Cancel the Sitter! Save on Date Night With a Babysitting Swap


Estimated Monthly Savings: $50

Every couple needs a night out once in a while, or a weekend afternoon to reconnect and just relax. But not every family is lucky enough to have Grandma or Grandpa (i.e., free babysitting) close by. With a little preparation, you can fire up a date night plan that won’t break the bank.

Set Up a Babysitting Swap

Save the headache of finding the right sitter (and the cash you would pay them) and ask friends with kids to trade-off on babysitting duties. You will watch their kids for a few hours one week; they will repay the favor with childcare for your kids the next time. You might agree on a monthly schedule or take it week by week.

This solution works best when the two families are already friendly and comfortable with one another. You probably know a family in the neighborhood, friends from church, or a family you met through your child’s class or sports team that would fit the bill. Set up ground rules for screen time, snacks, and behavior expectations ahead of time to take advantage of this win-win strategy.

When It’s Your Turn to Babysit

 Turn your kid-hosting time into quality time with games or crafts to keep everyone busy. For creative kids, pull out the dress-up clothes and set the stage for a play or musical performance.

 Dates That Won’t Break the Bank

Spending time together without distractions is what date night is all about. Luckily, this does not have to mean spending a lot of money. Use your adult-only time to take a walk, check out a museum exhibit you wouldn’t visit with the kids, or visit a winery or brewery for a tasting.

Find Your Sweet Spot

 Date nights are a great way to hit pause on the usual frantic pace of life with children. Working out the details of your babysitting swap may take some time, but it will be time well spent.