Jim and I at our wedding 13 years ago.

It’s my anniversary today. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I guess time does fly when you’re having fun. 13 years, 4 moves, 2 kids, and countless goldfish later, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

In the spirit of anniversaries, love, and marriage, I’d like to give you some frugal date ideas today. Just because you don’t have a lot of money to spend, doesn’t mean you can’t have nice dates frequently!

Take a Walk

My husband and I love to take walks. Before our first child was born, we’d frequently walk through our neighborhood together. When our children were little, we’d put them in the stroller and walk. Now that they’re older, they ride their scooters ahead of us while we walk.

I love taking walks, because it’s a time to talk and connect with my husband. If we’re trying to have a conversation at home, we’re often interrupted by children, the phone, or any number of other distractions. While we’re walking, the kids are there, but they’re busy doing other things. And my husband and I have uninterrupted time to talk about our hopes and dreams.

Watch a Movie…at Home

Put the kids to bed, pop some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch, and watch a movie. My husband and I like to rent old movies that we watched while we were dating. It’s appropriate. Our first date was going to see the movie The Flintstones. Corny, but 13 years later, we’re still going strong.

Make a Fancy Dinner…After the Kids are In Bed

Remember when you were dating? You cooked him a fabulous dinner at your apartment. That doesn’t have to stop once the kids arrive. Feed them, put them to bed, and bring out the fancy dinner. Pop open a bottle of wine (or sparkling cider), and dine by candlelight.

Read a Book Together

We started this in premarital counseling. Our pastor gave us reading assignments, and we would sit in my apartment, taking turns reading to each other. It’s a great activity for cold winter nights. Just make sure both of you are interested in the subject matter.

Play a Board Game

My husband and I used to do this a lot. I think he might have grown tired of my super competitive nature. Oops.

Still, we’ve spent many fun evenings playing Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit (he beats me every time), and Yahtzee. For even more fun, invite another couple over and make it a double date. Sometimes it’s good to just hang out with other couples.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. You don’t need a babysitter. The important thing is just that you spend time focusing on having fun together. Don’t let money become an excuse to let your marriage grow stale.

Do you have any frugal date ideas? I’d love to hear them!