26 Inexpensive & Fun Date Ideas + Our Inexpensive Anniversary

Inexpensive Date Night Ideas Final

It’s more challenging to go on date nights with my husband since we’ve had children. And it seems to be even more difficult now that we have a newborn baby. My husband and I want to do better about going out on dates at least once or twice a month so I looked around and found 26 Inexpensive & Fun Date Ideas that would be enjoyable for us to do together. And most of these dates don’t cost a lot of money or anything at all.

  1.  Go to a park and feed the ducks.
  2.  Cook a nice dinner together and eat it over candlelight.
  3.  Go on a coupon date where you only use coupons for your dinner and activities.
  4.  Make homemade pizza together.
  5.  Play a board game together until someone wins.
  6.  Go to a bakery and choose a treat for each other.
  7.  Take a drive and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you.
  8.  Camp out in the living room with sleeping bags, camp chairs, flashlights and anything that will make it feel like a camp out.
  9.  Exercise together by going on a walk, jog, or to a local gym.
  10.  Volunteer at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or retirement home.
  11.  Have a video game night.
  12.  Grab some quarters and head to an arcade to play games.
  13.  Go for a walk together.
  14.  Sit outside at night to stargaze and look at constellations.
  15.  Make ice cream sundaes with your favorite toppings.
  16.  Go to a thrift store. Give each other $5 to spend and see who ends up with the best item.
  17.  Have a picnic indoors on the floor.
  18.  See a play at a high school or local community theater.
  19.  Build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Go back inside to warm up with hot chocolate and blankets.
  20.  Choose a book you both are interested and read it together.
  21.  Organize a scavenger hunt where you hide clues that take you around the neighborhood or town.
  22.  Head to a local dealership and test drive your dream car.
  23.  Play the Newlywed Game to see how well you know each other and have prizes for every correct answer.
  24.  Visit a local museum.
  25.  Create a homemade spa with scented candles, soft music, massages, and a bubble bath.
  26.  Watch a no-drive drive-in movie in the car on a laptop with a movie of your choice.

 

Our Inexpensive Anniversary

FH000020

I can’t believe that my husband and I have now been married nine years! He is such an amazing man! Because our little baby was only 3 months old, my husband and I decided to keep our anniversary simple this year. We thought about panning an overnight trip, but bringing a newborn baby with us just wouldn’t work. We had tried that when our second child was a baby and that was hard.

So for our anniversary, my husband took the day off work and his mother came to watch the kids so that we could go out on a date, which was awesome because it had been months since we had gone out on a date. We went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and we each ordered a lunch special that was really good. We had a $25 gift card that had been given to us as a present months ago, so we were able to use that to get our meal for free.

My husband is sweet and remembered that I had been saying I needed a new cardigan because my other ones have holes in them. I have a hard time buying clothes for myself because I always feel that we need to the money to get clothes for our growing family or to save for other things that we want as a family. We went to Old Navy where I was able to purchase a cardigan for myself with a $25 gift I had received as a birthday present. We even had some left over for my husband to get a new shirt. We then went next door to Famous Footwear where I splurged (yes, I do this sometimes), and purchased new black dress shoes for me. They were of course the ones on sale. This is probably sounds pathetic, but the last time I purchased shoes for myself was four years ago. Like I said, I just have a hard time spending money on me.

Before the day ended, we exchanged small gifts for each other. Even though we didn’t spend a lot of money for our anniversary and we used gift cards that we had saved, it turned out to be a really enjoyable date with my husband. I do want to be real for a moment and mention that even though we try to be frugal, our dates aren’t always inexpensive. Sometimes we pay full price to see a movie that both of us have been wanting to see, or we go out to eat without using coupons. The reason I save money here and there is so that we can splurge every so often on things we enjoying doing together as a couple and as a family. But I also want to point out that when you go on a date, you don’t have to spend lots of money to have fun. The thing that counts the most is being together, talking and enjoying each other.

What dates have you gone on that were fun, yet inexpensive?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece

How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece

This past week, I had the opportunity to help create the centerpieces for a church activity. We wanted to do something that was simple and looked nice, but not expensive. Here are the items we used and the directions on How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece. And it’s a centerpiece that can be used for almost any holiday occasion.

