Sometimes getting a babysitter isn't financially in the cards. That being said, there are other cost saving ways to ensure that you can carve out a little alone time without breaking the bank. Here are some great ideas to get you thinking outside the box when it comes to child care.
Alternatives beyond fencing in your child or tying them to a stake in the yard so you can have a dinner date.
I'm not talking key parties here, I'm talking kid swap. I have a friend who has an agreement with a neighbour friend that once a month one parent walks down the street and looks after their children (I think one couple gets the second Friday and the other couple gets the fourth Friday) while the other couple goes out on a date. Two weeks later they swap out.
I've never tried this, but there are sites designed to help people connect with other parents in order to trade babysitting. The first one I came across in my search was Babysitter Swap
The Play Date
One couple takes double duty hosting a play date at their house while couple A goes out for lunch and a matinee (or whatever), when they return couple B takes over the play date while couple B goes out for dinner and dancing. Couples can alternate who hosts, or split the shifts at their own houses and also swap out who goes out when.
I find that my little brother will do just about anything for a Subway Sandwich and access to a "free laundry facility" to do a few loads while the minions sleep. When negotiating with someone who doesn't have kids you can pay them for their gas, a flat rate or offer a trade of services...You'll wash their car, dog sit, be their personal shopper, chauffeur their drunk butt home from an upcoming wedding, defrag their computer, organize their records or help them move. Get creative and know your audience.
Go out on a lot of double dates? Why not pay your sitter an extra dollar or two an hour while you and your friends go out to save some cash. You can alternate who's house it's at and don't really need to be going on a double date, just coordinate the timing and enjoy your time at around 60% of the cost.
How have you managed to save some money on babysitting?
To read a post about finding your ideal sitter or Mary Poppins click here
To read a post about where to find a babysitter click here
To read a post about interviewing a new sitter click here
To read a post about preparing your sitter to deal with your little hellions click here
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