7 Budget-Friendly Date Ideas

couple-1845620_1920Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? Don’t have any plans yet? Don’t worry. Valentine’s Day really gets hyped up by retailers and couples are who in the honeymoon stage of their relationship (in my opinion) but that doesn’t mean you need to stress out or spend a ton of money this month just to show your significant other how much you mean to him or her.

This year, my husband and I will celebrate our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple – no pressure there. The thing is, December and January are such expensive months for us because of the holidays and all the family birthdays in January. As a result, we tend to spend February and the following months being more frugal.

However, I’ve realized the importance of making time and room in the budget for romance and dates in your relationship which is why we hardly ever shy away from a date night when the opportunity arises. If you are looking for some budget-friendly date ideas this year for Valentine’s Day and regular date nights, consider these 7 options.

1. Go Out to Lunch or Dinner

A food date is super basic but it’s quality time with your significant other and it breakfast or lunch can be more affordable than dinner. If you’re trying to watch costs, I’d highly recommend dining out on any day but February 14th this month. Many couples will be out which could result in long wait times for food and plus, the costs could add up quick.

Some restaurants have special Valentine’s Day items on the menu which aren’t always necessary. Instead, go to one of your favorite local spots for breakfast or lunch and skip the crowds.

As long as you have good food and good conversation, you don’t need to spend a ton on fine dining. My husband and I love Mexican breakfast foods and have dates at our favorite Mexican restaurant for breakfast. All in all, we always leave stuffed and only spend about $20 total for the both of us.

2. Bake Up Some Sweets

Who can resist baked goods on date night? Pick up some wine, turn on some music, and bake sweet treats together or tackle a new delicious recipe. I really get a kick out of it when my husband tells me he doesn’t know how to bake cookies or brownies but is always the first one to jump up and devour the sweets once they get out of the oven and cool.

I find it fun to teach him the proper way to bake some of his favorite treats because things just taste so much better once you know that you’ve made them. You can get decorations and stencils from the dollar store and watch a movie together afterward.

3. Game Night

For competitive couples, game night can be really fun. Round up your favorite board games and or video games, reminisce and embrace your competitive spirit. You can play for fun and bragging rights or for small prizes or favors like assigning the loser to do the dishes for the night.

If you’re not big on games, try putting together a challenging puzzle together to improve your communication and teamwork skills. It’s actually a great team building exercise and you’ll feel accomplished once you complete it together.

4. Order Takeout and Start a T.V. Series Together

This is a classic favorite date of mine. Sometimes, going out is overrated and you just want to stay home and relax. If you and your partner work a lot and don’t spend much time at home together, a ‘lazy’ date at the house may be just what you need to rekindle the romance.

Start by ordering your favorite takeout meal. Then hit up Netflix or Hulu to binge watch a series together. My husband and I LOVE watching new series together. We can literally watch episodes for hours on Friday nights if we find a good show.

We did this with shows like Game of Thrones, Power, and The Fosters. If there’s a series you’ve been meaning to watch but can’t find on Netflix or Hulu, check your local library and you might be surprised at the series they have available for you to rent.

5. Go on a Nature Walk

Nature walks are fun, relaxing and free. Escape to a scenic natural area in your town or even a national park and talk, get some exercise, and soak in the scenery. If the weather is permittable in your area, you may even want to ride bikes along a nearby bike trail and you can also check out a nature center if you’re looking for good locations to check out.

6. Free or Discounted Museum Day

If you’re looking to see or learn something new, going to a museum can be a great experience. See if any museums are offering free or discounted admission on certain days this month. During the winter, many museums experience slower traffic which is why they may offer free or discounted days to get more people in the door.

Also, be aware that with these offers, it’s important to read the fine print and understand what you will and won’t have access too since there may be advanced offerings that cost extra to see. Don’t forget to consider museums that are free 100% of the time. Search online or check with your local library or park district if you want to locate some free museums in your area.

7. Go Back to Your First Date

For Valentine’s Day this year, it may be nice to recreate your first date as long as it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. You can even revisit your favorite place or meeting spot for a picnic or scenic walk.

This is a very thoughtful way to show your significant other that you cherish remember the humble beginnings of your relationship.

All You Need is Each Other

Hopefully, these date ideas got your creative wheels during. At the end of the day, your main focus should be on scheduling private time for dates and spending quality time together regardless of what you’re doing. Even if it’s going to a cafe for coffee and talking on the patio, it’s all about the experience and connection.

What are your favorite budget-friendly date ideas? Do you usually go out on Valentine’s Day?

Posted in: Life Hacks, Money

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