Date Nights at Home ~ Dinner for Two

This topic is even more timely now that we just purchased our new (to us) van. We were able to get everything we wanted, but it did cost us a little more than we had planned. We paid cash, but now that our savings account is significantly smaller I want to build it up again as quick as possible. I think that spending quality time with your husband is essential, but I need to do it for a minimal cost!

Our first date night at home was dinner for two. I planned for more but an unexpected stomach bug hit me over the weekend so dinner was all I felt up to by Sunday night.  I wanted to make something special for dinner and try to recreate a restaurant atmosphere, minus the constant interruptions by a server.

Here are some ways to make dinner for two special.

  • Use nicer plates, silverware, and napkins.
  • Think presentation, if serving a salad ~ jazz it up by using a nice bowl, unusual greens, or splurge on crotons.
  • Use Pandora to create a music play list for the evening.
  • Light candles for the table.
  • Create a menu that is simple enough, but different from the every day.
  • If you are not a cook purchase a skillet meal at the grocery store or some other type of meal that doesn’t require much cooking skill.
  • Put the kids to bed
  • If you do the cooking have your hubby to the dishes, we have always done this at our house and it works well.

Our Dinner for 2

  • Spring Mix Salad $1
  • Crab dip $3 with French Bread $1
  • Shrimp and Chicken Pasta w/ Garlic Cream Sauce $6

Similar dish at a restaurant

  • Side Salad $2.50 each
  • Crab dip appetizer w/ bread $8
  • Shrimp and Chicken Pasta $13 each

Total cost for our at home dinner $11.

Total cost for similar meal at a restaurant $39 plus tip.

Now it’s time for you to link up with your Date Night at Home ideas. Please link to your actual post and not your blog homepage, and please link back to this post so others can participate.


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  1. We’ve done date night for years and years and now that we have 3 little ones and crazy schedules, we look forward to it even more. To make our meals even more special, we eat at the ottoman in the living room – complete with candles and many times, linens too. The music is on, the wine is opened and it is without a doubt our favourite night of the week. And when the kids are grown and out on their own, I know that my husband and I will still be connected. Long live date night!

  2. This looks so GOOD!

  3. That shrimp and chicken pasta looks yummy. Got a recipe for it you wouldn’t mind sharing? ^_^

  4. Way to go paying cash for a van. That is awesome. We are saving for a van right now. It is a lot of money!

  5. My wife and I have date night every night and it usually consist of bathing our son then putting him to sleep so we can eat dinner in front of the tv. Lasagna is for dinner tonight third night in a row, but I love it.

  6. That looks delicious Toni!!

    We often have date nights at home. We watch a movie, usually. I buy my siblings/parents good movies for christmas and then borrow them! haha I know. That’s bad, huh?? LOL

  7. Yum! Great looking meal! 😀

  8. This looks wonderful! I have an at-home date night planned for this weekend ~ I love this idea, it has been so inspiring & I think will make me plan more personal and intimate dates… not the same typical date we’ve had for the past 5 years!

  9. That pasta looks delicious. I think I will make something similar for the BF this weekend.

  10. Thanks for hosting — I’m getting more great ideas.

  11. Toni, can you please delete Mr. Linky #6? I had to move my blog last night and I can’t delete it now. Thanks!

  12. I have a dress that I bought because I fell in love with it (and it was on sale!) but I’ve never had the occasion to wear it. Our “dates” usually consist of kayaking or going to the movies. But, I have been planning a stay-at-home date for this evening (also perfect timing because we can celebrate him getting a raise this morning) We are going to have a nice sit-down dinner (I am making manicotti) and watch a movie. Plus even though we wont be going out, I’m going to get to dress up.

  13. Do you have a recipe for the chicken and shrimp with garlic sauce pasta? It looks delicious!


  1. […] Happy Housewife posted “Date Nights at Home,” giving ideas on how to have a frugal yet special date at home. As new parents (we have a […]

  2. […] The Happy Housewife asked for ideas for date night at home. Seeing as we are living very frugally (although occasionally treat ourselves to a date that includes paying for a sitter (we don’t have any family nearby)), we have been embracing date nights at home for a while now. But, having date nights – at home or otherwise – requires more than just planning something that isn’t part of the normal doldrums. We have to keep in mind why we were “dating” each other. Our top priority in dating one another was reconnecting – sharing something that we both enjoy. The cool thing is that we can do any activity that we wish, including ones that we hate, as long as we have the correct mindset. How? Well, aren’t we marriage because we enjoy (or at least at one point in time did) our spouse? As we spend our special date nights together, we focus on seeing the blessings of each other. The things that we like about the other person. As it is human nature to dwell on the negative, sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of all of the wonderful things that DH is and does. When we are focusing on the positives in each other, our relationship is strengthen and we feel a greater depth of love for one another. […]

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