Enjoying an evening with your spouse on a tight budget without a lot of the commotion that comes with small children can be a challenge. We have found a solution.

First of all, we usually have all of our little ones in bed by 8:00. That gives us a big break almost everyday. It provides time to talk, read, or just relax. Second of all, we use Friday or Saturday nights to treat ourselves to a gourmet meal at home after the kids go to bed. It is delicious but far less expensive than going out to eat at a restaurant.

As the husband, I know that my wife wants a cooking break, so I do most of the cooking and all of the grilling for these dinners. I do most of the clean up as well. We feed the kids at their regular time and just eat something small and light to hold us over until we eat our gourmet meal for two. When we’re done, we’re both happy because we just ate a thick juicy marinated streak (a marinated piece steak, chicken, pork, etc. allows you to tenderize a less expensive piece of meat to keep cost down and taste up–always keep bulk ingredients handy to save a boatload on marinating costs). Along with this particular meal we usually have a salad, baked potato, and ice cream.

Meggan is thrilled because she gets pampered with minimal work on her part, and I’m thrilled because I spent $10 instead of $60! This nice piece of steak for two (a little over 18 oz) in the photo was one sale for $6.70 at Wal-Mart; it was great!