Items needed:

  • Red craft paper
  • Greenery – pine, cedar or spruce (This could be from your yard, or purchased from the store. My family and I took a drive up the mountains and trimmed an evergreen tree to get the greenery.)
  • Cranberries
  • Lantern (The lantern was purchased from IKEA. They can also be found on Amazon.)
  • Battery Powered Tea lights (Purchase them from the dollar store, or purchase them in bulk on Amazon.)

Directions:

  1.  Place a 3×3 foot colored craft paper in the center of the table.
  2.  Cut small pieces of greenery and lay it in a circular motion in the center of the craft paper.
  3.  Place a lantern in the middle of the greenery and add a battery-powered tea light.
  4.  Sprinkle cranberries on the greenery.

It was simple, yet it turned out beautifully!

You’ll also notice  jars on the table. A friend of mine created these jars as a take-home gift for the women who attended the activity. The jars are also so simple to make. Take a pint-size (16 oz.) canning jar, and spray paint it using a Frost Spray Paint. Place a vinyl cut out picture of your choice on the jar. Tie twine on top, and place a battery-powered tea light inside the jar. The women who came to our activity loved the jars so much that I almost didn’t get one to take home. That’s how quickly they were picked up and taken home.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Homemade Bubbles Recipe

Homemade Bubbles

My daughters love blowing bubbles, especially my youngest daughter. It seems that every time we blow bubbles, most of the bubble solution ends up being spilled on the ground because they want to do bubbles by themselves. That of course leads to purchasing more bubble solution, which the cost of it can add up quickly. I decided to try out these Homemade Bubbles, and they worked really great! My daughter and I enjoyed blowing the bubbles in the backyard.

Homemade Bubbles

  • 3 cups water
  • 6 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dishwashing liquid (We used Sun Dishwashing Liquid because that’s what I had, but any brand will work.)

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine and stir together the three ingredients. Place the bubble solution in a flat dish with enough solution that will cover the end of the bubble wands. Store the extra bubble solution in a mason jar.

 

Blowing Bubbles

Blowing Bubbles 2

 Have fun blowing bubbles for the rest of the summer!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Fun and Frugal Summer Activities for Kids

summer activities for kids

I’m looking forward to doing some fun activities with my girls this summer. Here are ideas of fun and frugal summer activities to do with children.

activities for kids - hot air balloon
Hot Air Balloon – This activity will keeps the kids entertained for hours!

 

Activities for kids - ice chalk
Homemade Sidewalk Ice Chalk – Mix together half cornstarch, half water, and washable tempura paint. Pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze it. Make sure the kids wear clothing that is okay to get messy.

 

activities for kids - hula hoop
Do It Yourself Hula Hoop – I loved the hula hoop when I was younger! This looks like such a fun activity that the kids would love, and for me too.  ;)

 

activities for kids - water balloon pinata
Water Balloon Piñata – Sounds like a fun way to get wet this summer!

 

activities for kids - water pistol target range
Water Pistol Target Range – Stacking some paper cups into a pyramid shape, then use a dollar store water pistol or spray bottle to shoot them down.

If you have any fun summer activities that you’ve enjoyed doing with your kids, please share with everyone! And here are more activities to do with your kid this summer:
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 1)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 2)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 3)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 4)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Top 5 Money-Saving Tips

money-saving tips

Today I am guest posting on my friend, Lisa Jorgensen’s blog, Pebbles and Piggytails where I share my Top 5 Money-Saving Tips.

Here’s the opener of the article:

Did you know that saving money is one of the best habits people can have to increase happiness? By saving money, not only will you have more money for your goals and dreams, but you’ll also have money for those unexpected emergencies. Here are my top five money-saving tips I want to share with you. . .

Head over here to read the rest of the article.

And be sure to follow Lisa’s Pebbles and Piggytails blog where she writes about finding peace in motherhood and in life.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets Final

My oldest girl just loves these Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets, and she requests it almost every morning. She actually prefers the homemade over the store-bought packets, which is fine by me because it’s less expensive to make it homemade. I added in chocolate chips this last time, but she preferred it without the chocolate chips.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

To each ziploc bag add the following:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon or less cinnamon
  • chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to three months. To serve, pour the instant oatmeal packet into a bowl and add 3/4 cup water or milk. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until cooked. Stir and serve.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

How to Save Money on Baby Products

 Baby Products - Save Money

The average middle-income family spends about $12,000 on child-related expenses in their baby’s first year of life! That’s a lot of money! So as August approaches, I am looking for ways to save on baby products that I need for when our baby boy arrives. Here are some tips to save money on baby products.

