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Back when I was single, the Saturday Night Date was something to look forward to. Sleep late on Saturday morning, get your errands done, maybe exercise, relax for a bit. Then a long shower and time to primp and preen so you look your best. Dinner out, maybe a movie, or dancing. Lots of fun, no clock ticking about what time you had to be home, and usually an expensive night, relatively speaking.

Then I got married and had kids. No more sleeping in on Saturdays (or any day). Errands are done all day, every day. Exercise is what you get from raising two children 16 months apart. What is relaxing again? My idea of a Saturday Night Date was the kids asleep by 8pm so my husband and I could watch a movie at home on the sofa. Comfortable p.j.’s and falling asleep half way through. Very inexpensive evening.

Around when my children started school, I discovered the Saturday Morning Date. Since everyone was up so early anyway, we’d load everyone up in the mini-van and head off to get coffee and bagels. Then we’d garage sale. I’d give the kids a budget, say $2.00 to spend, and I found that my husband and I could actually get some time to chat as we’d browse through other people’s cast off treasures. The kids always found something they liked and for the small investment, I was having the new version of a date.

Especially now in this economy, there are multiple reasons why the Saturday Morning Date works. By giving them a budget, the kids get to go ‘shopping’ and you’ve put them in charge of their choices. You might find something perfect for your home at a huge discount compared to retail shop prices. You’ve gotten out of the house for a very inexpensive family outing. You’ve got time to catch up with your spouse, wander your town and see other poeple’s gardens. Maybe you’ll run into some friends who have discovered this new economical form of dating. You don’t have to pay a babysitter. And when you get home, the kids have new toys to play with, all of which can resold when you have your garage sale.

Give it a try now that spring is here and garage sale signs are beginning to pop up. It’s the new affordable Saturday Night Date.

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