Going Out Without Breaking the Bank


My husband and I go on dates once a week. Because we like sticking to a budget we usually try to do every other week as a date night at home where my teen watches the other kids (or at least is available if they need something if we do it after their bedtime). The other two weeks of the month we like to go out on the town. As a stay at home mom I find I do actually have to go somewhere sometimes for my own sanity.

Going out to eat and doing activities together can add up really quickly, however. Getting out on the town doesn’t have to break the bank but it must be budgeted for and you have to spend your money wisely. Here are a few of our tips on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to dating.

Tips for Eating Out:

  1. Go for lunch: This isn’t always doable but when it is possible you can often save some money and still get good quality food a little bit cheaper by going earlier in the day.
  2. Sign up for birthday clubs or rewards programs. They will send you coupons you can use that will save you money. Some programs are admittedly better than others but I have redeemed lots of free food coupons this way.
  3. Buy discounted gift cards: You can buy discounted gift cards at Costco or Raise.com which you can then use just like normal.

Tips for Activities:

  1. Movie theaters: Many movie theaters have a discount day (ours is Tuesday) when tickets are half price. Matinees are also usually cheaper if you can go to an earlier showing rather than an evening showing.
  2. Yearly Passes: Sometimes yearly passes are really expensive and it’s hard to justify the cost, but if you know you will use it it may save you money in the long run. Look for things like CityGO Pass, GetOutPass, or PeaksPass and see if they have activities you would use. Then buy them when they are on sale. Consider a state or national parks pass too if you are avid hikers.
  3. Entertainment Book: I purchase a book from Entertainment.com each year that has coupons for a multiplicity of activities in my area. I like to buy when it costs around $10 for the book because I know I will get at least that much back out of it within a couple redemptions.
  4. Groupon or Living Social: We have gone to plays, axe throwing, ice skating, and all sorts of fun activities with the discounted passes we buy at these websites. Before you go out and pay full price for an activity see if they have something in your area you may enjoy with a cheaper price tag.