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Ask the experts: Budget date night ideas

My husband and I are on a tight budget, so hiring a babysitter for date night is out of the question. How can we make a night at home feel as special as a dinner out?  A: It can be hard to find time (and money!) to put into your relationship. After all, between kids...

My husband and I are on a tight budget, so hiring a babysitter for date night is out of the question. How can we make a night at home feel as special as a dinner out? 
coupleA: It can be hard to find time (and money!) to put into your relationship. After all, between kids and work, you’re exhausted. However, a break can recharge you and make you a better parent. Try these ideas for your next at-home date night.
Italian night. Make a pizza or your favorite pasta, and pick up some gelato, sparkling water and a bottle of wine, too. Put in an Italian-themed film (think “Life is Beautiful” or “The Godfather”), and enjoy dinner and a movie in the living room.
Quiz night. Make this the night you learn something new about each other. You can both read up on love languages—and take the quiz to find out what yours is—and you can also try the Enneagram. (A quick Google search will get you started!) Both tests can teach you a lot about yourself and how you relate to others, as well as help you better understand your partner and his relationship tendencies.
Spa night. Even guys like a good pampering from time to time. Light some candles, and put on the relaxing music. Grab your partner’s and your favorite books or magazines and some herbal tea or champagne. Start by first exfoliating your face, then put on a facial mask while soaking your feet in warm water. Next, try his-and-hers mani-pedis. Don’t forget the salt scrub for your hands and feet.
Sweat night. Not only is exercise good for you, but it can also be kind of sexy to work up a sweat with your lover. Pop in a yoga DVD for instant stress reduction and mutual relaxation.
Game night. Dust off an old board game, or strike up a good old-fashioned round of “truth or dare.” Playing together will bring you closer together; plus, it’s fun to have a little healthy competition.
— April Davis, founder of Cupid’s Cronies (cupidscronies.com), an exclusive matchmaking service

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