Fab Frugal Date Night 101When was the last time you and your partner went on a date? Think hard… it’s been awhile, right?

Before baby, romance and “alone time” are abundant. But after little one’s arrival, they seem like foreign concepts. We’re sleep deprived, lactating, zombie Moms who, let’s be honest, aren’t completely happy with our post-baby bodies.

Despite all of these things, you still need date nights. And, hey, I learned the hard way. After Baby #2, hubby and I didn’t have a real date night for over eight months. How crazy is that?! It seems there is always something standing in the way of date night – either the babysitter isn’t available, it’s not in the budget or you’ve got parental guilt (“What if baby cries when he/she wakes up and I’m not there?”)… the list goes on. But I’m telling you there are ways of making date night possible!

Babysitter Swaps
Babysitters aren’t cheap, unless you’re hiring the teenager next door. Even then, sometimes it’s just not in the budget. That’s when you need to get creative. Find a few moms that you’re comfortable with – from your local Mom & Tots group or friends you’ve had for years – and work out a babysitting schedule that gives each couple a night to themselves every few weeks. So, while you babysit little Johnny down the street on Friday night, Johnny’s mom will reciprocate the following Saturday evening. This will save a ton of cash over the course of a year, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your little one is in good hands.

Do Your Date Night Research
Many establishments – from restaurants to theatres – have some kind of date night special like two-for-one entrees, reduced price tickets certain times of the week/month, etc. If you do a bit of homework before planning your date, you can get away with spending a lot less.

Stick Close To Home
If you live in an urban area parking can be expensive, and I don’t know about you, but I’d rather buy a cute new top with that $20! Save cash and dine locally whenever possible. Then you can add “romantic walk home” to your list of date night activities! (And, hey, you’re doing the earth a favour by not driving.)

Try Something New
Tired of doing the same things all the time? Me too. That’s why it’s important to try something different every once in awhile and expand your horizons. Never been salsa dancing? Or tried Vietnamese food? Now is the time to mix it up and have fun with your partner. There’s something very unifying about a new, shared experience… it may even remind you of when you first met.

Get A New Outfit
Yes, you read that right. What woman doesn’t love a little pick-me-up now and then? You can still be frugal and get a new outfit! In order to feel your best, you need to look your best. Most new Moms don’t fit into their pre-baby wardrobe, so that’s where a little ingenuity comes in handy. Save money by updating a cute skirt you already own with a new jacket in a colourful hue to flatter your post-baby shape. If you’re looking for a piece that will do double duty (you can dress them up or down), buy a great pair of jeans that showcase your new curves and accessorize with your favourite sweater and jewelry from last season. Or, swap clothes with your girlfriends – shop your best friend’s closet for the perfect dress. You’re sure to look amazing in your “new” outfit! Whatever your budget, dress to impress. Your partner will appreciate it as much as you’ll appreciate him dressing up for you!

Make It Special
Even with the best intentions, weeks (or months) could go by until your next date night. Things happen that are beyond our control – sickness, work travel, family commitments – so make the most of your alone time and always do your best to be truly present. Put phones on vibrate and try to “unplug” while you’re out. Most of all, enjoy being alone and speaking in full sentences without interruptions!

Here’s to a fab (yet frugal) date night!

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