Entertaining · Holidays

Valentine Date Night Ideas When you Have Too Little Money and Too Many Kids

While the hubs and I don’t go all out on each other for Valentine’s Day anymore we do find little ways to celebrate. We used to buy each other gifts and go out for a nice meal but throw 3 young kids in the mix and diminishing funds, we’ve become more like “Hey, don’t forget I love you! Here’s a chocolate bar!” while passing each other in the hallway. But being meaningful doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it require a babysitter. Below are some last minute Valentine date night ideas to switch things up from your usual Netflix and fall-asleep-on-the-couch-by-9 routine.

Valentine date ideas when you have too little money and too many kids
So in love. So incredibly tired. {Photo credit: Kristena Lynn Photography}

TO EAT. Typically we eat together as a family for dinner but for Valentine’s Day I’m thinking it would be nice to feed the kids on their own and have a late night meal just the two of us after they are asleep (or at least down to calling out for us only once every 10 minutes). Here are some other ideas regarding sharing a meal with your love.

  1. Cook Together: Typically each family has a “chef” that makes all the meals. Switch it up and cook a meal together. You could look on Pinterest for ideas or use a go-to family favorite. It’s also a good way for your significant other to finally know where you keep the measuring spoons and olive oil. My favorites include this parmesan chicken dish, these sweet potato burrito bowls and easy mug cakes for dessert.
  2. Carry Out/Delivery: On the other hand, if you usually cook meals at home then perhaps ordering in would be a little more special. I recently discovered the app Postmates. It’s like Uber for food (which Uber also has a food delivery system called UberEats that I have yet to try). I go into the app and it shows me the closest restaurants offering carry out and the wait time. I place my order through the app and then a Postmates driver accepts my order and they do the pick up and delivery. Each time I’ve used it my food has been delivered quicker than expected and you can tip through the app after delivery so no cash on hand is necessary. You can order anything from McDonald’s to Chinese to a fancy steakhouse. I love it because otherwise pizza is pretty much the only delivery option near us. Use code HN4ZE for free delivery up to $10 on your first order!
  3. Breakfast or Lunch Instead. Most restaurants have the same thing on their lunch menu as dinner but for a much better price. Save money and try a day date on your lunch break instead! Plus if your kids are at school/daycare then you already have a built-in babysitter which saves you even more. Another idea if you can’t get together during the day is to pack their lunch. Eric typically throws his own lunch together but I know it would be a sweet gesture if I made something special for him and included a little note. I may not be there to eat it with him but it would still be meaningful and different.
So young. So much free time. {Photo credit: Matt Bowen Photography}

TO DO. I feel like the majority of our evenings are spent with me on the computer working and Eric scrolling through Netflix and Amazon Prime trying to find something new to watch. I want to be intentional on Valentine’s Day to not only be together but be present. Too often we get caught up in our own stuff and playing with the kids that by the time they are down we also just want to fall asleep or bask in the silence. Below are some ideas on how to switch up your evening routine. Just add wine!

  1.  Puzzles/Cards/Board Games/Coloring. Having children means you probably have all these supplies already! And while doing things like this with a 3 year can be frustrating, doing them with another adult can actually be relaxing. Put on your favorite Pandora station and get to work. You can up the ante by making it a competitive game (who can put together a 24 piece Dora puzzle faster, let your kids judge who colored better the next day, etc).
  2. Online Quizzes. There have been plenty of times I’ve become sucked in the time warp that can be online quizzes. Usually when I take them I wonder what Eric’s results will be but never take the time to send them to him or remember to show him later. This would be a fun way to reconnect with each other and have a laugh. Here are some fun favorites below:
    1. How Well Do You Actually Know Your Partner?
    2. Each take this personality test and compare your results (my results were creepy accurate!)
    3. What Kind of Chocolate Are You?
    4. Where Should Your Next Vacation Be? (take the quiz then plan the trip!)
    5. Who is your Celebrity Crush?
    6. How Well Can you Read your Spouse’s Moods?
  3.  Tabletopics. Talk about something other than your children’s bathroom habits and bills that need to be paid. There are plenty of ideas online of questions you can ask like which would you rather scenarios to seeing how well you know each other.
  4. House Project. I know this doesn’t sound romantic but hear me out. Typically one of us is doing something around the house while the other is managing the kids. We are in the middle of so many projects right now that could easily be completed if we could just work on them together. I like this idea because we are accomplishing something that actually needs to be done and spending money on something that we would be anyways as well.  Another idea is to brainstorm projects you want to get going on within the next couple of months.

I hope these last minute ideas help you celebrate the one you love tomorrow. I’ll be over here reminiscing about the Valentine’s Day pre-kids when I had all the time and money in the world to surprise my hubby while he was in the middle teaching by having a student help with an extra special delivery. Sometimes embarrassment is a great way to say “I love you” too. 🙂

VLUU L100  / Samsung L100
Over-sized items for the win.

Still time to check out our gift guide for him and her as well!


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