Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: 20 ways to do date night on the cheap.

20 ways to do date night on the cheap.

If you're anything like my boyfriend and me, you may not have a ton of money to spend on a night out every weekend. Though Jon and I are in a unique situation because we're currently long distance, every time we get to see each other, we pretty much jam a million date nights into one weekend. Sometimes, we'll do a big thing like dinner at a fancy restaurant, a concert, or a live show, but for the most part, we like to find creative ways to spend time together without breaking the bank. Here are a few date ideas that you can do with your significant other without getting depressed about your bank account afterward.

1. Game night.
It is dangerous for Jon and I to play games together because we're both so competitive, but it's all in good fun. I am a huge fan of board and card games, and I have a collection that I'm pretty proud of. It's easy to accumulate a lot of games and let them collect dust in the closet, so why not break them out for a night of competitive fun? If you aren't like me and don't have a huge game collection (or any kind of game collection at all), you can usually find a regular deck of playing cards are your local dollar store, and there are a ton of games that you can play with a simple deck of cards. One of my favorites is Egyptian Rat Screw (though I've heard it called a ton of other things). Here are a few of my other favorite games:
2. Browse the local bookstore.
Luckily, both Jon and I are bookworms. We have completely different tastes, but we love going to bookstores. A fun date idea would be to go to a bookstore in your city and find a book that you both like and just sip some coffee and read. You can also go to smaller bookstores and sift through all of the used books. I just love the smell of books (too much?). 
3. Plan a vacation together.
You may not have the money to go on vacation together, but eventually you will. Why not plan a future vacation together? You can both find a few days that you can commit to spending together in the future and start planning the vacation together. Figure out where you'll eat, what you'll do, what sites you'll see. You can even come up with a savings plan to ensure that you're both good and ready financially when it's finally time to go!

4. Movie marathon.
I am such a movie buff, and I'm usually up for watching most movies (though there are a few exceptions). A movie night is a perfect excuse to cuddle up to your significant other for an hour and a half to two hours. If you don't have any movies in your collection that you feel like watching, you can always turn to Netflix (even if you don't have an account, you can sign up for a free month) or get a movie at Redbox or for free at your local library. If you don't feel like watching a movie, you can also find a new TV series to watch (or watch one y'all have already seen) and have a marathon! Here are some movies that Jon and I can always agree on:
5. Watch a band at a local bar.
You may  not have money to go to the big concert in your area, but you can usually find somewhere with live music. There are several bars and dance clubs that feature some good local area bands. Also, if you live near a college, sometimes they'll put on cheap concerts for pretty good prices. 
6. Volunteer.
If you have extra time, why not go volunteer at your local children's hospital, animal shelter, homeless shelter, elders' home or food bank? They are always needing extra hands, and it would be a unique thing for the two of you to do together. 

7. Cook together.
I always enjoy cooking with Jon. For one of our first dates, we made stir fry, and we've made it a few times since and it has never been as good as that first time. You can find some easy recipes on Pinterest or you can make things interesting by making it a challenge. You can try to cook only with ingredients that you have in your house or make it a contest and see who can make the best dish. There are tons of ways to have fun with it. Try one of these delicious Pinterest recipes:
{Sweet and Spicy Pork}
{Lettuce Wraps}
{Stuffed Mushroom Cups}
{Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls}

8. Have a progressive dinner.
You may not have a ton of money to spend on a fancy dinner, but maybe you do have enough money to spend on a few appetizers. Something that I like to do is pick three restaurants to go to, usually two for appetizers and one for dessert or one for appetizers, one for entrees, and one for dessert. Choose something delicious to eat at each one, and have a night full of different tastes. It also helps to go to places where you don't have to tip. This will save you some extra money as well.
9. Go on a picnic.
This is a perfect way to spend some time outdoors and spend some quiet, quality time together. Pack a few sandwiches, fruit, veggies, chips, drinks, whatever. Put it in a cooler, grab a blanket, and go!
10. Make a music video.
Okay, not all people would go for this (namely my own boyfriend), but if you have a significant other who is up for anything, how fun would it be to make a music video together? Pick a current popular song or even an oldie. Plan out outfits and different scenes to shoot. Decide who will perform each part. You can even take it one step further and write out a parody to a song. This is one of my favorite parodies. Too funny:

