Friday, March 11, 2011

How to be a cheap date

My husband and I are actually going out this weekend.  Yay!

Of course, pre-baby, we would sometimes go out multiple times in the same week.  Movies, restaurants, concerts, whatever we felt like doing.  No need to budget, or plan in advance.

Now, we have to consider expenses, whether we can find a sitter, or if we're going somewhere kid-friendly.

Not that I would ever want to go back to not being a mommy, but for comparison's sake, let's look at a typical date with my husband before, and after we became parents.

Date Night:  Pre-baby
Dinner:  Somewhere nice, but not completely unreasonable.  Maybe Bentley's, where we can get an appetizer, entrees, and wine for around $75 with tip.  To be even more frugal, we'll hold off on dessert and after-dinner coffee.

Dessert and Coffee:  Starbucks.  Hey, at least we saved a few dollars not paying as much for it at Bentley's.

Entertainment:  If Tir Na Nog is having live music, we'll go there for drinks.  Otherwise, we'll go blow some cash on song requests at Rum Runners.

Transportation:  We park in the parking deck and walk a couple of blocks, so at least that's free.  But by the time we're done throwing down drinks, we're going to need a cab to get home.  At least we live near downtown.

Date Night:  After-baby
Dinner:  Mimi's Cafe.  I got a coupon for a free appetizer there when I gave blood the other day.  The coupon's only good with an order of an entree, so we'll split one of the cheaper ones.  I'll order a water and my husband will order a diet soda, and we'll pretend the waitress doesn't realize we're just splitting his drink.  (At least I don't do this thing my sister does, where she orders water with a whole dish of lemons, and proceeds to use that and sugar packets to make lemonade at the table.)  We'll try to get out of Mimi's for under $20 with tip.

Dessert and Coffee:  Grab a couple of bags of Skittles at the gas station and go through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru for the best cheap coffee imaginable.

Entertainment:  Because I got an awesome deal through LivingSocial for 2 tickets for $9, we're going to the movie theater.  For a first-run movie.  Uh-huh.  Yeah.  Living large.  I'll sneak the Skittles in in my purse, because I am not paying $4 for the same size bag of skittles hidden in a big cardboard Skittles box.  (I used to be really embarrassed by my mom sneaking candy and drinks in the movie theater.  That was before I had to pay for anything myself.  Sorry Mom.)

Transportation:  We'll just drive home.  But we'll have to swing by Poppa & Mimi's, who, since they're such great grandparents, also let us use them as free childcare on the rare occassions we go somewhere without the little man.

Of course, looking back, if I'd had any idea how expensive having a kid would be, I would have saved some of the money we splurged on the good life.  But, on the other hand, I'm also very glad we had the time together to be young and impulsive and carefree.  I wouldn't go back to it for anything, but it makes for some good stories, and good memories.

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