Joining us this week is Joanna from It’s Just Change, giving us a peek into (free) date nights with her hubby. Joanna is a computer programmer by day, gardener by night in central Indiana where she lives with her husband and their dog. She writes about saving money & spending it ethically at It’s Just Change, and about everything else at Keeping Feet.
“What do you want to do tonight?”
The Date Night Conundrum has plagued us since we started dating in college. What to do? In the college days, we didn’t have much money to spend, and seemingly even less as Real Life hit, with all the bills to match. Inexpensive date nights became imperative. That’s when we discovered the Board Game.
Board Game Date Nights are practically free, because they usually involve eating in rather than at a restaurant, and we play a game we already own. The games require interaction, which is healthy for our relationship. If we went to see a movie or even rented one to watch at home, we’d not talk for two hours. Playing games for two hours makes memories and allows us to laugh and talk- which is the point of a date night! Even for the most competitive game-players, games are relationship-building.
Scrabble, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit are OK for a while, but more compelling games are available. We’ve gotten hooked on “eurogames“- board games designed in Europe and popular in Germany. As they make their way across the pond, we love to try them out with friends that share similar passions. These games typically are focused on resource-management- producing, trading and spending resources better than the other players. (As a bonus, I’ve found that frugal skills are just the tactics needed in these games- if you’re reading Inexpensively.com, you’ve got a head start!) The themes can vary widely- a couple of our favorites have a farming theme, but others have players managing power plants or railways. The games also vary in difficulty- some, we can teach friends for a game night, and others are more complex and take longer to figure out or some experience with the type of game.
These games aren’t cheap. Most of them cost in the $40 range, with the most complex games (with the most pieces!) ringing up at $60 or more. If we spend just two or three evenings playing the game rather than going out to eat or to a movie, though, they’ve paid for themselves! I have been asked lately what some of my favorites are, and compiled a list recently on my blog. Borrowing these games from friends is a good way to test drive the game before buying.