Friday, January 29, 2010
How to have a great date night at home
Aside from the fact that we live on a pretty tight budget, we live about 15-20 miles outside of "town," making evenings out very infrequent for us. While I do enjoy some time out with just Ben, I often find an at-home "date night" equally relaxing. It's cozy and quiet, it's inexpensive and we don't need a babysitter (though, with 6 younger siblings-in-law half a mile down the road, plus a Grandma and a Papa, babysitters aren't all that hard to come by!).
Two things that really make an at-home date night enjoyable for me are putting Katie to bed early so I can focus on Ben and straightening up before we get started. It's sort of stressful to "relax" amidst clutter. I like to have the kitchen cleaned up and the house straightened up before our "date" starts. It's much more enjoyable for me that way.
Now, for some fun at-home date night ideas:
::Prepare a nice meal. You can make a delicious, restaurant quality meal at home for a fraction of the cost of going out to eat. In fact, if you have a favorite restaurant meal in mind, you can likely find a "copy cat" recipe online and give it a try. One website to check out is CopyKat Recipes. If you do some of your prep. work and cleaning earlier in the day, it will make it more simple and give you more time to spend with your hubby! Of course, instead of making something fancy, you could always make something fun and simple like burgers or homemade pizza. Sometimes we even pick up a pizza from the deli for $6 or $7. It's better than a frozen pizza and cheaper than takeout. Plus, you can doctor it up if you want.
::Have dessert. We don't do much dessert at our house, so this is a fun treat. Brew some coffee to go along with it if it won't keep you up all night! Honestly, I'm not a coffee person myself, but Ben LOVES it!
::Watch a movie. Ben and I love to snuggle up in our bed and watch a DVD on the laptop. We have done free trials of Netflix and Blockbuster Online. The free trials last two weeks and they send you as many DVDs as you can watch during that time frame. You get one in the mail, watch it, return it, and they send another one. Don't forget to cancel the subscription before the two weeks are up or they'll charge your credit card. However, both of these services are pretty reasonably priced and are something to consider if you watch movies frequently. Another option for movies is RedBox. Their rentals are $1 per night. If you have to make an extra trip to get the movie and return it, it's not as good of a deal as it sounds like. But, if you're already going to be out, it works out well! Just don't forget to take it back--we paid $7 for a movie one time!
::Play a game. My hubby's not a big game person, but there are a couple of games we enjoy playing together. A little friendly competition is always fun. :)
::Do a puzzle. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoy puzzles. Plus, it's an activity that lends itself to conversation, making it a great activity for a 'date night.' You could keep the puzzle and pieces underneath the glass on your table to keep them from getting misplaced if you don't finish it in one sitting. There is also puzzle glue you can buy at Michael's to keep your puzzle stuck together once it's done. If you really like it, you could even frame it and hang it somewhere in your house. :)
::Just talk. It is so easy to get bogged down with everything and not set aside time to have a quality conversation with your spouse. When we were courting long distance, we spent hours on the phone every week and sometimes, I miss those long hours of just talking with my man. Perhaps the best "date night" you could have at home with your husband is dinner and a nice, long talk. After all, I would guess one of the reasons you married him is because you enjoyed his conversation!
Those are just a few basic and obvious ideas, but be creative! Just because your budget doesn't allow for expensive nights on the town doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice evening with your husband. Whatever you and your hubby enjoy doing together at home, set aside a "date night" and do it! Enriching your marriage by spending quality time together is so, so important!
What do you and your husband do to spend time together without breaking the bank?
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