Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Valentine's Gift Idea: A Year of Dates!

I wanted to share with you a gift I made for my husband for Christmas! I waited until now to post this so that 1) I wouldn't spoil his Christmas gift and 2) because I think it would be a great Valentine's Gift idea for you all!

My dear hubby is always saying we don't go out enough. Can any of you relate to that? With the business of each day and week, we rarely plan ahead and schedule a date night. In truth, we probably only have date nights a few times a year-- maybe for our anniversary, birthdays, and another one thrown in here or there.

So I decided to get proactive and set up A YEAR OF DATES for us!!

Here's what I did:

I made a list of the months of the year and wrote down date ideas that I thought would be fun.

Some of these are very frugal dates, like "Go to dinner for my birthday" (which would include a freebie from a restaurant, like Ruby Tuesdays, Red Robin, or Mongolian BBQ, when you sign up for their e-club) or "Lunch Date and then a movie night at home in the evening with popcorn".

Some of the dates I planned are things that we've talked about doing, but just haven't yet. For example "Go to the Gun Range" or "Take a Painting Class". For these, I was able to find deals on Groupon that I purchased and that made them very affordable!

In the warmer months, I planned a date for us that will involve taking a bike ride around our city and stopping off at a pizza place (we love to do things outdoors together), or packing a picnic dinner and a blanket and taking it to the local park and then getting ice cream on the way home.

The dates don't have to be extravagant (although it's fun to throw in some new and different things to do)--the point is to have time alone together as a couple to reconnect and recharge!

One of the dates, which I'm super excited about, is a Group Date with our best friends-- I expect a lot of laughter and a great time!

So, once I came up with date ideas, I wrote each one out on a piece of paper and placed it in an envelope labeled with the name of the month in which we'd go on this date. I also printed any coupons, Groupons, restaurant.com vouchers, or Living Social vouchers that I had purchased for the date.

I placed all 12 envelopes together and tied them up with some pretty string.

The idea is that at the beginning of each month, my husband will open the envelope to discover that month's date, we'll look at the calendar to pick a day of the month to go, and we'll find a sitter!

My husband LOVED this gift! It didn't cost us that much, and it will ensure that we get some much-needed couple time each month! It's the gift that keeps on giving!

What do you think? Would your spouse like this gift for Valentine's Day? If so, I'd encourage you to check Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, Restaurant.com and other daily deals sites for things to do and places to eat.

Then think of some other dates that don't cost any money or very little money-- a game night, a Wii game rented from the library, a DVD rental, taking a walk or bike ride together, window shopping at a cute downtown area or at a bookstore, etc.

If it's hard for you to afford a sitter, maybe work out a swap with some friends in which you take turns having all the kids at your place in return for them taking your kids another night. Or, if you know a teenager who babysits, perhaps you could work out a discounted fee if you agreed in advance to use him/her for a certain number of dates in the year (if your babysitter knows they are guaranteed 6 dates, they may offer a discounted rate-- sort of like buying in bulk!).

Leave a comment if you do this and it works out well!

Please share this post on Facebook and Pinterest to encourage others to plan A Year Of Dates!

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