10 Budget Friendly Date Ideas


Nothing keeps a marriage alive like dating.

Okay, probably some things  keep it alive even better, but I’m no expert (not even I am silly enough to think my nearly 10 years of wedded bliss qualify me as such) so feel free to talk to one if you’ve got questions about that.

As a pretty-much-always-happily married mom I can say that finding the time, the cash, and the desire to date your spouse is, though not always easily accomplished, a good way to at least keep your connection in tact.

But, when you have to factor in the money you’ll have to invest in a sitter, the time you have to spend away from the kids who will probably start freaking out the minute you cross the threshold, and the effort it takes to come up outta your jammie pants after a long week, you have your dating work cut out for you.

The last thing you have time and/or the desire to do is set up one of those swoon worthy dates you used to throw together when you and your man were kidless and skinny carefree.

Here are some ideas to make keeping the spark alive a tad bit easer and cheaper, but just as much fun…

10 Budget-Friendly, Super-Fun Date Your Husband Ideas

1.  Kick it old school.  Remember when you used to meet up with your friends Friday night at the skating rink?  You’d rock your side pony and your cutest off the shoulder top, then meet up and huddle together in a group in the middle of the floor while eyeing the guy you secretly hoped would ask you to do couples skate?  Bring some of that sexy back.  Only this time?  It will be way better because the braces and awkwardness won’t be there to ruin your game.  Roller skating is cheap, easy (duh, like riding a bike), and so much fun to rediscover with the crush you actually married!  Scared of breaking a leg?  Try bowling, same, same.

2.  Hith the park.  When’s the last time you went to the park sans kids?  Ages, right?  Well, grown up park time is like a different world.  One you should totally explore with your guy on a happy weather day. Take a walk, hold hands.  Haul out your blanket to look at the clouds, hold hands.  Stay super far away from the play area, hold hands.  Hello romance!

3.  Go to breakfast.  It’s cheaper than dinner.


4.  Run some errands.  Stuff you’d have to do anyway but would normally be screaming at the kids while doing it, like grocery shopping.  Our local grocery store has a café in it so we like to drop The Dudes at Mimi’s house for just a couple of hours and head to the store.  We sneak in a kid-free-conversation-filled meal and stock up on essentials for the week.

5.  Workout.  The hubs and I have discovered the joy of using the fitness center daycare working out.  We can take a class together, or he can spot me while I lift weights (okay, I pretend to spot him while I sit there and chat him up), or sometimes we just head to the pool (which features more of me chatting while he’s actually getting his exercise on).  On super ambitious days I challenge him to a game of horse (where I can talk at him even more!).

6.  Take him lunch at work.  He’s gotta eat anyway!

7.  Enlist your friends.  If you’re struggling to secure child care probably your kid owning buds are too.  Get a couple to swap nights with you so you and your guy can hit the town and then you can repay the favor in the future.  Where you go with your free time and your no-cost sitter is up to you!

8.  Go shopping.  Some dudes aren’t down for this, but we like to hit flea markets and antique stores just to see what kind of treasures we can find (and, secret for you, my husband LOVES to shop!).

9.  A family fun center without the family.  Hit the local arcade for a day of go-carting, laser tagging, skee balling, and arcade gaming.  It’s fun with the kids, but it’s just as much fun without them! 

10. Stay home.  Sometimes the easiest, cheapest, most romantic way to spend an evening is together in your own home.  Hit up the Redbox, put the kids to bed early, and then share a meal and a movie together.  He can put his best moves on you while you share a bag of microwave popcorn, and if he’s lucky you’ll let him get to first base. Or something.  It’s really not about where you’re going or what you’re doing as long as you are spending quality, alone time together!

 Image via Amanda Rodriguez

What do you think?

10 Budget Friendly Date Ideas

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. I love the idea of dating within your own marriage. Something I hope the bf and I will do…someday.

  2. Aimee says:

    Some great ideas here!


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