A Secluded Spot, A Blanket, And…

Stretching the budget to include date nights can be a challenge in this economy.  Just something as simple as going to see a movie, when you include sodas and popcorn, can set you back $30.00 or more.  A nice supper out?  Yeah, I know.  Ouch. And we haven’t even gotten into working around hectic schedules.

But sometimes you both need to do whatever it takes to enjoy a romantic evening together.

All couples need to get away for some alone time.  Time to focus on one another, and shut out the rest of the world.  The jobs, bills, responsibilities, and distractions like computers and cell phones.  You especially need time for just the two of you if you have kids, because sometimes it’s hard to see yourselves as something other than parents.

Of course there’s that whole budget thing, isn’t there?  Well don’t worry…there are plenty of free and inexpensive things you can do for date night (or morning, or afternoon).

A walk in the rain can be very romantic – not to mention a whole lot of fun!  As long as it’s just raining and not storming.  Best of all, it’s free.

Don’t be a statistic

You probably thought I was going to bring up divorce, didn’t you?  No.  I’m talking about the many couples who take one another for granted.  Sure they still love one another, but they’re not in love.  They’ve been together long enough that they don’t really see each other anymore.

If you don’t want that to happen to your relationship, here’s something you can try.

Date night doesn’t have to break the bank.

Grab a comfy quilt, pack a picnic basket (or duffel bag) with a couple of pretty plates, two wine glasses, napkins and real silverware.  Arrange for a family member or friend to babysit if you have kids.  Then steal your Romeo or Juliet away for a picnic for two.  In a park, on a beach, maybe even your own backyard. The location doesn’t matter…as long as it’s fairly private.

Your menu can even be budget-friendly.  Wouldn’t it be great to surprise the love of your life with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrot sticks, grapes, and graham cracker cookies (recipe below), served on your best china?  You could fill a thermos with Kool-Aid or lemonade, and there you go.  You’ve just arranged a romantic dinner date that costs about $5.00.

No, it’s not a 5-star restaurant…it’s better.  Because you took the time to plan it, prepare the meal and, most importantly, share it with the one you love.  That’s what they will remember.  That’s what makes it romantic.

Okay, this isn’t really a ‘recipe,’ more like a guideline. Dump about a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl (carefully, or you’ll be wearing it). Add a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter. Now add milk a tablespoon at a time, stirring until it looks like frosting. If you don’t add the milk a little at a time, you’ll have soup, then you’ll have to add more sugar.

Cover bowl and put in picnic basket, along with a package of graham crackers. Make them together after you eat, or the crackers will get soggy.

If you have leftover frosting…use your imagination.


See you next week for the next tip.  If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, go ahead and enter your email address near the upper right-hand corner of this page.  Thanks for stopping by!


If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.  Just remember, you will need to exercise some patience, and be consistent.  Anything worth having usually requires effort.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:  kristykjames@gmail.com

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12 Responses to A Secluded Spot, A Blanket, And…

  1. Gigi Ann says:

    What a fun post today. Hubby and I have lunch together each day, some days we eat at Subway and get a footlong sub for $5.00. Eat in the car and watch the traffic go by. Same with McDs, and it helps if he says he loves me after all these years, surprising he tells me that every day. So even on “date day or night” words go a long way!! ; )) Enjoy your dates everyone, and remember the fun always follows the date!!!

  2. mj monaghan says:

    Hmm, no computer or cell phone. Are you …

    No, seriously you have some great suggestions. Just wish MLB was here with me instead of up in Northern Cal. Hopefully I will find work fairly soon and we can have date night again. Thank goodness for “Face Time” on our iPhones. Amazing that we can see each other on our phones.

    Thanks for being a fellow hopeful romantic. These really are great tips.

    • mj monaghan says:

      Oh, for some reason your blog dropped out of my Google Reader. But you’re back in. 😉

      • Aww…that sounds like too far away, MJ. I hope you find something quickly, too. But yes, it’s good you have your iPhones. That has to help. I’ve never been really enthused with cell phones, but they can come in handy.

        And yes…I’ve been a hopeful (or hopeless, lol) romantic for as long as I can remember.

        Must be an internet Twilight Zone thing going on. Right now, I’m showing up as a guest on MY blog every time I reply to someone. 🙂

  3. Such an important message! It is so easy to take our partners for granted. We have all kids away today, so my husband and I are planning a date: making frittatas with veggies fresh from our garden and watching the Olympics together!

  4. Karen McFarland says:

    Aw Kristy, you are such a romantic. Who knew? You’re a sweetie. How kind you are to make suggestions that fit into anyone’s budget. I know that people don’t like talking about how bad the economy is, but it does take a toll on couples. You are so right Kristy. Taking time with each other is the important thing. It doesn’t need to cost you a dime. It’s time out from our hectic lives and finding the time to re-establish intimacy with one another and make a connection. It’s the glue to our relationship. Viva la romance! Kristy style! I like it! 🙂

    • Hi, Karen! LOL…I’ve been seriously into romance since I got my first Barbie doll when I was seven. Of course she always had to have a big stuffed bear as her boyfriend until Santa finally brought me a Ken doll. 🙂

      The reason I’m focusing on ‘cheap’ for this series is because I think people tend to forget about all the sweet things they considered romantic in the early days of their relationships. At some point, a little note stuck in a locker, or ticket stubs from the first movie were enough to send us all over the moon.

      Those are the things that are important (as well as a guy doing dishes once in a while!). This seems like as good a time as any to remind people that keeping romance alive shouldn’t have to cost much…if anything.

      Glad you like it. 🙂

  5. This was a great post! My husband and I are definitely on a budget, but we recognize the importance of setting aside a “date night” each week. We get free movie tickets through credit card points, so that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few months. When that’s not possible, I’m getting fairly decent at making a quick, yummy version of a meal we’d have at a restaurant and then we’ll settle in with a board game (nerdy I know, but that’s how we roll 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Marcy! I love that you’re able to use points to get movie tickets! But I also think it’s totally cool to do the homemade restaurant meal and board game (NOT nerdy at all). The important thing is that you’re both making an effort to spend special, one on one time together. 🙂

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