Moms The Word

March 9, 2007

*Frugal Fridays* on Love (10 Dates under $20)

Filed under: Frugal Fridays, Good Ideas, Mommy and Daddy Stuff — mrslady @ 2:19 am

You know what is ESSENTIAL for parents?  Yes-feeding, clothing, teaching, and loving your children is very important.  And yes-working (at home and at a job) is also extremely important.  I mean essential for your day to day life as a family.  A good relationship with your other half.  I know personally, if it weren’t for him, I would have been committed long ago.

While talking through the bathroom door in the morning, secret rendezvous in the pantry after dinner, and falling asleep on the couch after the kids go to bed certainly have their endearing qualities wouldn’t it be nice to go on a date once in a while?  You know, be alone with eachother, just for a bit? 

It is nice.  But it can also get very expensive.  So what do a mom and dad on a budget do these days to entertain themselves? [For more *Frugal* tips go here]

Here are my suggestions for 10 dates under $20-not including babysitting costs, gas, etc.

GOING OUT IDEAS [for those who can get babysitters]

1. Do a Drive In!  Old fashioned, sit in your car, and watch a movie.  You can even kiss in the dark like the old days.  Depending on where you live, sometimes there will be special drive ins or “park-ins” where they play old movies on the sides of buildings during art weeks (they do this in bigger cities like Portland, Oregon) sometimes.  Or you can go here, where I found a pretty comprehensive list of drive in movie theaters all over the US.  They are usually about the same cost as regular theaters ($7-9), but you can bring your own snacks and the atmosphere is a lot nicer. 

2. Around the World in the food court.  Mall food courts are often over looked, but they can offer lots of different ethnicities of foods-from mexican to greek to thai.  We have done this a few times.  You can spend as much or as little as you want, but if you focus on the cheaper items you can usually get one snack item from each foriegn resturant.  (This is not as fun if you include places like Wendy’s or McDonalds).  You can even get adventurous and pick something with a wierd name without knowing what it is.  Even get dressed up, if you want.  It’s definately not for everyone, but if you have a “weird” personality, it could be for you!

3. Art Gallery Walks. This usually works out better in big cities (and for people that like art).  In  a lot of cities there is one area of town that attracts a lot of businesses where they display art (photo galleries, etc.).  Most of them (unless you’re talking the art museum) are free to walk in and out of-so you can get yourselves snacks too!

4. Painting in the Park. If you are not of the particularly crafty variety, you might not like this idea, but we happen to love it.  You can use the paint/drawing supplies you have at your house or you can go to The Dollar Store (woo-hoo! cheapness! though not stunning quality) and get some stand ins.  Then go to the park and take turns drawing things.  Things you see, or ideas you come up with.  Trust me, it sparks a lot of conversation.

5. City Tour.  Go to your nearest “down town” area.  Pick up all the brochures that they leave for tourists and then take a hike!  Walk around looking at all the historic stuff, art, and sights.  It’s amazing how much you don’t realize is there in your own near-by city!  Plus, some of the cheezy brochures are really fun to read.

STAYING IN IDEAS [for those who cannot get babysitters, or need a date that is basically free]

1. Chore-list poker.  Make a list of chores that you don’t like to do-we have done between 5 and 10.   Then play poker (or rummy, or go fish, or uno) and bet using your chore lists.  Stop when you think the lists get too overwhelming for one person to do.

2. Books and Ice Cream. If you don’t like/want Ice Cream (or are allergic) subsitute the fun food of your choice.  Buy/Pick a book that you have both been meaning to read and read it out loud together.

3. Dinner a la You.  Cook something together just for yourselves for dinner.  We’ve done: breakfast for dinner, fancy dinner (like steak), and picnic dinner (like ham sandwiches and chips).  Dress up your table with your nice place settings, and light some candles.  Cooking together is fun, eating together is romantic.

4. Play Getting to Know You games.  I’m sure at this point you already know eachother, but sometimes it’s fun to play these games just for kicks.  Besides, when you pass like ships through the night sometimes you miss a subtle change (like change of favorite colors, or favorite CDs).  You can play them by writing things down [pick one question and both of you write down your answers], you can play by just taking turns asking eachother questions, or you can play a boardgame like “The Newlywed Game” if you have it. 

5. Go to Bed Early. Sometimes, it’s been a long day and you don’t have a lot of energy.  I recommend (for winter) putting all of your blankets in the dryer and then going to bed early.  Sometimes we’ll turn on music and stay up and read books in bed.  It’s a little Leave it to Beaver, but we have fun.  Just being in bed is relaxing, and then we have time to read and/or talk over our days in a quiet setting.  Plus sometimes it’s nice to be in bed by 8:30.

I know not all of these will sound fun or exciting to everyone, but we have done all of these at one point or another and have really enjoyed them-I hope you do too!

Almost (but not quite) completely randomly, this is my favorite Bible verse about Love (and probably the most famous):

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



  1. I love just cuddling in bed or on the couch. We rarely go out on a date, but we regularly spend time together. You’re absolutely right that it’s essential to both spouses well being and the family’s well being. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Heather — March 9, 2007 @ 6:36 am

  2. He hee! I see people in their prom dresses at the mall (only the one in the “suburbs”, never either of the ones in the city) ALL THE TIME! You must be on to something.

    But you have no worries about babysitting. 🙂

    Comment by Rebecca — March 9, 2007 @ 9:09 am

  3. I followed the link from wordpress home and I love your blog!

    Frugal Dates, what a great topic! I was hoping there would be a close drive-in, but nothing is within 2 hours from my house. Dang! That would have been a perfect date!

    Our favorite frugal date is sending one of us out for shakes and a movie, then snuggling on the couch with a blanket (shakes make you chilly!) and usually falling asleep before the movie is over. I know, I know, not romantic, but at least we’re on the same section of the couch!

    Comment by mysocalledperfectlife — March 9, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

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