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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Free Dates for a Year

When you decide to jump into paying off debt with both feet you may find yourself in the predicament that my husband and I did: tight budget and no entertainment or restaurant included. One of two things will probably happen when you do, either you will go insane and be miserable for the duration of the trip and quite possibly throw in the towel, or you can make the best of it, be creative, and look back on this period of life with lots of great memories.

I prefer the latter.

So to help accomplish this I went on a mission to create a year of "date nights" that were practically free. (I got the initial idea from Shannon Brown at Find Joy in the Journey. The idea here is that you would purchase tickets, gift cards, etc., for a year of pre-paid dates. The problem with that plan for me was that there was no money to purchase those date nights.)

So I got to scouring the web and searching for free, at-home ideas. The Dating Divas helped out a lot with their list of at home date ideas here. Between looking through their ideas and Googling for others, I was able to come up with about 24 date night ideas, which would give us roughly two date nights per month.

With my free date nights in hand I set out to give my hubby a birthday present that would keep on giving. I created 12 envelopes, one for each month of the year, and put a couple date nights in each envelope. At the beginning of each month he opens up an envelope to find out what's in store for him, and together we work out a time to do it.

Here are some ideas to get you started. Bear in mind that you can be as creative and wild as you want to be, or adjust the suggestions to suit your resources, location, personal tastes, and what-have-you.

Theme Night

My husband and I chose a 50’s theme. I made cheeseburgers, French fries, and milk shakes on our red checkered table cloth while we listened to some great 50’s rock'n roll. My husband rigged up a DVD projector outside for us to watch "An Affair to Remember," drive-in style!

Wanna Be Famous?

Create a YouTube video, fake commercial, or whacky video and then post it on the web for all your friends to see. My hubby and I chose to write a rap song about our experience of going through Financial Peace University and we had a blast. A week after we posted it we ended up on the Katie Couric Show! Click here to view our "Penny Pinching" Financial Peace University Rap video here!

Top Chef

Work together to make a dinner using a secret ingredient in each entrée. Go outside your comfort zone and try something new!

Out of Character

Choose a character for each other to dress and act like throughout dinner. Maybe it’s their favorite character of all time or maybe it’s just something you want to see them dress up as. Try to stay in character throughout dinner, or go the extra mile and do it all day!


If you live in a place where you can see the stars, spread out some blankets in the yard and spend time snuggling and seeing what constellations you can pick out. There are phone apps that can help you with this.

There are plenty more ideas out there to be had! Let me know if you find any.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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