Flickr 5389436662 - Swap Baby-Sitting for Cheap Date Night!

We’ve been talking for a while on this blog about how to have a cheap date night, and I commented that one way that we could all support each others’ marriages was to help watch people’s kids so they could get some time alone.

Megan G., one of my regular readers, sent information about a baby-sitting coop she’s involved in that sounds really neat. You can set one up online, or see existing ones, through Helping Heroes here, but if you want to start one just within your church or group of friends, here are the basic rules Megan explained:

What we do in our group is that everyone starts with 30 hours.  To leave the group, you have to have 30 hours.  So, 30 hours is sort of considered “even.”  If I watch my friend Jen’s kids for 3 hours, I get 3 points (and she’d lose 3 points), so then I’d have 33.  If my friend Angie watches my kids for 4 hours, I’d lose 4 points (and she’d get 4 points), so I’d have 29 hours.  When I go put in a time that I need a sitter, I can choose to send it to everyone in the group, or I can choose to just send it to a few people.  That feature was nice when I was pregnant and my doctor’s office is only close to a couple of my friends, so I would only send it to them.  It has worked great for us!  We’ve been using it about a year and a half.

 I followed up and asked her, what if one person has three kids under three and one has only one? Do  you still use the same number of points? She replied that they do in their group, but I suppose if someone were making it up from scratch for their church, you could factor that in.
So there you go, readers! That’s a great idea, and a way to help each other out and get some free time yourself, too. Why not try it?
What have you done to get a cheap date night, or cheap child care? Let me know in the comments!