How to have romantic dates at home?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by serendipity, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. serendipity

    serendipity DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2006
    My husband and I have been in the habit of going to restaurants several times a week. We're currently trying to buy a house, and save for a vacation :scared1: so those days are over.

    My question to make nights at home just as special?

    Great recipes/ideas etc are greatly appreciated.

    What do you do on the weekend that doesn't cost money and gets you out of the house?
  2. vsimeone

    vsimeone <font color=deeppink>I am the Queen Thread Killer

    Dec 1, 2004
    I don't know if this counts as a "date" but since DH and I have been trying to pay off some bills, we stopped going out on Saturday nights. Friday night is still our night out for Happy Hour but we rarely spend more than $25-30 total for food and drinks.

    On Saturdays, we grill out or I make Buffalo Chicken Pizza or we order a pizza from where DS works for $7. We drink a bottle of cheap Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck) wine and watch The Essentials on TCM.

    If we've already seen the movie or aren't ready for bed when it's over, we usually play Mario Kart on Wii.

    Not terribly exciting but it has saved us a fortune over the past several months. Now that the weather is turning warmer, we'll spend more of the evening outside as well.

    Best wishes on your "date night!"
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  4. maleficentmom

    maleficentmom Mouseketeer

    Jan 9, 2009
    we like to send the kids upstairs to play, while we watch a big people movie downstairs; run errands together while big sister 14, babysits (we have a maybe 30 min. or an hour together and don't go too far in case little sis is grouchy) ...break out the piggy bank once a year for a night in a jacuzzi suite in Pigeon Forge,just the two of us:goodvibes
  5. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2000
    Running errands, going on walks to explore new neighborhoods or parks, browsing in bookstores, lots of stuff.

    I loved an idea I read on a message board (I'm not sure if it was the DIS) about ABC budget dating. A couple were taking turns planning a date of something they could do together (cheaply) for each letter of the alphabet. They had a pillowcase they wrote each date on afterwards. Dates could be anything...baking an Apple pie, playing Badmitten, wading in a Creek, Dancing by moonlight on the back porch, whatever... They just had to be something unique and a surprise. The alphabet gave them a springboard for ideas and a 26 date commitment.

    I'm planning on dh and I doing it our first year as empty nesters. I just have to remember the idea!
  6. MouseketeerOvaHere

    MouseketeerOvaHere Mouseketeer

    Apr 29, 2008
    The DGF and I have been trying to save some money as well. We play cards (skip-bo, rummie, uno) and watch tv or listen to the radio. If it's nice out, we'll go for a bike ride together or walk around the nearby neighborhoods. Heck, we've even done house chores that have been put off because neither of us wanted to do them alone.
  7. Mrs. Bradbury

    Mrs. Bradbury It will ALWAYS be the PeopleMover!

    May 11, 2009
    Beautiful sheets you reserve only for date night, candles, a good bottle of wine . . . :lovestruc
  8. threeboysmom

    threeboysmom Living the dream - near Disney!

    Feb 8, 2001
    Few inexpensive dates that DH and I have done..

    1) Bring laptop to bed with munchies, curl up, and watch a movie together
    2) Go for a bike ride
    3) Pack a picnic and play cards (we have picnic tables near a lake by us)
    4) Go for a walk in the evening around the neighborhood
    5) Set up a card table with white tablecloth and candle in the bedroom. Decorate with white lights. Eat a home-cooked meal together with the door locked.
    6) Play scrabble (or other board game) together
    7) Have a campfire in the yard after kids are in bed and toast marshmallows
    8) Cook together
    9) Read a book together - take turns with chapters
    10) Go to Barnes & Noble, scoop up a bunch of interesting books, get a coffee and browse together at a secluded table.

    We go on weekly date nights (although it's been tough this year with DH living in VA and me in NH :rotfl2:) By far, our favorite dates are going to Panera Bread and playing scrabble or going to Barnes & Noble. (Well, my FAVORITE date is going out to eat, but like the OP, sometimes finances can't handle a fancy dinner every week...)
  9. lovemygoofy

    lovemygoofy DIS Veteran

    Jun 9, 2004
    I don't have anything special listed for dinners for a romantic night. I think that depends on your tastes and how well you can cook. Look up some of your favorite dinners out and see how you can recreate them at home.

    Some of my favorite memories of date nights have been the cheaper ones when we had little money to spare. Now that we have money to spare, we just don't want to spend it.:confused3 I never ever thought I'd say that:rotfl:

    Pack a picnic of whatever you'd like and go to a park. Walk barefoot on the grass, lay on the blanket and look up at the "shapes" in the clouds or feed the ducks. We love to fly a kite or just go and watch other families enjoying.

    Be a tourist again in your city. Take $20-30 and just get lost in the city. Find a great dessert to share or take pictures of each other in touristy hats.

    At night, set up some romantic music, turn the lights down low and just slow dance enjoying being near each other.

    Walk through a home store and dream about the stuff for your new house and price it at the same time. Gives you resolve to stay on budget for your new house and you can iron out the details of taste. A big one if you have different ideas;)

    We have a disney cook book and have a disney night. Make a favorite appetizer, entree and dessert and pop in a disney movie. This weekend it will be the Bedtime Stories movie with Adam Sandler.

