Our Cheap Anniversary Date

 photo IMG_0817_zps4b38c608.jpgOn Saturday, Mike and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. A lot has been going on in our life lately (sorry for the really slow posting rate! hopefully it'll get better!) and we only got a chance to go out for our anniversary tonight.
We have a lot of expenses at this time of year, so I wanted to keep the date as cheap as possible, while not sacrificing on quality.
I recently was given a writing assignment on frugality for a writing job of mine and I wrote this whole in depth piece on frugal dating, and the more I thought about ideas for that article, the more I came up with ideas how to make our anniversary date really nice for really cheap. I had set myself a limit for 15 dollars for the date, not counting babysitting or transportation, and I'll admit, we went over the 15 dollars. It cost something like 18 dollars. But not bad for a great date, something my husband and I admitted was one of the nicest dates we've had yet.

Remember how we went camping in April with a family? When I was thinking of ideas for cheap dates, the wife of the family we camped with suggested that we go on a picnic there, since its close to home, really nice, etc...
The idea really appealed to me, because the place is scenic, nice, quiet, etc...

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I wanted to do what I could to make the date as nice as possible, so I chose what I consider the most romantic time of day- sunset till twilight.

Type of food on a picnic makes a difference as to the tone. I was thinking of strawberries, but they're out of season. In the end, laziness won out, and we had rice paper wraps filled with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, and tahini sauce, and spicy sausages (which I grilled at home immediately before we left). In addition, I brought a package of chocolate covered raisins (dark chocolate and yummy) and radishes and hearts of palm. (Random, I know, but all things we like.)

I packed a bag with the food, a blanket, some wine goblets, and champagne, got dressed up, dropped the kids off at the sitter, and left. (We brought along sweatshirts for when it inevitably got cold...)

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When we got there, we watched the sunset, popped the champagne, and drank it, along with eating the yummy food we brought. After the sun went down, we went star gazing, trying to find the constellations we knew and making up our own as we went along.

It was great, beautiful, super romantic, and the best part about it was it was walking distance from our house, so no need to wait for buses there and back, usually the most annoying part of going out on a date. And the price of the date certainly wasn't bad!
Another added bonus was I was able to make sure that the foods were all foods I could eat that didn't make me sick, a concern that always comes up when I go out to a restaurant on a date.

The babysitter is a friend of mine, and we decided in the future, we'd barter babysitting for dates- that she and her husband will go out with and we'll watch the kids, then we'll go out again and she'll watch the kids.
With a good babysitting system set up, and a whole bunch of cheap date ideas, I definitely see more great dates in our near future!

What is your favorite cheap and romantic date? Would you have enjoyed such a date?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Love it! We'd snuggle up in bed and watch all those PVR'd shows we never seem to have time to watch.. without kid-interuptions :-)

  2. Sorry, I don't consider my having to cook the dinner much of a date! After all, that is my day to day job and I would like a little pampering on a date. Now when my husband grills the main course, that's always nice!

    1. I agree with Anonymous here. I know you are frugal 365 days of the year but you also know when your anniversary falls so why not put a few dollars in an Anniversary fund to really treat yourselves? Especially since you saved on not having to pay a babysitter for the 3 kids. Here in the States that would've easily cost you about $50 for the night. Go out to a nice restaurant for a change. I'm not a fan of looking at stars so that wouldn't have appealed to me. My husband and I like to go out and listen to live music and share a bottle of wine, something that can also be done cheaply. Our son can be watched by his uncle or my parents. Of course, it's been a LONG time since we've had a date night without the boy tagging along...lol

      As long as you and Mike were happy with it, that's all that matters though. Happy Anniversary!!!!

    2. I agree with anonymous. You know when your anniversary is so why not put a few pennies aside in an anniversary fund and treat yourselves to a nice dinner out next year.

      My hubby and I like to listen to local bands and share a bottle of wine,which can be done cheaply. We don't get out much though and it's been a LOOOOOOONG time since we had a date night, we're LONG overdue..but as long as you and Mike enjoyed it, that's all that matters!!

      Happy Anniversary!!

    3. Anonymous, thats why I did very simple foods. The wraps took maybe 5 minutes to make, and the hot dogs a few minutes to grill. Kelly and anon, going out to a restaurant is problematic because of my food sensitivities- I always end up coming home feeling sick, so its not worth it for me. And spending 15 dollars on a date night is an expense that we were willing to make, but this is a time of year when our budget is much tighter than usual, with more expenses, so we dont always spend the 50 dollars on a "real date". Some years yes, some years no, but its not always a reality.

    4. "Real Date" I define a date as whatever makes you and your hunny happy! Sounds like this one was a HIT! Congrats!

  3. Sounds like you had a nice time!

  4. I think the important thing is that you enjoyed each others' company. That's what a date should be about more than anything: time to connect. I like a fancy night out on occasion, but if you can enjoy a simple meal and looking at the stars, I'd say that's a win. It's easy to miss out on the beautiful simplicities in life.


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