With two small children galavanting around our house, date nights are hard to come by. I love dinner and a movie, but sometimes you want a little something different even if you don’t have wiggle room in the budget. Today I’m sharing ten frugal ideas for your next date night (or day) that are cheap or free after polling my girlfriends to get some fresh ideas for our own marriage. These dates would be perfect for your Valentine’s Day celebration or any night you can get away with your sweetie. If you need a frugal babysitting solution so you can afford to go on a date, check out my post on cheap/free babysitting options here. Read on and please share your frugal date night ideas in the comment section.
Ten Frugal Date Night Ideas:
1) Thrifting Day Date – Set a budget and head out on a Saturday morning for estate sale shopping and thrifting. If you and your significant other are competitive, challenge each other to find the best item for under $10. Grab brunch before heading home and letting the kids (or your FB friends) decide who won. Here in DFW we have Canton and McKinney Trade Days close by for serious flea market fun.
2) Coffee Shop Date Night at Home – Create your own coffee shop atmosphere to enjoy a warm delicious cup of coffee and conversation with someone who appreciates what you have to say. Our friend Lesleigh said it feels fun and sneaky to sit alone outside together with coffee and I think she is so right. Stolen moments are so special.
3) Night at the Museum – Many art and other museums offer late nights a few times a month, and most are free or very affordable. Take your sweetie to stroll among beautiful or interesting exhibits and enjoy and evening of culture.
4) Take Out and Take Downs – Grab a take out meal from your favorite restaurant and challenge each other to a game. Our friends Neil and Allison like sushi and board games. We do Chinese and Battleship. Friendly competition and low prep make this date an easy winner without paying for a baby sitter.
5) Play Tourist in Your Own Town – Check out a famous local landmark or find a free festival in your city. We did this a few years ago and had a little staycation visiting famous Dallas spots. Lesleigh suggests googling fun events in your town to see what you’re missing right under your nose. A tourist date can help you appreciate the place where you live and and the one you love all at the same time.
6) Special Dinner at Home – After the kids go to bed or any time if you don’t have kids at home, cook a special dinner for the two of you. My friend Kelli suggests buying one special item for the meal – a bottle of wine, a fancy cheese, a delicious dessert. Set the evening aside for conversation and a special meal.
7) Picnic in the Park – Pack a picnic basket and ride your bikes or walk to your nearest park when the weather is nice. Fresh air, exercise, and quality time make for a perfect date. Bring a frisbee or a kite to add a little extra excitement. You can turn it in to a family date by bringing the kids parking your picnic near a playground.
8) Dollar Movie Date – The old stand by with a twist – hit your local bargain theater for a budget friendly movie night. You can probably splurge on popcorn and still see a recent flick for less than $10.
9) Spa Day for Two – Surprise your sweetie with a date to get pedicures. I did this for Jed a few years ago and he LOVES them now. He never would have gone by himself, but they are such a special treat to do together. A couples massage can be an amazing date, but can get a little more expensive. Our friends Blake and Allison let us in on a little secret – reflexology massages. They are much more affordable and just as relaxing.
10) Old School College Date – If you live in a college town, check out your local university’s calendar to find cheap and free cultural offerings. Most schools host concerts, theater productions, and art exhibits for next to nothing. Hold hands walking around campus and enjoy an evening of frugal entertainment.
How do you save money AND enjoy date night?