While there are quite a few fun and frugal things you can do at home, there are times when you just need to get out of the house to see friends, catch a movie or just have a dinner that you didn’t have to cook yourself. Those occasional nights out don’t have to cost you an arm and leg, however, if you’re careful about your spending.
Here are ten tips to help you enjoy going out as a couple without having to break the bank:
- Avoid the extras. Often, the larger cost of a night out is all the little things. For instance, you can shave a few dollars off of your bill by sticking to water instead of ordering a soda or not ordering those extra toppings even if you really want them.
- Use coupons. There is no shame in using coupons. After all, many businesses send them out as a way to get you to come in in the first place. If they offer you a great deal on a place you want to go use them to their fullest potential.
- Share. If you’re just heading out for a quick bite at a fast food place sharing a drink can help cut costs while dividing up a huge entrée at a sit-down restaurant can cut back even further.
- Take advantage of community events. In most communities there are numerous events, especially in the warmer seasons, that are free or every low cost to attend and can be quite a bit of fun or at least a great way to enjoy the weather.
- Just enjoy the great outdoors. If you and your significant other are outdoors types then take advantage of the world around for a night out. Go for a walk along a lake, take a hike and have a picnic or simply sit outside and enjoy the sound of silence.
- Buy gift cards. Sites like Restaurant.com often offer really great deals on gift cards that can take your dollars a lot further. Most gift cards on the site offer $25 of food for only $10, but some deals are even better.
- Go on discount nights. Most restaurants and bars and some movie theaters have nights when things are cheaper or on special. It might not be ideal to go out on a Wednesday, but you’ll be able to have more fun for less.
- Take it to go. Eating in a restaurant can sometimes be quite a bit more than taking it to go. So, call ahead, get your food and take it to a scenic spot to dine instead.
- Plan ahead. Often, it’s the last minute nature of nights out that leads to a lot of unexpected costs in cabs, lack of coupons and other small expenses. If you want to go out, know where and when you’re going so you can plan to save.
- Ask friends and family to babysit. If you have kids at home then you know how much it can add to an evening to have to pay a babysitter to watch your kids while you’re gone. See if a family member wouldn’t mind taking them for an evening instead. Your kids can build their relationships with loved ones and you’ll get a night to yourself.
What ideas do you have to save on a night out?
This post was contributed by Rose Jensen, who writes about the online degree program. She welcomes your feedback at Rose.Jensen28@ yahoo.com
photo credit: * etoile