Posted by: littlebitofparadise | January 29, 2014

12 Tips for Date Night on a Budget


I love date nights out of the house. Love love love love love date nights. Since the Hubs and I have three kids ages 3 and under, let’s just say most of our date nights happen at home after our kids are (hopefully) asleep at night. And even though we love our in-home date nights, there’s just something special about getting dressed up, being served great food and/or drinks while you sit and talk and just breathe that’s hard to replicate at home. I love it (guess I already mentioned that, huh?).

The Hubs and I went out on a date last Friday night, and as we cozily sat in one of Charlotte’s best Mexican restaurants with our tequila-filled cocktails and ate our weight in a mountain of nachos and enchiladas and the best EVER Nutella pie I’ve ever had…it got me thinking that he and I need this kind of carb and sugar coma WAY more often.

Over the years we’ve had some success with budget-friendly ways to make date night possible without breaking the budget or draining our savings account. The hardest part for our family situation is the babysitter aspect, since we don’t have family in Charlotte and we have three very high energy, very high maintenance, very needy children.

But even though babysitters are expensive, and taking ME out is also expensive (what can I say – I love food), here are some ways we try to make date nights happen in a way that works with our budget.

12 Ways to Do Date Night on a Budget

1. Ask for “date night money” when someone asks you for birthday or Christmas gift ideas.

2. Swap babysitting nights with another couple. (Perhaps trade months so you get to go out every other month and you watch the other couple’s children on the “off” month).

3. Sell stuff on ebay and Craigslist and use the cash for date nights.

4. Accept help when it’s offered! If someone offers to watch your kids so you can have a night out, don’t say “oh that’s so sweet but not nessesary” say “Thank you so much – WHEN CAN YOU COME?”

5. Go out for drinks and appetizers instead of for a full meal.

6. Go for dessert and drinks after a simple dinner at home.

7. Use Groupon/Living Social or local restaurant deals. We’ve also purchased an annual coupon book for our city.

8. Go out on a date when you’re visiting family and they can babysit while you slip out for a few hours.

9. Go out on a week night when things are often cheaper, quieter, and restaurants have better drink and meal specials.

10. Skip food and do a show/class/movie/event instead of dinner.

11. Skip on beverages and just order nice food (have your cocktail or glass of wine before you leave home or a nightcap when you return.)

12. Designate a “date night fund” in your savings accounts. We call ours the “slushy fund” and we throw any cash left over from our monthly budget in there at the end of the month. Then we can use it for things like date nights and babysitter money and fun out with our kids, too.

Granted, hiring babysitters is still expensive no matter what. But the more time I spend out on the town with my Man, the more I’m realizing that for a young married couple with a house full of babies and toddlers, date night out is not only worth it. It’s priceless.


Do you try to do date nights out? What are some of your budget friendly tips? How do you handle babysitters and leaving your kids? I’d love to hear! And for other great ideas check out some of these articles below:

Five Favorite Web Links: Budgeting Ideas for Date Nights: 

1. 5 Great Ways to Start and Replenish a Date Night Fund (from Happy Wives Club)

2. Dating Each Other for Free (or Just Really Cheap) (from Life with Amberly and Joe)

3. 9 Budget Friendly Date Nights (from SkinnyMom)

4. 3 Ways to Make Date Night Happen (from The Peaceful Mom)

5. Love in a Season of Want (from Moxie Wife). Because even though they’re awesome, date nights aren’t the most important thing in a marriage.

***Linking up with today for Five Favorites


  1. Great list, Steph! I esp. like the idea to ask for “date night $” if people ask you for gift ideas. 🙂

  2. We purchase movie theater and restaurant scrip gift cards from my daughter’s school. Kills two birds with one stone since we are required to purchase a certain amount of scrip each year. We are blessed with a lot of babysitters too, living in a university community, so we try to do a date nite or afternoon at least ever two weeks.

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