Our affordable anniversary overnighter

Affordable anniversary getaway

My oh-so-handsome hubby and I celebrated our anniversary (lucky #7 to be exact!) last weekend. It was quick and simple and nothing too extravagant, but it was fun, romantic, and very relaxing…AKA the perfect anniversary overnighter. I thought I'd pop in quickly to tell you about how we did it affordably!

As mentioned in THIS POST, one thing that has really helped in our marriage is to divide up responsibilities, including trading off planning Valentine's Day and anniversaries. Since he planned V-Day this year, it was my turn to do our anniversary. Why should one person have to come up with/plan everything? Genius, right?

Since it was my “turn”, I surprised Bubba with an overnight getaway and fancy dinner. Here's how we made our quick getaway easy, romantic, and of course, affordable!



I wanted to do something nice for Bubba since we've both been so busy lately. I decided to do a fancy night away because it's his favorite; getting away from the kids, computers, house, chores, and LIFE for a minute. I got a great deal on KSL Deals for a night stay at a bed & breakfast + $40 gift card to The Roof (a fancy restaurant down town) for $179 (seen HERE). It's a great deal anyway, but I was able to work my connections and get a deeper discount on the package which helped with the budget.

KSL deal


  • Normally I try to avoid hiring a babysitter for overnight stays because it adds so much cost. But we don't have any family in Utah to turn to, and no friends could do an overnight trade this time around. So while I definitely recommend trading with family or friends to avoid babysitting costs, hiring a sitter you trust is worth a night away. It's so important for your marriage, folks! I had a gift card to Chuck E. Cheese and had the babysitter take them. It was completely free and the kids had a ball, so it worked out great.

Priya's face is killing me in this pic…


  • Since Bubba didn't know where we were going on our date and didn't know we'd be staying overnight I packed for him. I knew we had to be back first thing in the morning so packing was simple.
  • Prep: I made dinner reservations a few days prior to make sure we wouldn't have to wait, and to see if they did anything special for anniversaries (they had flower packages that I passed on, but they said they'd put us at the table with the best view). I also called the B&B to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding any fine print, double-checking details on how to redeem the $40 gift card, etc. Didn't want any surprises!
  • Budget: Since I knew this overnighter was coming and would cost us more than our typical date budget (roughly $25/weekend which we usually save up and use $50 every other weekend), we did free in-home dates this month leading up to it so we could save up our date-night money. I just kept making excuses so Bubba wouldn't catch on; “I'm pretty tired, let's just watch a movie at home tonight” or “nah, we have leftovers, let's just eat at home…”.


It had been a long day on Friday with getting the kids for my first-ever pop-up shop for Bomb Shelter Baby, so when it was finally time for me to pick Bubba up from work, I was EXHAUSTED. I'm not much of a pop drinker, but it was a night to celebrate! So naturally, we stopped in at my favorite gas station for a quick caffeinated pick-me-up in the form of a giant DDP. Romantic, right?

anniversary weekend

Bubba still didn't know where we were going, so I had him drive and just told him where to turn. When we arrived we were both so excited – Bubba because he learned we were staying overnight, and me because the place was just so dang cute! I wish I had taken a picture of the front of the house…

Bed and breakfast

The back of the old mansion bed & breakfast.

I've decided B&B's are so romantic and cute!! Ours was in the heart of downtown SLC and had so much old character! Usually I look for a good hotel rate, but the B&B was not only an adorable ambiance but includes homemade breakfast…and free, warm from the oven cookies when you check in…??? For reals??


Yes, we took several. We can't help it, we're cheapskates. It's a sickness, really. And I was hungry. And they were warm. And delicious…

We checked out our room. I, of course, had to attempt a flying leap motion shot onto the bed…

bed & breakfastAnd Bubba had to perfectly pose in the dapperest of positions.

affordable anniversary

P.S. that winding staircase in our room lead to the TUB! So cool.

We got all fancied up and headed to dinner. Grateful for good husbands who know how to tame hair-teasing dilemmas for me…

dinner date

We had never eaten at The Roof but decided to put that $40 gift card to good use. It was an upscale fancy buffet, and it was basically heaven…

dinner…with a view of Heaven.

Salt Lake temple

the Salt Lake City Temple in down town Salt Lake.

Literally. This temple was the view from our table if you can believe it. They actually sat us at “the proposal table” because it has the best view, and it really was incredible.

At dinner we talked a lot about what we were like in High School, how we were raised, how we want to raise our kids, where we see ourselves in 10 years, and other questions that we hardly get a chance to talk about at home. It was really special. I learned so many new things about Bubba, and he about myself.

And I got to stare at his handsome face for 2 hours which you won't hear me complaining about.


The gift card covered 1/2 our dinner, and we used a Visa gift card that we got from doing a timeshare presentation forever ago to cover the rest.

We had grand plans to go out on the town and do lots of exciting things after dinner…but were really too full or exhausted so we enjoyed a night in, early bedtime, and sleeping in. (AKA a mother's dream.)

The next morning we stuffed ourselves again on homemade breakfast (included in our price), took our time getting ready, then headed home to rescue the babysitter.

It was a quick weekend, but it was perfect for the time and money we could afford to spare to get away. Getaways are an important way to re-focus your marriage, talk about important issues, look each other in the eye without being interrupted by kids, and remember why you love each other in the first place! I urge everyone to find a way to budget for a simple getaway. It will do wonders on your marriage.

