If you’re a married couple with kids, you’ve probably heard it a million times: one of the best ways to connect with your spouse is to have a date night.
However, when you’re a married couple on a budget, money is tight, and date nights can be expensive.
Dinners at restaurants can be extremely overpriced, and when you add in the cost of a babysitter, you’re easily looking to spend at minimum $100.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to have fun with your spouse that won’t cost you a cent.
Create your own version of date night with these five completely free ways to connect with your spouse.
1. The After-Bedtime Routine
For as long as I can remember, my parents have had an after-bedtime routine. No, I’m not talking about sexy time, although that can definitely be a part of your routine.
The after-bedtime routine is the time two parents take after they’ve put all the children to bed. Instead of plopping down to sit in front of the TV or absorb themselves into their smartphones, my parents would go on the patio and drink tea together and then chat about their day.
It normally only lasts 10-15 minutes, but it gave my parents time to reconnect as a couple, and not just as parents.
2. The Date Night Swap
Friends of ours have started a date night swap. Instead of paying exorbitant prices for babysitters, they started a childcare swap with two other couples.
On the last Saturday of every month, one couple is in charge of taking care of all the kids in their home, and the other two couples each go on their respective date nights. Most of the time the couples simply choose to go back to their own home, rent a movie, and gorge on take-out!
Having those valuable three hours together every three months is important to the parents.Parents need a break to reconnect. If a babysitter is too expensive, try these free options Click To Tweet
3. Church Care
Often times, local churches will host a date night for parents, offering free or low cost childcare. Many churches advocate for the importance of alone time among parents, knowing how much it can strengthen and protect a relationship.
Check out local churches in your area that may offer these types of services.
4. Picnic in the Park
If setting up childcare is not in the realm of possibility, consider activities that occupy the children, but allow you and your spouse to have some moments alone.
My husband and I recently went on a beach trip. The baby was occupied playing in the sand with toys, while my husband and I got to enjoy some peaceful conversation. Don’t live near a beach? Consider a picnic in the park near a playground for the same type of environment.
5. A Walk in the Neighborhood
Get in the habit of going on a walk together. Strap the kids in the stroller and you’re good to go.
This is a perfect “date night” for the summer when the weather is nice. My husband and I like to put the baby in the carrier and just walk around our neighborhood–it gives us a chance to talk and be uninterrupted from TV or mobile devices.
There are plenty of ways to connect with your spouse without spending a penny. But it does take effort. Make it a priority and don’t let money ever get in the way of having your own “date night” with your spouse.
What are some free date nights you do with your spouse? How do you get around paying crazy prices for childcare?