Date Night · Family · for free · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Parenting · Valentines Day

10 Ideas for Date Night at Home

Date nights are so important to all relationships.  I’ve been married 14 years and life has HAPPENED.  Right now the majority of our time is spent taking care of our three kids, working our jobs, and maintaining our home (with our slightly to big yard!).

It’s been so easy to get consumed with all of these “to dos” and leave less time for my spouse.  We have learned that we MUST make date night a priority, or else it probably won’t happen.

I get it!  Dating can be expensive!  Just dinner and a movie could easily cost you a quick $50.  PLUS, when you have to hire a babysitter….those dates can add up fast.  I have BEEN there!

One thing my husband and I have learned to do is to have date night at home.  This saves us the added cost of hiring a babysitter and is almost ALWAYS cheaper than the dates we have outside of the home.  We plan a night each week, put the kids to bed, turn off the TV, put away all phones and other distractions and we spend time TOGETHER.  It has done wonders for our relationship!

I’ve made a list of a few of our favorite at home date night ideas.  Hopefully this will help you brainstorm a few that you and your significant other can enjoy.  For EVEN more FREE date night ideas check out my post, 20 FREE Valentine Date Ideas.

date night

Here are 10 of our Favorite At Home Date Night Ideas

1.  Candlelight Dinner

There’s no rule that says you have to go out to a fancy restaurant in order to enjoy a romantic dinner.  Cook a special dinner, put the kids to bed and enjoy a quiet dinner for two.  Set the mood by lighting some candles, dimming the lights, and adding a pretty tablecloth.

2.  Put Together a Puzzle

I am not usually a huge fan of puzzles (I lack patience!), however, my husband really enjoys them.  Through him I have learned to better appreciate puzzles.  Often when we do a puzzle together it has turned into sweet moments where we are able to just talk and laugh.  It’s fun to have a project/goal we can work towards together.  I have surprised myself by saying I enjoy puzzles…..as long as they are done with my husband!  😉

3.  Would you Rather

Ask each other “would you rather” questions to get to know each other a little better.  It’s such a fun way to learn more about each other.  You can ask serious questions, or be a little more lighthearted and fun.  I’m still surprised at all the random idiosyncrasies I keep learning about my husband!

4.  Food Tasting

Try some new foods together with a food tasting.  Look for new food at the grocery store that you normally wouldn’t buy.  Perhaps, some fancy cheeses and unique fruits.  You might even find a few new favorites!

5.  Personality Quizzes

I’m a bit of a nerd in the fact that I seriously love personality quizzes.  I’m betting there isn’t a personality quiz out there that I haven’t taken.  For a fun date night you could both take a personality quiz and then read each others results.  It’s such much easier to understand why someone is the way they are if you understand their personality better.

6.  Dream Board

Dream up your future together!  Set goals and put together a dream board of what the two of you hope to accomplish within the next 5, 10, 20 years.  The best way to achieve a dream, is to have a dream!

7.  Outdoor Picnic

If it’s warm outside, set up a little outdoor picnic.  Lay out a blanket to sit on, pack all your favorite finger foods, and enjoy time together in your own backyard.  Try to schedule it right before the sunset so you can enjoy dinner and a show.  Be sure to bring an extra blanket for snuggling.

8.  Ice Cream Sundaes

Who says ice cream is just for kids????  My husband and I have a serious deep love for ice cream.  It’s fairly common for one of us to buy a pint of ice cream as a sweet gesture to the other.  How about making gourmet ice cream sundaes, WITHOUT the kids around?  Pile it high with all your favorite toppings, finish it off with a cherry on top (of course!), and enjoy talking and spending time together while you eat your ice cream sundae!

9.  Play Name That Tune

Test each others music knowledge with a friendly game of name that tune.  Travel back in time and play some of the hits from when you were kids.  Turn it into a friendly competition with a small wager (maybe loser has to make the bed the next morning????).

10.  Learn a New Skill

Watch some youtube videos about a new skill you have both been wanting to learn.  These could be a few weeks worth of dates, as you continue to learn and improve your new skill.  Perhaps you will want to learn about photography, cooking, art, or a foreign language?  The options are endless!  Maybe you could each pick a new skill you would personally like to learn and you can take turns supporting and learning the others chosen skill together.

Date night has truly become a night I look forward to ALL week!  Sometimes us moms just need a little adult interaction, amiright?!?!?!

What are some of your favorite at home date night ideas???  Let me know in the comments!  The more ideas we share, the better for all of us!!

