Are you wracking your brain to figure out what to do this Valentine's Day (and other date nights)? Try the Domestic CEO's date jar!
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I decided this year I was going to give Mr. Domestic CEO a homemade gift. We’ve been together for 11 years, married for 8, and we don’t have kids, so we are at a strange point in life where we’ve “Been there, done that.”
We’ve had a lot of really fun dates in the past, so when we try to come up with something new, it can be a challenge. We have been known to kill an entire evening just trying to figure out something new to do.
Two other factors have compounded the problem:
1. We quit drinking. Neither one of us enjoyed the after effects of alcohol, so we both threw in the towel. You’d be amazed at how quickly going to bars loses its appeal when you're not drinking.
2. We shifted our focus to paying off our debts. We had accumulated substantial credit card and student loan debt and were sick of all those payments. In order to save money, we became very frugal and choosy about how we spend our money. When the choice became to pay $40 to see a movie or make a $40 payment toward our loans, we chose the latter.
This was great for us financiall - Money Girl would be proud!
But now we struggle to find value in a lot of activities we used to throw money at in the past. We even got really good at cooking our favorite restaurant meals over the course of paying off the debt, so now even eating out isn’t as fun as it could be. I mean, if we know that we can make a $50 meal for about $12 at home, why would we go out?
Do you see my conundrum?
This is when I came up with the idea of a date jar as a Valentine's Day gift.
What Is a Date Jar?
What is a date jar, you may ask? It’s a cute jar that holds date ideas (I got mine at Target for about $1 and then painted the little Date Jar decoration on the side). The goal is to be able to have the jar pick our date for us. So, whether it’s a random Tuesday night and we want to get our butts off the couch, or we want to get dressed up and go out, we can pick from the jar and instantly know what we are going to do.
I used multicolor craft sticks to write date ideas on. Each date type has its own color. For example, the green sticks have daytime activities we can do outdoors, blue have activities we can do without leaving our house (including some which may have a more "adult" theme), yellow are nighttime activities we can do for very little money (under $5), red sticks are under $25 dates, and orange sticks have dates that would require dressing up.
I then put the sticks into my date jar and presented it to my husband. The rule is that, no matter which stick is drawn, we have to go do it, thereby forcing ourselves to stop shooting down every idea we come up with. I am hopeful it will get us out of the house more and enjoy more time together rather than succumbing to the lure of the couch and TV.
Wish us luck!
What ideas have you come up with to spice up your Valentine's Day? Share them with us in the Comments section below or on the Domestic CEO Twitter and Facebook pages. You can also find me on Pinterest.