    I think the most important thing is to make your romance and not go looking for it. I think seeing my husband in the kitchen cooking even if not that great at it is the best thing ever and will always make my heart pitter pat. Anything can be romantic a bubble bath, massages, a talk about dreams for the future, or baking a cake. Find it for yourselves. It makes it that much sweeter.:love:(I'm such a sap:laughing:)
  10. serendipity

    serendipity DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2006
    Wow! Thanks everyone! I love all the answers and feedback! :goodvibes
  11. stczt

    stczt DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2005
    One time when the kids were little, Dh was in the office and I made a paper heart trail to the living room and had a carpet picnic layed out with the braves game on, he was shocked.
  12. dyna

    dyna DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2005
    Take turns massaging each others backs an feet pampering each other.

    Go grocery shopping together gets ya out of house, you doing something that has to be done maybe stop at mickey d's for coffee or ice cream both still fairly cheap there.

    Invite another couple over to play cards just keep it simple cheap snack an drink.

    Take up a hobby you both interested in but not tried yet to work on together.
  13. pianoronni37

    pianoronni37 I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten.

    Sep 14, 2008
    I love these ideas! DH and I are trying to save $$$ for a house, for Disney and for student loans :eek:!

    This week we're starting our ABC Budget dating! I have the first one with A - we decided not to spend more than $20 whatever we decide to do!

    We live close to the Adirondacks so I figure tomorrow we can go for a hike! It's free, and we might bring a picnic (for the car, there are bear problems in the actual mountains!). My husband didn't grow up around here, so he's never been!

    I can't wait to see what he picks for the letter B! :thumbsup2
  14. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2000
    If you run into one of those bears you might get an accidental combo - double the excitement!:scared1:
  15. JamesMom

    JamesMom DIS Veteran

    Aug 27, 2004
    Almost all our 'date nights' are at home. We have a 4 and 6 yr old. Most Saturdays about an hour before the kids go to bed, DH leaves to get take out - as simple as chinese take-out ($20 for 2) to Saltgrass Steakhouse ($60) and times to get home about 10 minutes after they are asleep. We don't cook - too much trouble for us. We have drinks at home and watch a movie or TV show, followed by...desert. We save gas, dressing up, tips, extra drinks and babysitting. We love having a great meal in our sweats!
    Other weeks we break it up and play video games or board games. But we love movies and actually make it to theatre to see on a handful of times a year, namely because babysitting and eating out is so expensive - $120 for a movie & dinner or $60 for steaks & netflix? Do the math!
  16. MusiqChic99

    MusiqChic99 Love means going out to eat so that your husband w

    May 14, 2008
    When we have date nights at home we send our son to my mothers and do....well whatever. Sometimes we've painted the living room together. We play board games. We play the Wii. Take a walk. Fix a frozen pizza or I cook a nice pasta dinner with bread. We don't drink so water is more then fine for us. Sometimes just spending time together is enough for a date night. There have been times when we've just went to bed and watched movies all night like we used to do before we had our son.

    I think people forget the little things and money isn't needed for those!
  17. TiffanyK

    TiffanyK DIS Veteran

    Oct 28, 2003
    These are all fantastic ideas! I love the ABC dating idea. My husband and I wrote letters to each other while we were dating and engaged. We've got all those letters and I keep thinking a great date would be to go somewhere and read the letters together.
  18. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

    Nov 28, 2001
    This Sunday morning my DD16 is going out with a friend and DD10 will not be back from her sleepover yet.

    DH and I will have the entire morning (until about 2 pm) to ourselves. I am planning to have a "date morning" including a nice breakfast of French Toast w/ strawberries; Champagne; a warm bath (;)) and whatever that leads to...:banana:
  19. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever I am going to keep hunting

    Jan 28, 2008
    All we do here is at home date night...keep in mind that once you get the house, there is still no going out in order to pay the bills :laughing:

    We do what a lot of others suggested-

    Sometimes we pack up everything we made for dinner and bring it over to the park and let our dog play while we enjoy a picnic dinner.

    Or we pick a favorite disney meal or dessert from our trips to the parks and try making it together (you can get the recipes on these boards).

    We rent a movie and light the candles and enjoy a treat as we watch.

    We have game nights with friends. We'll do pot luck where we'll all bring something to share for dinner- it is fun and it gets really competitive, especially when it's men vs. women!

    Have fun, and start a monthly spending budget (which I am sure you have), it is the easiest way to see where your money is going and to start making cuts to save up for the things you want- like a dream home!
  20. sallysue66

    sallysue66 DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2008
    We are lucky to live on the coast. For us, there is nothing better than boat riding down the waterway or going to the beach. Ham sandwiches taste so much better when your feet are buried in the sand.
  21. FLBound11

    FLBound11 Earning My Ears

    Jun 1, 2009
    Our recent favorite is *attempting* to cook something together - we actually made homemade ice cream last weekend! Not as easy as it sounds, but definitely a fun process :)

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