11. Take a dancing lesson.
You may not want to commit to learning enough dance moves to guarantee a spot in the latest boy band music video, but you can go out on a date night to take just one dance lesson together. There are some local dance studios that offer dance instruction for just $10 a person, and you can learn to salsa, rumba, swing dance, or even do some hip hop.
12. Go camping.
This is another fun way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, especially when the weather is nice. If camping isn't your thing, you can always camp indoors. Pitch a tent or make a grown-up fort, turn off all the lights and tell ghost stories, roast marshmallows on candles. It's cheesy, but I guarantee you'll both have a blast.
13. Go shopping at your local Farmers' Market.
I am a huge fan of the farmers' market. There's something to be said about farm fresh everything! Even if you don't want to do a bunch of grocery shopping, it's still fun to browse the booths and try some free samples. You can also grab a cheap lunch and listen to some great music, depending on what your farmer's market offers.
14. Get sporty.
If you're the sporty type, you can go on an active date together. Personally, I enjoy playing tennis (even though I'm really terrible) or biking. You can also go hiking, go to the batting cages, go bowling, go swimming, go to a shooting range or get like Robin and Barney and play some laser tag!

15. Take a river cruise.
If you live anywhere near a river or some other body of water, sometimes they offer river cruises for prices as low as $15. You can learn some interesting things about your area and have some light refreshments and drinks.

16. Mini golf.
Playing a round of mini golf is usually a lot of fun and is relatively inexpensive. Jon and I aren't the best golfers, and we are usually pretty embarrassed by our scores at the end, but we always have a blast.
17. Skating Rink.
I used to love when one of my friends had their birthday party at the skating rink. I think it would be so fun to go to a skating rink and relive a little bit of that childhood happiness. Hold hands, race each other, do the hokey pokey. I'm sure you will be laughing throughout the night. And now that it's almost winter, you can even go ice-skating!
18. Go the park.
Be a kid again and visit your local park. Almost all parks are free of charge and it's a fun way to get a little active and spend some time in the sunshine (or moonshine, and by moonshine I actually mean the moon shining, not the illegal drink). Slide on the slides. Swing on the swings. Play on the seesaw. So simple and so fun (and so free).
19. Thrift shopping.
I love thrifting. You never know what you're going to find, and every time you go, you usually don't see the same thing. Browse the thrift stores together, and see what unique items you can find!
20. Be a tourist in your own city.
Sometimes you live somewhere for so long that you forget about all of the things there are to do in your own city. A lot of museums and art galleries are free, so pick a few to visit and go! Maybe it will spark a love for your city, and it'll be a fun experience for both of you.
There are so many ways to have an awesome date and spend little to no money. What are some of your favorite frugal date ideas?
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  1. Oh you two look great together :) SO many great tips , I'd try some if I get a date #teamwink

  2. Thank you so much! I love that hashtag :)

  3. Rachael @ Pretty in PinkNovember 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Just pinned on Pinterest!

  4. omg this is perfect. I love the camping date ugh

  5. I know! Too perfect! Thanks, ma'am!

  6. Those are great weekend ideas. Done some of them.
    Angela @ Time with A & N

  7. Thank you! I've done most of them, and I'm using this as a little hit to my boyfriend to do the others too! Haha

  8. Nice suggestions! Such a huge list haha Also, we looooove pictionary! We play it with Ben's parents after the weekly family dinners :-)

  9. Great ideas! One of my BF and my fav cheap date nights is theme night at home, we cook a themed meal like mexican and make margaritas and watch a mexican or spanish-type movie etc. OR we have something to eat for dinner at home and then go out for a night cap at a local bar :)

  10. I really appreciate the Robin & Barney photo

  11. Love this post! I pinned this to remember next time my boyfriend and I need some date ideas!

  12. Pictionary is so much fun! There aren't enough people that appreciate it today.

  13. A theme night is such a fun idea! I never thought of that. I love it! Jon and I will have to give it a try. It sounds like a new favorite.

  14. Yes! They are my favorite couple, aside from Lily and Marshall because they are so awesome.

  15. Thank you so much! That's so sweet! I'm glad you enjoyed the list.

  16. These are all such cool ideas! And you're right, that parody music video is hilarious! Plus that pic of Barney & Robin was a pleasant surprise, I so love HIMYM!

  17. HIMYM is the best! It's so hilarious! I'm loving this season so far too. I'm ready for Ted and his future wife to meet so I can see their love story unfold finally!


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