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Moonlight water
When is the last time you and your spouse enjoyed a simple picnic by the moonlight and shimmering water? (iStock photo)

The family budget is always tight. There are braces to pay for, a car in the shop, and the ever-increasing cost of groceries to consider.

By the time money is stashed away for college, retirement and savings for a rainy day, there is little left in the wallet when the time comes to take your wife on a nice date. The last thing you want to do is run up the credit card bill for an average dinner and overhyped movie.

This is when it’s time to think with our hearts. What wives truly need from us on a date has nothing to do with money. They crave our undivided attention and sincere communication.

To our detriment, we sometimes confuse dollar signs with loving intentions. In an informal Facebook poll on the subject, one woman put it this way: “Attention! Sometimes attention is way too expensive for many guys.”

With that sentiment in mind, we offer these ideas to create big romance on a small budget and provide the opportunity for both of you to receive the attention you deserve. Here are five great dates under $25 to help you get started:

1. The local theater date. Give your local high school or community theater a try instead of expensive movies. The cost is low, the stories are magnificent, and you are helping to enrich the culture. The great thing about a live performance is that it sparks deep thought and debate afterwards. “The evolution of Lady Macbeth was startling, wasn’t it, honey?” If you say that to your wife after this date, lust, romance and love will all be in action.

2. The full moon date. It’s not only wolves that come out to howl during a full moon—romance is also stirred. A blanket, soft music and perhaps some wine if she desires is all you need. Find your favorite spot to sit under the moon and let creation work its wonders.

3. The shimmering water date. You would be hard-pressed to find a woman on this planet who doesn’t love a date on the water. Whether it’s the beach, a lake or a stroll around a city park surrounding water, hold her hand, talk, and laugh under the stars.

4. The formal in-home date. Send your wife a formal invitation to a special dinner date two weeks in advance. Declare the dress to be formal, but only using things already owned and be creative. Prepare the meal yourself, or perhaps ask a friend to help. Have your children be the wait staff and help make your evening spectacular. Wine, dine and dance your wife into a flaming ball of romance by putting your best foot forward in appreciation of your love for her.

5. The reminiscence date. This is a special way to look back at where your relationship started and to dream forward as you imagine the future. Gather old pictures, music and various memories of your relationship; then take her to a spot that is considered special to you both. Reminisce as you laugh and maybe even cry, and make a toast to the future and all the new memories still to come.

Related Resource: "10 Ways to Save Money on Date Night"

Huddle up with your wife tonight and share an idea for your next date night.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. At, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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