1. Shop at Second-Hand Stores and Yard Sales
When I found out we were having a boy, I was excited. I also realized that I needed to purchase baby boy clothes. I have bags of baby girl clothes in my basement, but I only have a few outfits for baby boys. Purchasing clothing, as well as other items, can be expensive, but if you shop right you should be able to pick up some good deals. Try finding new or gently used clothing and other baby items at these places:

  • Children’s Consignment Stores – Stores such as Kid to Kid, Just Between Friends, and Once Upon a Child buy and sell new and gently used children’s clothing and baby items.
  • Thrift Stores – They offer a wide selection of clothing for children. It may take some time to search through the racks, but you should be able to find clothing that is still in good condition.
  • Yard Sales – These can be a great place to find children’s clothing and baby items inexpensively. Since babies grow out of their clothing before they wear it out, you should be able to find outfits that are in good condition at yard sales. To save time, try to plan your trip during neighborhood sales so you can stop by more places at once.

This past week, I headed to a second-hand clothing store in my area that sells new and gently used clothing for children. I looked through all of the 0-3 month baby boy clothes and picked out 23 pieces of clothing for about $60 (see photo above). If I would have spent that $60 at a store like Target, Kohl’s, or Old Navy, I would have only been able to purchase 6-10 pieces of clothing. I now feel I have enough clothing for when our new addition arrives.

You might also want to read the post How to Save Money On Children’s Clothing.

2. Borrow Items and Accept Hand-Me-Downs from Family and Friends
If someone offers you free baby clothing or items, take advantage of the offer and say yes. You might not know if you will use it at first, but there may be items your baby will use and clothing your baby will wear. With the items that you won’t use, donate it or give it away to someone who will use it.

And be sure to ask family and friends if they have baby items that are sitting in storage that they might let you borrow. Most of the time, family and friends are happy to loan items to help you out. I’ve been blessed to have family members give me baby clothes that they no longer are using. I also had a friend give me a changing table that she was trying to get rid of. This helped me so I didn’t have to spend as much money on baby clothes and items.

3. Purchase Diapers on Amazon
One way I’ve saved a lot of money on diapers over the years is by purchasing them on Amazon.com and using the “Subscribe & Save” on the right hand side. And the diapers ship to your house for free! Plus, you can cancel or change shipments for Subscribe & Save at any time. A lot of the time I can get diapers cheaper on Amazon.com than shopping at Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, or Walmart. But before I purchase diapers on Amazon.com, I always check prices on other sites too to make sure I’m getting the best deal, which would be less than $0.20 per diaper. If Amazon doesn’t have a good deal on diapers when I need them, then I will purchase diapers from Sam’s Club.

If you haven’t already signed up yet, and if you are a parent, expecting children, or are a caretaker, then you’ll want to sign up to be an Amazon Mom Member. It’s FREE to sign up!  You’ll get a free three-month trial, and you’ll receive these benefits as an Amazon Mom member:

  • An additional 20% discount on select diapers and wipes when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery (you can cancel or change shipments at anytime).
  • 3 months of FREE Two-Day shipping with Amazon Prime.
  • Exclusive discounts and deals for Amazon Mom members.

After a three-month free trial, you will be automatically upgraded to Amazon Prime for $99 a year, but you can opt out online after the free trial so you don’t have to pay.

4. Be Patient
Don’t feel that you need to pick up everything right now for the baby. Purchase the items that you really need such as diapers, blankets, clothing, and a few of the other necessary items. It’s okay to wait until after the baby is born to pick up any additional items you need. Because having a new baby is exciting, don’t rush to purchase items that will end up being unnecessary or you find out you won’t use it or need it. Learn to be patient and watch for sales on items you need.

5. Baby Deals
Here are some other deals to help save money on baby products. I recently ordered the free car seat canopy and nursing cover in the mail. These would also be great gift ideas for new or expecting mothers.

Score a FREE CarSeat Canopy ($49.95 value!) from CarSeatCanopy.com when you use the promo code ENBABY at checkout. You just pay shipping of $12.95. I was going to make my own car seat canopy like I did when my girls were babies, but by the time I purchase fabric and spend time sewing, the price of shipping really isn’t too much.

