Split an Entree
My husband and I don’t go out very often with out our kids, but when we do, we want to make it count. We want to go somewhere nice. The problem is, that’s expensive. Fortunately, most restaurants serve enormous portions. So what we do is share an entree. At our favorite place, we usually order a steak and get the larger size available. We even share the salad that comes with it. We also use a coupon if possible. This savings leaves room in the budget for an appetizer and sometimes even wine. So we can have a fantastic meal for a fraction of the cost just by splitting an entree.
Have Dinner at Home
You can save a boatload by cooking a special meal at home. I love surf & turf, but would almost never order that at a restaurant because it’s too expensive. But if you go to the Fresh Market and get your own steak and crab legs or lobster (though I usually go with crab legs because I don’t want to fool with lobster) you can save a lot of money and have a fabulous meal.
Make your own drinks and enjoy the porch while your steaks grill.
Grandparents are the bomb! We are fortunate enough to live near our parents so the grandparents help out when it’s date night. If that’s not an option, consider swapping childcare with another family so each couple gets a night out.
Going to the movies is so expensive. If you go and plan to purchase candy, I recommend swinging by the dollar store beforehand to pick up some sweets. I don’t know about you, but I love the popcorn. So I tend to splurge on that and bring a beverage from home. Many movie theaters also have loyalty cards that yield free concessions and tickets, which can help save money as well. Going to the matinee is another way to save. We hit a late afternoon movie and dinner afterwards sometimes.
Another option is to watch a movie at home. Whether you watch something available on cable or order a movie On Demand – spending 5$ at home for that is a lot more affordable than $20+ at the theater. (This saves on childcare, too, because you can just put the kids to bed.) Another option is Netflix, there are countless films and TV shows that can serve as your entertainment and that is under $10/month. You could have date night at home all the time!