 

 

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Holidays · Recipes · Valentines Day

Chocolate Dipped Valentine Cookies Recipe

This is one of my favorite valentine traditions.  I love baking these for my kiddos and make them every February.   We usually hand some out to friends and neighbors as well. The cream cheese gives the cookie a delicious shortbread flavor and the peppermint extract gives the cookie the perfect amount of light flavor.

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Mix your flour, sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg and peppermint extract together in mixer.  I like this pure peppermint extract.  Beat until well mixed.

Add flour and beat until just mixed.

Divide dough in half. Roll each ball in saran wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

 

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick and cut with heart shaped cookie cutters.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in oven for 7 minutes.

Let baked cookies cool completely.  Once cool make your glaze bymelting chocolate with butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Dip cooled cookies in chocolate glaze and place on wax paper or tin foil to harden.  Once hardened store in a covered container in refrigerator.

 

These are delicious!

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Chocolate Dipped Valentine Cookies

Cookie

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup softened butter

3 ounces softened cream cheese

1 egg

1 tsp peppermint extract

3 cups flour

Chocolate

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg and peppermint extract in mixer until light and fluffy.  Add flour and beat until well mixed.

Cut the dough into two half balls.  Wrap the balls in ceran wrap and place in fridge for a couple of hours to chill.

Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with heart shaped cookie cutters and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 6-7 minutes.

Cool completely.

For the glaze melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan over low heat.  Once melted remove from heat.  Dip cookies into chocolate and let them sit on tin foil or waxed paper.

Store in refrigerator.

Recipes · Valentines Day

Homemade Graham Cracker Recipe

I have a rule.  A little grocery shopping rule to help me stay in my grocery budget.  I am only allowed to go to the grocery store once a week.  If I run out of something earlier in the week or if I realize I forgot something, well that’s just to bad, I have to wait.. I have learned to do without and to use what I have on hand.  Read all about my favorite way to grocery shop here.

This past weekend my kids ate through all of my store bought snacks.  Does anyone else’s kids do that?  I thought I had bought plenty snacks for the week, but we are all out.  I still have two more days until my grocery day.  So, today I decided I needed to whip up a few homemade snacks to help tide my kids over until grocery day.   The more food you make from scratch, the more money you will save.  This graham cracker recipe has been a favorite in our house for years.  It is fairly easy, somewhat healthy, and 100% delicious!

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I use my Blendtec to grind my wheat kernels into wheat flour.  (The Blendtec is one of my most favorite christmas presents ever, but not very budget friendly!  Save your pennies for it though, it’s worth it!)

 

 

Combine flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and soda in mixer.

 

 

Add butter and mix slowly until it turns to crumbs.

 

 

Add vanilla, honey and water.  Mix well.

 

 

Turn onto a floured surface.  Roll out into 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  We’ve used all shapes and sizes.  It’s fun to mix things up!

 

 

Bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!  Hopefully my kids can last on graham crackers and fruit until grocery day!  🙂

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Homemade Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cup wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter chilled and cubed

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and soda in mixer.

Add butter and mix slowly until it turns to crumbs.

Add vanilla, honey and water.  Mix well.

Turn onto a floured surface.  Roll out into 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  We’ve used all shapes and sizes.  It’s fun to mix things up!

Bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Happy Frugal Baking!

Date Night · for free · Free Fun · Holidays · Valentines Day

20 FREE Valentine Date Ideas

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With Valentines Day just a couple weeks away my husband and I started brainstorming some free date night ideas.  Valentines Day does not always have to be celebrated with an expensive dinner and fancy date.  There is no price tag on quality time spent with the one you love very most.

If you are still looking for a budget friendly gift idea for your significant other check out my list of 10 gifts all under $10 for HIM here and my list of 10 gifts under $10 for HER here.

And now our list of 20 FREE Valentine Date Ideas.

