Have your date ideas taken a bite out of your budget lately? It’s not always cheap to enjoy a fun night (or day) out with your significant other. But for the sake of any good relationship, it’s important that your finances make room for going out and spending time together.
The good news is that there are always fun ways to enjoy a date without leaving your wallet feeling empty. Whether you’re in a new relationship or looking for inexpensive ways to treat your spouse, try one of these 10 budget friendly date ideas:
1. Take a Picnic
Instead of dining out, pack some sandwiches, snacks, and beverages, and hang out on a blanket in a park instead! It’s much more intimate (and possibly even more enjoyable for outdoorsy folks). There’s always the option of just hanging out together after your meal and enjoying being surrounded by nature.
2. Binge Watch a Season of TV on Netflix
Watching movies at the theater can get expensive. Movies in our area are easily $11 per person (unless you’re going out at 8am on a weekday) and we all know price of snacks and food is jacked up to insane levels. Enjoying a movie and even a small snack can cost as much as a nice dinner out — and doing both is downright painful for anyone on a tight budget.
Keep it casual (and cheap) and plan for an evening of one of the guiltiest of guilty pleasures: binge on some episodes of a TV show you’ve both been dying to see.
If the show isn’t available on Netflix or Hulu, check your local library to see if it’s available to check out. Grab some cheap snacks or make your own concoctions, and you’re all set!
3. Enjoy the Outdoors
Go for a walk in the park, along the beach, or through your downtown. If there are scenic mountains near you, try going hiking.
Stuck in an urban setting? During months where the weather is pleasant, run a Google search for free events. Many cities host festivals, art walks, outdoor concerts, and other events on a regular basis.
4. Cook a Meal Together
Show off your culinary skills — or use this time to sharpen them up — by preparing a meal at home together. You can either team up and cook one dish together, or you can try to compete against one another for the best tasting dish.
If you don’t want to compete against each other, you can set up some sort of challenge or game to make it more than just another night cooking dinner in. Take inspiration from your favorite Food Network style reality cooking shows.
5. Get Your Game On
Speaking of games: take your pick of board games, card games, or video games and have a night of friendly competition. Regular game-players, make things a little different by establishing your own rules on how to play a certain board game or card game.
These budget friendly date ideas are well-suited to double date nights if you have frugal friends. Invite them over and have everyone bring a favorite game (or snack to share).
6. People Watch
What’s better than the free entertainment provided from watching other people? Sometimes, not much really beats it, especially if you know of a great spot where lots of different kinds of people come and go by.
It sounds silly, but you can even make up stories about what others are saying and the actions they’re taking. It can provide a lot of insight and fun.
7. Watch a Minor League Sports Game
If you’re a sports fan, why not show some support to your local, minor-league team? While the game might not be as riveting as watching your favorite national league team play, the ticket prices are hard to beat. The food at the stadium is cheaper, too.
8. Go for a Bike Ride
When is the last time you were on a bike, enjoying the scenery around you? If you said, “when I was about 12 years old,” it’s high time to enjoy this budget friendly date idea.
Riding a bike around your city can provide a different perspective than simply driving around in your car. Many cities also offer bike rentals. If that’s the case for you, be a tourist in your own city and discover new places together.
And if you’re up for a challenge, go mountain biking together! Not experienced in this adventure sport? Many organized trails for mountain biking have sections designated for beginners; look for trails marked as “easy” or for the appropriate skill level.
9. Visit Museums
Are you and your other half fans of the arts, or are you history buffs? Hit up some local museums for a cheap day or night out. To make this even more budget friendly, do some research ahead of time and find out if the museum you’re interested in visiting offers free or discounted admission on certain days.
If you have a student or military ID, you also have a good chance at getting reduced admission. Some museums go so far as to offer suggested donation prices, which means you can pay what you want.
10. Check Out a Yard Sale or Thrift Shop
Looking through other people’s stuff via yard sales or thrift shops can be really entertaining — there’s no telling what you might find. It’s also a great way to get some deals. You might just find DVDs, video games, board games, or bicycles for bottom-dollar prices. These could all help fund future cheap dates.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy a budget friendly date with your partner?
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