14 Awesome date ideas for couples who need romance on a budget
It doesn't matter whether you've only known someone for a couple of weeks, or if you've been married for several years: going on a date is always fun. You get to hang out with your favorite person (or someone who is soon to become your number one, anyway), try out new experiences, and take a break from the usual routine of day-to-day life.
In fact, the only downside to a date is that you usually have to pay for it.
However, treating your better half to a romantic day/night doesn't always have to cost the earth. Sometimes you can get away with spending just a few dollars - or even less! Here are 14 possible date ideas to try out if you're on a budget...
1. Blanket fort movie theatre
Going to the movies is actually a pretty bad idea for a date. It's overdone, overpriced, and you spend the whole time sitting in silence. A blanket fort, on the other hand, is a) original, b) free, and c) allows you to talk as much as you want. Plus you can sneak in your own popcorn and snacks without being caught out.
2. Home-cooked meal
How much does a half-decent three course meal cost at a restaurant? $30? $40? Meanwhile you can probably get all the raw ingredients to serve two people for around $10-$15. Plus, once you throw in a couple of candles and stick on a smooth jazz playlist, your hard work will taste better than a Michelin star meal.
3. Comedy/open mic night
If you're fortunate enough to live in a big town or city, you can probably find the occasional comedy night, open mic evening, or even a music gig to visit. A lot of the time, these sort of things are free - but even those with reputable acts are pretty cheap. Even if it's not usually your sort of thing, it's something different to try.
4. Go on an adventure
Unless you live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, the chances are that there's somewhere near you that you've never properly checked out. So pack yourself some sandwiches, stick on your walking boots, and take a visit to somewhere new. It might be great, it might be crap. But, either way, it'll be an adventure.
5. Wine and cheese night
Some people prefer their dates to be a little more 'up market', which is fine - but it can be a problem if you've got a bit too much month at the end of the money. Not to worry, though; a store-bought wine and a few different cheeses will look super fancy if you spread it out with some grapes and fresh bread on a wooden chopping board. Oh, and don't forget the smooth jazz from earlier.
6. Visit a museum/gallery
Another option for those who enjoy a bit of culture. Museums and galleries are very often free, and those that do charge will normally only ask for a small charitable donation. So, if you fancy checking out some obscure art, or learning a little more about ancient history, take a look at what's in your area.
7. DIY spa day
Visiting a spa can set you back a hefty amount - but you can recreate a lot of the treatments at home. Stock up on a couple of face masks, stick some cucumber slices over your eyes, run a hot bath with some candles, then lounge about in your dressing gown. And, hey, a massage is always free if you ask nicely enough.
8. Indoor picnic
Outdoor picnics are cool and everything - but, in the winter, what you really want is a feast you can enjoy on the living room floor. No heavy bags to carry, no risk of getting rained on, and no worrying about wasps getting all up in your face. Oh, and you can listen to some smooth jazz.
9. Learn a new skill
You know that guitar you've had in your attic for years? Or those juggling balls your weird uncle gave you? Or that yoga mat you bought with the intention of getting fit (but never did)? Why not partner up with your date and learn together? YouTube has pretty much everything you need, and you'll be more motivated with someone else to do it with you.
10. Have a games tournament
Playing the occasional 2-player video game can be fun, but it gets old quickly. However, if you have a tournament with multiple games and challenges (think board games, sports, truth or dare etc.) you can unleash your competitive nature while having fun with your other half. And the winner gets to pick another date from this list to go on.
11. Quiz night
Staying with the competitive folks here: go check out a quiz night. Many bars and pubs will have a weekly event, and it doesn't cost much at all to enter. Plus, if your knowledge is on-point, you might end up coming away with more money than you spent to go in! Perhaps consider making this a double (or even a triple) date, though, as two heads are better than one.
12. Bake together
Baking isn't just something you do when you're five years old and stuck at your grandparents' house all weekend - it can also be an excellent budget date option. Just grab a few ingredients, maybe invest in some decorative materials, and get to work. With some smooth jazz on in the background.
13. Take a walk under the stars
There's always that bit in romance films where the two lead characters go for a stroll through a park on a warm summer evening, and you don't really know why, but it's so much more atmospheric than taking a midday schlep across a field. You can be those characters.
14. Netflix and chill
So, if Christmas shopping has eaten up all your budget for this month, or you're just trying to save some cash at the moment, give one of these ideas a go next time you want to spend some quality time with your other half.