Having more Date nights showed up on my list of things to work on in 2015. (We went out the other night and we saw The Theory of Everything. It was amazing. Try to see it if you haven’t already. If Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win the Oscar I’ll be shocked. He’s so talented.) Dates are such a great way to connect with your loved one whether you are married or still enjoying the early stages of a relationship. However, being on a debt free quest or making the decision to live frugally can sometimes throw an old monkey wrench in the romantic liaisons department. While thrifty thinking can change your automatic date instincts it definitely doesn’t mean that all those fun nights together have to end. Oh heck no. Just like with most things, when you’re being careful with your money you just need to get a little creative with your plans.
Here are 24 ways to celebrate a date night for $10 or less…
1. Walk the Dog
Alright. It might not sound like a “date” date and it surely isn’t a traditional date idea but the point is to connect with each other. So, go on. Take your dog out (or borrow your friend’s dog) for a long walk and stop and watch the sunset along the way.
2. Hit a Nature Trail
If there is a local park in your area, head for the nature trail for a refreshing hike.
3. Rent the Latest Thriller
Head to the local Redbox or rent a movie On Demand to watch an intense movie snuggled up together. Don’t forget to make some super inexpensive stovetop popcorn (this is the kind of popcorn my mom used to always make us when we were kids).
4. Cook a New Recipe
Find a new recipe that piques your interest but can be made out of what’s already in the pantry. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to relax and talk without kids interrupting.
5. Couples Game Night
Invite some of your favorite couples over for a game night. Ask them to bring a dessert while you supply a variety of appetizers made from what’s in the freezer.
6. Take a Class Together
Local community centers often offer free or low-cost classes so find one that interests or challenges you both. Even a Zumba class can be a great bonding experience – or at least a humorous way to spend an evening.
7. Go Fish (Literally)
Borrow some fishing poles if you don’t have your own and head out to a catch and release place where a fishing license is not required. Enjoy the quiet together.
8. Pack a Picnic
Make sandwiches or snack foods from your fridge, grab a blanket, and head outside. Go to the park, the lake, or the backyard and have an old-fashioned picnic.
Borrow a book about constellations from the library (or use an app on your phone) and set up camp in a dark place to see how many star patterns you can identify. Look up special space events online to see when a meteor shower or other astrological anomaly is expected where you live.
10. Make Bucket Lists
Grab some paper and create your bucket lists together. It’s a great way to get to know each other better, even if you’re married for years. Compare your lists and try to find ways to make things happen.
11. A Round of Mini Golf
Miniature golf is a great way to spark a little competition in your life and is a relatively inexpensive way to spend an evening enjoying the outdoors and each other.
12. Enjoy a Campfire
If you can safely create a campfire in your backyard , make sure you have the ingredients to make s’mores then sit back and relax. Enjoy each other’s company.
13. Checkers in the Park
Bring a chess or checker board to the park and enjoy some competition.
14. Themed Dinners
If you are a particularly fun couple, consider choosing a theme to power up a dinner at home. Make it a night of Grease songs, 80’s fashions, or a beach party dinner complete with costumes and food choices.
15. Piece It Together
A jigsaw puzzle can be great way to spend a chill evening at home doing something together. Find a puzzle you really like and plan on framing it when complete or give it to someone as a gift.
16. Support Local Sports
Go out and support your high school alma mater’s sports team. If neither of you are a local, head out anyway and root for opposing teams to make the evening more fun.
17. Volunteer Together
Spending quality time helping others is a great way to get closer. Volunteer at the local shelter, food bank, or animal rescue. You don’t have to spend a dime but can change lives in a few hours.
18. Learn How to Skate Together
Go back to your childhood and lace up your skates. Even if you’ve never ice skated or roller skated give it a try.
19. Find the Early Bird Deals
You might have to eat dinner at 5:00pm but you can get a nice dinner at a discount when you dine on early bird or happy hour specials.
20. Check Out Free Culture
If you have local museums and other places of culture, spend some time exploring the exhibits and your community history.
21. Be a Pool Shark
Rack up the pool table and spend the evening improving your shot.
22. Hit the Arcade
$10 in quarters can make for a fun night at the arcade. See who can win the most prize coupons at Skeeball before the money runs out.
23. Slow Dance
Set your Spotify on romance and dance the night away right there in your living room.
24. DVR It/Netflix It
If you have kids wait until they’re out of the house then throw some pillows and blankets on the floor and marathon-watch all the shows you’ve been meaning to see.
What are your favorite, inexpensive date night ideas?
P.S. You’ve gotta check out 98 Super Fun, Cheap Date Ideas