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  1. Candlelight Picnic:  Set up a candlelight picnic dinner at home.  Put a blanket on the floor with a few candles set around the room.  Cook your loves favorite dinner and enjoy talking over candlelight.
  2. Night Drive and Star Gazing:  Go on a long drive just the two of you.  Drive to somewhere secluded and wrap up in a blanket together and enjoy some star gazing.
  3. Netflix and Chill:  Set up some blankets and pillows in front of the TV.  Snuggle together while watching your favorite Netflix shows.
  4. Game Night:  Pop some popcorn, get out your favorite snacks and crack open a few games.  Let your flirty and friendly banter come out and enjoy a fun game night together just the two of you.
  5. At Home Star Gazing:  String up come Christmas lights on your back porch, get out a few blankets and snuggle together outside watching the stars and catching up.
  6. Stroll through Memory Lane:  Get out old pictures and letters you may have written to each other.  Reminisce about your first dates and talk about how special your love story.
  7. Cook Dinner Together:  Turn on some music and enjoy each others company cooking dinner together.  Light some candles in the kitchen to help set the mood.
  8. Couple Questions:  Google a list of couple questions to ask each other.  See how well you already know each other and enjoy learning new details about your lover.
  9. Roast Smores at Home:  Roast marshmallows over the stove and make smores.  Add peanut butter or nutella to make a gourmet smore.
  10. Dessert Iron Chef:  Play an at home version of Iron Chef.  Pick a few “secret ingredients” that you both have to use in your dessert concoction.  Take turns judging each others desserts.
  11. Snowy Walk:  Bundle up and take a walk together in the snow.  Try to explore a new trail or area you have never been before and enjoy the winter beauty together.
  12. Comedy Night:  Have an at home comedy night.  Grab your favorite snacks and search you tube for funny videos or watch a comedian on Netflix, our favorite is always Jim Gaffigan.
  13. Window Shopping:  Go window shopping together.  Pick out funny items for each other to try on.  See who can find the funniest outfit.
  14. Photo Scavenger Hunt:  Find a photo scavenger hunt list on Pinterest.   Take selfies together around town while trying to complete your scavenger hunt.
  15. Fondue Night:  Have a fondue night at home by melting chocolate chips in the microwave.  Enjoy good conversation together while dipping fruit and marshmallows in the chocolate.
  16. Heads or Tails Drive:  Pack a picnic dinner.  Go for a drive using a coin to find your destination.  At every intersection flip the coin turn right if it’s heads and left if it’s tails.  Do this for 10-20 intersections and then enjoy eating the picnic together at whatever the destination ends up being.
  17. Paint Night:  Whip out the paints and a canvases.  Enjoy talking to each other while painting your individual masterpieces.
  18. Video Games:  Play a few Wii games together or pull out the old school Mario Bros.  Let your competitive sides show with friendly banter and laughs.
  19. Sledding and Hot Chocolate:  Let your inner child show and go sledding together.  End the night back home snuggling next to the fire while sipping hot chocolate.
  20. Health Night:  Do a couples yoga together.  Afterwards prepare a healthy dinner together and enjoy each others company while focusing on your health.

I hope that whatever you end up doing your valentines day will be shared with that special person in your life!

You might also enjoy my posts:

25 Completely Free Family Winter Activities

10 Ideas for Date Night at Home

a look inside what's in and out in weddings this year

Bargain Buys · Frugal Life · Holidays · Valentines Day

10 Valentine Gifts for Her under $10

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ”

After brainstorming gift ideas for the man in your life, (you can find that post here) I decided to take a look at some awesome yet budget friendly gift ideas for the woman in your life.  Or, if you’re like me you can try to find a sneaky way to drop these ideas as hints for what you WANT the man in your life to buy you.  🙂

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I have been wanting to try this Facial Sponge with Activated Bamboo Charcoa for a while now.  It is all natural and the reviews sound amazing and claim it is really beneficial at clearing up skin.  I also really love that it is guaranteed, if you don’t like it you can return it for a full refund.  It is only $6.74!

MY Konjac Sponge All Natural Korean Facial Sponge with Activated Bamboo Charcoa

Why not treat your special lady to a nice massage using this Lavender Essential Oil.  It is my favorite smell!  I love diffusing it in the evening to help me relax or putting a few drops in my bath.  Right now the oil is just $7.49.

Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. 10 ml (1/3 oz).

I love receiving perfume for gifts.  It’s a luxury I rarely buy for myself, but absolutely love when someone gifts me some.  Jovan White Musk Perfume is a nice light, clean and beautiful smell.  It’s hard to go wrong with this gift, AND it’s only $8.82!

Jovan White Musk By Jovan For Women, Cologne Spray, 3.25-Ounce Bottle

If your woman loves to read you must get her the book; Life of Pi.  It is so well written and one of my favorite books.  I could read it again and again.  You can get the paperback for $8.49 and I consider that a steal!

I have been wanting a phone grip for a while.  I seem to have a bad habit of dropping my phone, this phone grip helps you have a more secure hold on your phone.  It is only $9.99 and they have a variety of great colors to choose from!

PopSockets: Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones and Tablets - White

–A good chunky beanie is really trendy right now.  I love the extra cute slouch touch that  the Slouchy Cable Knit Cuff Beanie has.  This beanie is only $8.95.