Affordable anniversary getaway

And I have to end by saying HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the love of my life, my better half, my best friend, and one person I can spend 24 hours per day with 365 days per year and not get sick of. I love you Bubba, thanks for being the best husband and daddy anyone could ask for!




  1. AvatarKristen says

    So how did you get the February room for so cheap? I know how much that costs and it isn’t $179… Did you offer to advertise for them to get a better discount? Or was it something that the rest of us non- bloggers could do too?

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      When we called it was one of the only rooms available! We paid a little to upgrade to the bigger room (which I had forgotten about, sorry for not adding that!), but otherwise the rest was covered by the voucher!

  2. AvatarGina says

    I’m SO glad you guys did this deal. I have been looking at it for awhile now but not sure how nice the place really was, and if it was a good deal. You said you called ahead to check on how the $40 voucher for dinner worked, so how does that work? I think we might wind up doing this now 🙂

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      It’s basally a $40 gift card! You get it when you check in at the B&B, super easy!

  3. AvatarCathie says

    Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to get on planning our anniversary (August 27.) We are so bad about having couple time. We really are in love, but life is so in the way of romance.

  4. AvatarBrek says

    Hey love the post. I’m just wondering where you found your overnight sitter? We don’t have any family close either and I’ve seen those websites where you can hire a sitter, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it out yet.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Man, that’s the hardest part. I tried Care.com but honestly, it just makes me nervous. I always recommend going off of someone’s referral. We’ve used 2 “nannies” before and they were both referrals from neighbors in that I trust. So I lucked out! I posted on FB asking my friends for referrals, so maybe try that. Good luck!

  5. AvatarKathleen says

    We’re trying to get ahead so we can at least try a meal out once in a while. We’re stuck and I think this is a wonderful idea and an investment I believe worthy of the (frugally planned) money spent!
    You encouraged me, Jordan, to take this up with my hubby, because even struggling, $25 a week seems doable for a night out some other time. And I love the idea of saving the weeks allotted allowance and using the greater sum for more fun or a nicer place!
    Thanks so much for this glimmer of hope and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!! 🙂

  6. AvatarCourtney says

    I’m so glad you had fun, it’s important to make fun with your spouse a priority. I keep putting weekends off for this or that reason, but I am definitely going to leave my kids and get out of town!

  7. AvatarRocky | Somethin Outta Nothin says

    Jordan how do you find a babysitter for the whole night? We also don’t have any family around (oh how I wish!), and the last time I tried to get a babysitter past 10 at night I had to call more than 20 people-not kidding. My kids are really fun and we have no problem getting repeat babysitters, it seems to be the time issue.

    I think that’s the hardest area of getting a date together for us, babysitters. I’ve been able to do steak dinners for less than $5, find deals on line and all that jazz but child care? Forget it. Seriously if you have any tips I’m all ears!
    Rocky recently posted…From One Geek to Another: Tardis GiveawayMy Profile

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Ugh overnight sitters is the HARDEST part! I asked around on FB and sent a mass text to a bunch of ladies in my neighborhood asking for referrals. I found this overnight nanny and used her a few hours here and there during the week to make sure she’s great. I honestly just lucked out. I’ve used care.com before but it makes me nervous to use someone that wasn’t referred to me. Just ask around and I’m sure a newlywed or college student will pop up!

      And yes, there is no such thing as a deal on child care. It’s expensive, but so necessary for your marriage. We just cut back in other places to make up for it. A good guide is $2/hr per kid for a young babysitter, for a Nanny you’re looking at $8-$10+. I have friends who work out a trade with 4 couples. Each of them takes 1 weekend per month to take everyone’s kids while the other couples go out. That would give you 3 free dates per month, so maybe that would work!!

    • AvatarSarah says

      I don’t have kids, but I am married and in. Y late 20’s. I go to a fairly small church (several hundred active members at any given time), so I know a lot of the unmarried women who teach and are just trying to save as much money as possible babysit a lot and would probably never turn down an overnight.
      Also, a local liberal arts college sells a list of students’ names and numbers and what they are willing to do (everything from mowing lawns to babysitting). One of my friends usually buys and then shares, so that’s how they get people to babysit for 2 hours during our community group.
      You could call a local college to advertise even and do what Jordan recommended by using them a few times before an overnight.
      I am just getting to the point in my life where I see my friends needing this and wish you the best! Personally, I would even do it for a friend, but I have health problems, which is why we don’t have any of our own. If my best friend lived closer than two plane rides away, my husband and I would even offer to stay at their house together and co-babysit. 🙂

  8. AvatarAshley says

    I’m in the same boat, no family close by. We are hoping to move beck to the states (we currently live in Puerto Rico) in the near future and will be close to family so I am REALLY looking forward to having grandma and grandpa babysit! I also love the idea of saving up your weekly budget to go to a nicer place. Thanks for the tips!!
    Ashley recently posted…Weekend in Ponce, Isla Caja de MuertoMy Profile

  9. AvatarJess says

    I’m in PA, so I’m not sure if this is regional, but my Costco has bedandbreakfast.com gift cards. They’re $80 for a gift card worth $ 100. At Christmas time they were on sale for around $60. We got a few as Christmas gifts and I regret not buying one for us! You’re trip looked like a lot of fun!!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Yes that’s such a fabulous idea!! I haven’t seen B&B cards at mine but I’ve seen just about everything else. Thanks for sharing!

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