Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Love More

Hot dates are often stereotyped as being expensive; Fine wines, fancy dinners, high-priced hotels, and posh resorts top the list of ways we traditionally think of reconnecting with our significant other. Even though frugality isn’t generally considered sexy, it can bring about intimacy in unexpected ways.


Share a Ride – I know a young married couple who commute 45 miles to a nearby metro for both of their jobs. They actually work across the street from one another and share the same work schedule. The fact that they don’t carpool blows my mind. When asked why they wouldn’t share a ride to save on gas and car expenses, the answer is simply, “We don’t like spending that much time together….” Surprising that they’re married at all! Carpooling can be a great opportunity to discuss the day’s events, catch up on an audio-book together, or just sit in silence and enjoy the scenery. Done daily, it can bring a couple closer without really trying.


Split a Plate – Saving money while eating out can be difficult. It is so tempting to order two over-sized meals that you will never finish. Try sharing a plate. You can even use the same fork and feed each other. (Just get a table near the back where it isn’t as obvious, please.) If you encounter uppity restaurant policies that prohibit plate-splitting, have one person order a side salad as their main course, and split that too. Sharing gives you the chance to experience the same foods from a different perspective.


Divide the Work – Sure I could sit inside doing my housework while hubby is in the yard doing his, but why? I know that I could help him somehow (stacking firewood, raking leaves, etc.) and he enjoys my company. By doing our own yard work, and not hiring out, we save big money, and working up a sweat is great for your love life! (We also get to wear adorable matching leather work gloves.)


Create a Spark – When the weather gets chilly, avoid the temptation to turn up the thermostat. Grab a blanket and cuddle for optimal warmth. During the evenings you can keep your house 10 degrees cooler and still remain comfortable with proper layering and some snuggling!


Conserve Water – Cut your number of showers and baths down by half, to save big money on water and electricity/gas. Since most people’s showers last as long as there is hot water to run, make it a date and give your hot water heater a break on that second run!


There are so many ways that sharing resources can connect two people. Keeping this in perspective when cutting back will make it feel like an experience worth remembering, and not real sacrifice.

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Will Chen's picture

That is one of the most lovely articles I've ever read.  =)

Myscha Theriault's picture

Until we moved into the hot water situation from hell, we did that. You're right. It is a nice thing to share. We enjoy yard work together too. It's so much easier to stay the course when you have someone in the trenches with you.

Great piece, Linsey!

Guest's picture

Great article, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy your articles in general. I am impressed by the good sense you display in most of them and the devotion to our loved ones you can inspire in people through them. Thank you!

Guest's picture

I really liked this article, but I have to say that sometimes people need the drive to work to mentally prepare for the day, or to cool down on the way home. If things have been tense at work, and a person isn't given any time to work it out on his/her own, he/she could end up taking it out verbally on the spouse. This is especially true if the two don't both have good days.

Granted, I have carpooled with my girlfriend to work, but our drive was more like 10-15 minutes. My experience has been pretty good with it, and we both feel really good about the lower environmental impact of carpooling. It works for us, but I could easily see where it wouldn't work for everyone.

Guest's picture

Great article! My boyfriend and I always share food when we go out - our solution is to order an appetizer and split an entree. Works well since I can never finish my meal and saves us at least $10 or so. And for some reason, it definitely feels more romantic!!

Guest's picture

Really enjoyed that, some nice ways to save cash and share resources. And everyone know that when you share a dessert it doesn't have any calories!

Guest's picture
N'Awlins Kat

That was great--my husband and I have done some of those things on and off for years. When we first married (13 years ago this week) I was in graduate school. We bought a house in the suburbs where we grew up and commuted into the city for school and work. I hate interstate and night driving, and he's always indulged me there, so instead of taking both cars on the two days I had classes, we'd leave an hour early for him to drop me at the university. And it was a big sacrifice for him; we had to leave at 5:45 am (vs. 6:30 on days he went in alone), and he had to double back 10 miles to work after leaving me at school. One of those two days, I was in class off and on until almost 10 pm, and we didn't get home till almost 10:30. We could have taken two cars, but my nerves wouldn't have survived night driving over a LOT of water. Carpooling saved a little bit in gas, but it was the sacrifice he made in time and aggravation that made it even more special.