How to do Date Night on a Budget

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I know many of us are watching the budget these days, because let’s face it, kids are expensive. Spending money to go on a date night can often fall down the priority list. But you can do date night on a budget! Here are a few ideas on how…

Do a babysitting trade

This past Saturday night, my girls were invited over to the neighbor’s house for a play date and my husband and I went out for a dinner date. We are reciprocating with them in a few weeks by having their girls over to our house.

When you don’t have to pay for a babysitter, it makes going out a little more affordable.

They had our girls from about 5 – 8pm, during which time they got to have dinner with their friends, carve pumpkins, and then got in their jammies to watch a movie while munching on roasted pumpkin seeds.  I guarantee this was a much more fun evening than they would have had at home.

Check out local happy hour deals

My husband and I haven’t been into the bar scene in quite a few years, but we researched local Orange County happy hours and found lots of options if you go early. When doing a babysitting trade, dining early is key so you can get home at a reasonable time to get the kids to bed, so happy hours are a great option.

We checked out a great OC sushi happy hour deal at The Cannery in Newport Beach. If you dine upstairs in their Jellyfish Lounge between 4 – 6:30pm daily, you get $2 off cocktails, $3.50 draft beers and half price on the lounge menu. The sushi was amazing and the tab was inexpensive for a nice evening out with gorgeous view of the water.

Make a romantic candlelit dinner at home

To make date night even MORE affordable, do the babysitting trade with neighbors or friends and make a candlelit dinner at home!

Put on a cute outfit, turn off the TV and put on some good tunes, pour a glass of wine, light some candles and voila! Instant romantic evening!

The main point is to get the kids out of the house so you can have a few hours to alone to talk and connect.

I want to know – how do you do date night on a budget?  Please comment below with your ideas!


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  1. 1
    Jen says:

    Just testing new comments! Hello!

  2. 2
    Susanne says:

    Great idea!!! My husband have done the backyard date where we get the kids down for bed and sit outside and have a mini date, but I love the idea of trading with a friend!
    Oh & LOVE the Cannery Happy Hour- their sushi is delish!

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    The backyard date is a cute idea!

  4. 4

    I also think that a dinner isn’t always necessary too! You can do a “Date Day” and do something fun like bowling. This might work better with the babysitting trade as well, if you have younger kids.

  5. 5
    Casey Squier says:

    Loving the happy hour list.

  6. 6
    Casey Squier says:

    Do you have some go-to resources for babysitters?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Casey Squier says:

    thanks for the reco

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