Speaking of Carrabbas, I'm reminded of the cheap date night strategy we had when the kids were little. It wasn't in our budget to eat-in and have a babysitter for four kiddos, so we came up with this plan:
We would order one Chicken Bryan to go (car side) which we would split. (it was plenty of food because it comes with bread/the dip (above) and salad)
While hubby was off picking it up, the kids got excited and helped put candles on the table and watched me set it with the china. Then I put them to bed early and got dressed up.
They didn't fuss too much about going to bed early because they were happy for us and because they knew they didn't have to actually go to sleep yet. They could lay in bed and talk all they wanted, they just couldn't come out and interrupt our evening. (that took some self control and eventually they got the hang of it)
We would usually watch a movie after dinner. -Years later, I found out that the mirror in our living room reflected whatever movie we were watching off of the TV and they were often sitting with the door cracked open, watching along with us. lol -Good thing it was all PG.
So, that is how we accomplished our fun nights for only $18.00 plus a tip!
Everyone always said 'before you know it they will be old enough to babysit themselves.' Well, if I had a dollar for all the times people told me that, I could've afforded the babysitting. LOL Just kidding. But they were right, and it wasn't that long until the going rate for babysitting was a thing of the past. Hooray! We didn't pay our kids to watch their siblings, we just made sure it was a fun night for all with yummy dinner, good snacks and a movie.
We still love/need cheap dates to this day, because a houseful of teens make life expensive. : )
The one we do a lot is Steak N Shake. We order off the four dollar menu and then take our buy one get one coupons in for a free shake! That's even less than our Carrabbas dates, but of course, not as tasty. We also use restaurant gift cards that we earn with our reward points on the credit card. (which we always pay off on the due date) Can't beat FREE dates!
The newest plan we came up with recently was for doing Outback cheap! My hubby was given a $50 gift card for his birthday and we are determined to go there 3 times for next to nothing. : )
We order water. (I never finish a whole glass of anything anyway)
I get an appetizer! A wonderful quesadilla that has cheese, chicken, bacon, mushrooms and comes with honey mustard and my hubby orders a burger plate. We bring $5.00 with us for the generous tip and voila! Another cheap date!
Love to hear about yours!