Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and it's the season of LOVE, or so all the stores seem to be proclaiming with hearts and flowers everywhere, but you and I know that celebrating your love for each other isn't just for this one day of the year. Although you may have kids and they likely have taken over most of your lives when it used to be just the two of you, it's still important to spend time together. Date Nights are the perfect way to spend time together, and they don't have to cost anything, and can be done at home.
"Why at home?" you may ask. Many, many families are like ours, and live a distance from the rest of their family, so babysitters aren't readily available. In fact it took us 10 months to arrange a sitter for the kids so me and hubby could go and enjoy my birthday present from him, a day at Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside of London. Having dates at home saves money and avoids having to find a sitter that you trust to look after your young children.
I know some families that have a weekly date night. We don't have a weekly date night but we do have a night a week where I switch off the machine, the, movie goes on, and we spend extra long chatting over dinner enjoying a glass of wine and catching up. But honestly, special date nights don't happen that often at all. Instead we try and plan one once a month, so here are 12 ideas for a Year of Date Nights at Home plus FREE date night coupons that you could include in a Valentine's card for the year ahead.
12 Money Saving at Home Date Night Ideas
1. Backyard Movie Drive-in
Get the popcorn popping, sort out some comfortable seating and get settled in for your own drive-in in the comfort of the backyard. You have choices: a clear dry night with the appropriate blankets, clothes, sleeping bags hats, scarves and gloves could make for a cosy winter movie night, or wait for the summer and enjoy an evening where it's warm but not as hot as the day, and watch a classic or a new film of your choice together.
Treat each other to a massage, get those toe separators out and let your other half paint your nails. Light some candles fill up a washing up bowl or two soak your feet and spoil each other with a foot massage. Cut up some cucumber and relax with some classical music or sounds of waves in the background. No spa trip is complete without a smoothie so make it together or even mix up a cocktail to enjoy on your spa night. How about treating your man to some fabulous Baylis and Harding Citrus Lime and Mint Box Set from House of Fraser, it's refreshing and a real treat.
3. Picnic Dinner
Now this maybe a favourite of my kids, but we can enjoy it as well. In the winter, a picnic in the lounge complete with picnic blanket, or in the summer in the backyard. Choose your favourite picnic foods or scour pinterest to find some to make specially for the event.
4. Karaoke at home
No-one and I mean no-one apart from my husband, kids and perhaps my parents actually appreciates my singing but I must admit that I do love playing SingStar on our console, it doesn't happen often, and I'm so bad that I'm actually quite good on it and normally win, but it's a lot of fun. If you don't have SingStar then YouTube your favourite music or even Karaoke tracks and get singing against each other.
5. Pizza Night
Do you realise how easy it is to make Pizza? There are so many easy recipes for the dough, but you can make it even simpler, and buy a bag that you just add water to and that will make the dough. Then you can make the dough, have a try at spinning it like the chefs do, add your favourite toppings - without cheese for my hubby! and enjoy it together in front of a movie of your choice or just together on the floor chatting about what you've been up to. Most of the fun of the date night is making the pizzas together. It's something you don't often you get to cook.
6. Game night
Whether you get out a board game or switch on the game console, let your competitive spirit out. It's OK to want to win and it's fun to try and beat your other half. Maybe try a game that you know they are good at and "let" them win or treat yourself to a fun game like dictionary or charades.
7. Theme Night
Pick a theme - any theme and then cook, plan the entertainment and get into it. How about Italian, Greek, Chinese or Comedy Club. There are so many possibilities.
8. Candle Light Dinner for 2
I hardly ever get to dress up properly, and neither does my husband, but in our closets we do have posh dresses and suites - I believe my husband may even have a tux. Plan a meal for the two of you with your favourite food. Prepare as much as you can in advance and then get dressed up. Get your husband to pick you up from your bedroom and escort you to the candle light dinner. If it's summer enjoy it alfresco, or in the winter in the comfort of your home.
9. Breakfast in bed for dinner
Kids mean early mornings in our house and quick demands to feed their hungry stomachs so breakfast in bed isn't a possibility. Instead treat yourself to breakfast in bed as a couple for dinner. Serve your favourite things that you know aren't great for you and relax. You don't have to get up for a good few hours.
10. At Home Camp out
I love camping, but as a couple we never went camping and I can't see that happening on our own for a long time into the future. However, there's nothing stopping us camping out in the lounge at home. We can get the sleeping bags out, build ourselves a fort to camp under and make some camp food. Switch off the lights and eat it by flashlight.
11. Movie Marathon
Whether you give over control to your other half or you decide together, settle down for a movie marathon. Maybe of your favourite actor, or a box set (ohhhh yes I see in my future, all 6 episodes of Star Wars in a row AGAIN!), or maybe just movies with the same word in them. How about making it "Worst Movies EVER night"? Watch the worst movies you can think of, and sit and laugh at how bad they are. Anyone for a Sharknardo marathon?
12. Read to each other
Pick a book, any book. Maybe it's been years since you read Harry Potter. Why not get it off the kids book shelf and read it to each other? Take a chapter each, and read it out loud. If Harry Potter isn't your cup of tea, then how about something from your e-reader? Or maybe your favourite book turned movie. The choice is yours.
Free At Home Date Night Coupons
Don't forget to download your free at home date night coupons. They will make a fantastic gift to go into this year's Valentine's card and you'll have a year of memorable cheap date nights that you and your other half can enjoy at home together. There's even a couple of blank so that you can fill them in with your own ideas as well. Either click on the download link or the picture below you will need a PDF viewer to display and print.