 

Receive a FREE Udder Covers Nursing Cover ($35 value!) when you use the code ENBABY at checkout. You’ll just pay for shipping, which is $11.95.

 

Get a FREE Seven Slings Baby Carrier ($40 value!) when you use the code ENBABY at checkout. You’ll just pay $11.95 for shipping.

 

Score a FREE Nursing Pillow ($40 value!) when you use the promo code ENBABY at checkout. Just pay shipping, which is about $12.

 

Receive 5 FREE Pairs of Baby Leg Warmers ($50 value!) when you use the code ENBABY at checkout. Just pay shipping and handling.

 

pampers gifts to grow

Pampers Gifts to Grow is a rewards  program where you can earn points from the diapers and wipes you purchase, as  well as obtaining free online codes such as the one above. Once you earn enough  points, you can redeem them for prizes like gift cards. If you aren’t a member  of Pampers Gifts to Grow yet, sign up here and you will  receive 100 points just for signing up!

 

What are ways you save money on baby products?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Oven

Hard-Boiled Eggs

I had no idea that you could make hard boiled eggs in the oven, so I had to try it out with my Easter eggs that I needed to cook. Here’s what you do:

Place room-temperature uncooked eggs in a muffin tin to keep them from rolling around. Bake the eggs for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Take them out of the oven and place the eggs in a bowl of cold water.  It’s that easy! I ate one of the hard-boiled eggs to see how it tasted, and it was delicious and perfectly cooked! Plus, peeling the shell off the egg was extremely easy!

You’ll have to give it a try next time you want hard-boiled eggs!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Pudding Pops

Rainbow Pudding Pops 2

For St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to do an activity that was simple and fun with my daughters. I saw these Rainbow Pudding Pops and knew I had to try them out. They are very easy to make and the girls just loved them!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 boxes (3.4 oz.) of instant vanilla pudding
milk
food coloring
plastic or paper cups
popsicle sticks

Directions:

  • Pour both packages of vanilla pudding into a mixing bowl, follow the directions on the package to make the pudding.
  • After the pudding is mixed, divide the pudding up evenly into 6 small bowls.
  • Use the food coloring to make a different color of pudding in each bowl and stir well. The colors of the rainbow we used were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  • Layer the colors of pudding evenly in a plastic cup. Then insert a popsicle stick in the middle (see photo below).
  • Place the cups of pudding in the freezer until they are completely set up.
  • When we were ready to eat them, we used scissors to cut a vertical slit at the top of the cup to make it easy to tear the cup off the pudding.

Rainbow Pudding Pops 1

Rainbow Pudding Pops 3

As you can see, my youngest daughter enjoyed the pudding pops a lot! My older daughter enjoy it later after she woke up from a nap.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas

Valentine's Day Activities FinalAs Valentine’s Day approaches, here are some Valentine’s ideas and activities that you can do with your spouse, children, or the whole family. Plus, these ideas don’t cost a lot of money. This Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas post are ways to show your spouse you love him or her. Some of these ideas could also be modified to be for the whole family. To see fun activities you can do with your children, check out the Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas (Part 2) post.

 

Valentine’s Acts of Love – Count down the day to Valentine’s by creating these service Acts of Love for your spouse or the family. This can also be a cute centerpiece in your home.

 

$5 and Under Valentine’s Day Ideas – Show your spouse smaller tokens of affection over a longer period of time rather than spending money on one nice gift for one day.

 

Lucky in Love Valentine’s – Create these inexpensive Lucky in Love tickets that your husband can scratch off each day before Valentine’s that include a quotes, love notes, coupons, or activities to do each day together.

 

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas – If you aren’t sure what date idea to do with your spouse on Valentine’s Day, here are 33 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas that don’t cost a lot of money.

 

Valentine for Him Crossword Puzzle – This is such a unique and cute Valentine gift to give your spouse. Using facts about your life together, create this free crossword puzzle.

 

valentines - 14 Days of Valentine's

14 Days of Valentine’s – Give these little gifts to your spouse to every day before Valentine’s Day to let your husband know you love him.

 

If you have ideas to show your spouse you love him or her, please share them with everyone. And be sure to check out more Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas (Part 2) here.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.