Brook + Bay Slouchy Cable Knit Cuff Beanie - Stay Warm & Stylish - Chunky, Oversized Slouch Beanie Hats for Women & Men - Serious Beanies for Serious Style

What better way to pamper your loved one than with this Cocoa Butter Body Cream.  It smells great and is the perfect consistency of soft and creamy!  It is only $5.18!

NIVEA Cocoa Butter Body Cream 15.5 oz

Farmhouse decor is all the rage right now.  I loved this little blue lantern.  It is only $4.59 and would be a cute addition to any home.

Kate Aspen, Distressed Metal Vintage Decorative Mini Lantern, Centerpiece, Party Favor, 2.5 x 2.5 x 6.5, Blue

I love having notebooks and journals to keep my thoughts in.  This is a beautiful floral journal and only $8.78.

This is a great quality Manicure/Pedicure Kit.  The kit contains 12 nail care pieces, plus a case making it perfect for traveling and storing.  It is a steal at just $7.45.

Manicure Pedicure Set Nail Clippers - 10 Piece Stainless Steel Manicure Kit - tools for nail, Cutter Kits -Perfect gift for women, men Includes Cuticle Remover with Portable Travel Case

I hope you found something your lady (or yourself!) will LOVE.  Finding great buys for a good price is my favorite type of shopping!

If you still need some help planning a special date night for your Valentine take a look at my post 20 FREE Valentine Date Ideas for a little inspiration.

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You might be interested in my other gift guides:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teen Girls under $25

25 Gift Ideas for Tween Girls; all under $25!

25 Gift Ideas for 5-7 year old boys under $25

Amazon · Bargain Buys · Valentines Day

10 Valentines gifts for him under $10!

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Do you have Valentines Day plans?  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make the day feel special.  Check out my post about 20 FREE Valentine Date Ideas for some inspiration on planning a fun and romantic valentines date while on a budget.

I LOVE Valentines Day.  It is so fun to spend a day showing the people I love most how much I care for them.  I started browsing last night for Valentine Gifts for my husband.  I knew I wanted to get him something he would LOVE, but I also wanted to make sure we would be able to stay in budget with the gift.  I made a list of ten GREAT Valentine gifts for him, and ALL of them are under ten bucks!  That’s my type of shopping!

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My husband seems to never have enough flashlights.  He loves having them in all shapes and sizes.  I loved the design of this LED flashlight.  The  Flex-Head Flashlight would be useful for needing to look in small tight spaces and the magnetic ability will make it easy to store nearby your work space yet out of the way.  This flashlight is only $9.97!

I found this great Survival Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle for the great outdoors loving man in your life.  It is small and compact and perfect for taking on backpacking or hiking trips.  I also think this would be a great gadget to have around the house for emergency preparedness.  It is currently $7.99!

Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle

I seriously love anything that is multi purpose!  This Leather iphone Case does just that.  It will hold your cards,, it protects your phone, it’s slim, it’s masculine.  AND, it’s only $9.99.

Does the man in your life love to grill???  He might enjoy this meat thermometer.  It has lots of fantastic reviews and is digital so will be very easy to read.  I also love that it is foldable, which is so handy for storage!  The Sesame colored version is only $6.99!

This Working Hands Cream is fantastic for smoothing out rough cracked hands.  With over 8,000 positive reviews, it obviously works as advertised!  It is a great price for this type of product at $6.49.

Men love their tools!  (amiright???)  This MultiTool is the perfect way for them to carry all the tools at once!  The all in one tool includes pliers, screwdriver, cutter and more!  It is only $9.99!

 

-For the active man a Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle would be great gift.  These water bottles have a lot of different colors to choose from and a great sleek design.  A few of the colors are $10.49, but half of them are $9.99!

The newest Dan Brown novel, Origin is another excellent novel following the popular Robert Langdon as he makes new historical discoveries.  The paperback can be bought for $7.48.

This Magnetic Stud Finder is amazing!  It has strong magnets, making it hands free!  This is something everyone could use in their home.  It is just $7.59.

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

For some reason my husband can’t have enough work gloves!  He goes through them so quick.  These are a good quality and a great price.  They are just $9.63.

I hope you have fun shopping for that special someone AND being able to stay in budget!

Check out my post all about 10 Valentine Gifts for Her under $10.

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You might also like my other gift guides:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teen Girls under $25

25 Gift Ideas for Tween Girls; all under $25!

25 Gift Ideas for 5-7 year old boys under $25