/1

Each week I’ll post links with fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do in your local area and national deals that everyone can enjoy!

AmericanGirl

National Activities:

American Girl:  January In-Store Events (Events vary by location and minimum age. Find events specific to your area online. Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up.) During January, they include Grace’s Travel Tags craft, Grace’s Apron Craft & Cookie Decoration, Twists & Braids hands-on hairstyles, Princess Bitty Baby Story Time, Making Memories with Mom and Dad, Valentin Card Craft and more.

Guitar Center: Free Classes through their Music Mentor Series. Register online. No age restriction.

  • Saturday, January 31st: 10:15 AM – Recording Made Easy for iPad
  • Saturday, January 31st: 10:15 AM – Group Guitar Lesson

Kindermusik: Try a free class (see all the information here). Kindermusik ~ Where Music & Learning Play!

  • Classes for children from newborn to age seven
  • Child development through music and movement
  • Immerse your child in a musical atmosphere of play, song, and dance – while developing fundamental skills
  • Connect with other moms, dads, and families

Lakeshore Learning: Saturday, January 31st from 11AM-3PM ~ Kids make and take a Masquerade Mask.

Michael’s Kids Club: Kids can enjoy making a craft every Saturday. This week they are making a Wooden Valentine’s Frame. Designed for kids ages 3 and up ($2/child). Starts at 10 AM and runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays. You can shop while they create.

Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes (for kids and adults): Saturday, January 31st at 9:30 AM ~ This Saturday Junior Chefs will learn how to make Valentine’s Day No Bake Treats. Check the webpage for additional details and make a reservation.  For ages 5+.

Thanks, More with Less Today!

Local Activities:

If you are a blogger who posts a local round-up of family activities, then feel free to fill out this form to be considered for future posts.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

3 Free or Inexpensive Gardening Hacks

More and more people are gardening today because it is a way to put healthier food on the table. It’s also a great way to save money, get exercise, and have the whole family join in on doing something good for the home. In fact, just about the only way it could be improved upon is by using some inexpensive or free gardening hacks.

Free or Inexpensive Gardening Hacks

Mix in Free Mulch

In the springtime, cities and counties both trim branches and trees that have broken over the winter or are getting a little too close to power lines. They might also trim through the alleys to keep them clear for emergency vehicles and garbage trucks. Rather than leave the trimmings on the ground, they mulch them. The mulch is then dropped off at a place designated by the city or county. They then pass it along to citizens. Otherwise it simply builds up and creates a hazard. In most places you can simply pull in and ask for a truckload. Without leaving your vehicle, you will have a free truckload of mulch.

Take the mulch home and spread it through a garden that has a hard time retaining moisture. The mulch can be mixed in with the existing dirt to help the ground with moisture. While you don’t want your garden to stay wet, some areas are sandy and can benefit from the addition of mulch.  See another idea for cheap mulch here!

Grow_Food_from_Kitchen_Scraps

Start with Kitchen Scraps

Before heading to the garden supply store, take a look in your refrigerator. You may have items in your vegetable drawer that can be grown in the garden. Celery, potatoes, garlic, onions, scallions, and many more vegetables that you buy in the store can be grown from scraps.

Use Two Liter Bottles to Hold Your Plants

Whether you want to reduce waste or you just need to find a way to create a vertical garden, two liter bottles may be your ticket. One way to use them is to lay a two liter bottle on its side and cut the (now) top off. Use a nail to add some drainage holes. Hang the two liter bottles on the fence and fill with soil. Add seeds and water regularly. If you want to create multiple garden walls or you don’t have a fence, attach the two liter bottles to the inside of pallets that you have standing on their sides.

From saving the seeds from the vegetables you cook to making your own compost in the backyard, there are an unlimited number of inexpensive gardening hacks you can use. In fact, the more you garden, the more hacks you will find as you try to get creative and make use of your surroundings.

diy-compost-bin

You might also like…

Follow our Homeschool Garden Pinterest Board for more gardening ideas & tips!

Follow The Happy Housewife’s board Homeschool Garden on Pinterest.

Photo credit, cc license

Rodney Southern is a long time content writer specializing in a wide array of niches both online and in print. His work has been featured on sites such as Yahoo.com, The Sporting News and numerous others over an eleven plus year career. He also runs his own website on diabetes called Dashing Diabetes. He was the National Call for Content Winner for 2008. Southern resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife, Julie and identical twin daughters, Valerie and Brooke.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Free and Fun Family Activities in Your Local Area 1/23 – 1/25

Each week I’ll post links with fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do in your local area and national deals that everyone can enjoy!

AmericanGirl

National Activities:

American Girl:  January In-Store Events (Events vary by location and minimum age. Find events specific to your area online. Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up.) During January, they include Grace’s Travel Tags craft, Grace’s Apron Craft & Cookie Decoration, Twists & Braids hands-on hairstyles, Princess Bitty Baby Story Time, Making Memories with Mom and Dad, Valentin Card Craft and more.

Barnes and Nobles: This Saturday, January 24th at 11am, participating locations will be holding an I Love You Night and Day Storytime!

Guitar Center: Free Classes through their Music Mentor Series. Register online. No age restriction.

  • Saturday, January 24th: 10:15 AM – Recording Made Easy for Garage Band
  • Saturday, January 24th: 10:15 AM – Group Guitar Lesson

Kindermusik: Try a free class (see all the information here). Kindermusik ~ Where Music & Learning Play!

  • Classes for children from newborn to age seven
  • Child development through music and movement
  • Immerse your child in a musical atmosphere of play, song, and dance – while developing fundamental skills
  • Connect with other moms, dads, and families

Lakeshore Learning: Saturday, January 24th from 11AM-3PM ~ Kids make and take a My Friends Photo Board.

Michael’s Kids Club: Kids can enjoy making a craft every Saturday. This week they are making a Mardi Gras Frame Project. Designed for kids ages 3 and up ($2/child). Starts at 10 AM and runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays. You can shop while they create.

Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes (for kids and adults): Saturday, January 24th at 9:30 AM ~ This Saturday Junior Chefs will learn all about making delicious finger foods. Check the webpage for additional details and make a reservation.  For ages 5+.

Thanks, More with Less Today!

Local Activities:

If you are a blogger who posts a local round-up of family activities, then feel free to fill out this form to be considered for future posts.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.