Three Budget-Friendly Date Ideas

by Monday, February 10, 2014 19 Permalink

HI! This post from the archives ran last year around Valentines Day. Although dating our spouse should be a high priority all year round, it’s especially relevant during everyone’s favorite (or least favorite!) romantic holiday.   > > >

Those of us in the early stages of raising kiddos might not have the extra money or energy to hit the movies each weekend, but you can still make some amazing memories right in your own home. Caveman and I enjoy “home dates” a couple times each week. Here are our top three budget-friendly date habits.

 Make a bet

We love playing games, as I’ve mentioned before. We used to play Scrabble all the time until Caveman decided that I always win and stopped challenging. The Castle is our current favorite game. It’s lots of fun!! To raise the stakes and make playing more exciting, we like to bet on who will win. Usually the contests go like this: winner picks the TV show we watch afterwards, or loser gives a 20 minute back massage. A simple contest gives a normal activity a little extra punch. Throw some wine and chocolate on the table and it’s a party.

Read a book

Together, that is. Find a novel that interests both of you.  Cuddle in bed or on the couch, and read it aloud or silently together. For awhile a shared book became our nighttime ritual; we loved it. The break from a movie or show before bed was so welcome, and we had a blast laughing and discussing literature together. (Note that I use the term “literature” very loosely, as you’ll soon see.) Not sure which book to start with? We recommend Mr. Popper’s Penguins, the absolute finest that “literature” has to offer. :) No, seriously. It’s hilarious. It’s light. It’s quick. We ate it up. It’s a fast read because I think the writing is fourth grade level, so limit yourselves to a chapter a night. If you can’t decide on a book together, take turns choosing. I made Caveman read sappy Christian romances with me and he chose Ender’s Game. I’d say we’re both better for it.

Do a project

Once upon a time when we were still dating, we decided to decorate flower pots. I don’t remember whose idea it was, but we bought some $8 plain flower pots and $4 paint and spent an afternoon letting our creativity flow. Now, our date projects sometimes take on the form of giving each other Henna tattoos…. but that’s all I’ll say on THAT topic. :)

 

No matter the calendar date, dating your significant other should always be one of your highest priorities—but you don’t need to empty your wallet to have a great time.

What are some of YOUR favorite budget-friendly dates to do with your spouse? Comment below and share them with us!

 

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19 Comments
  • Linda Stoll
    March 9, 2013

    mmm … really doesn’t take alot to make us happy, does it?

    a friendly game of Scrabble, a trip to DQ, a long walk that comes with deep conversation …

  • Lois
    March 9, 2013

    Your Henna tattoos sound VERY interesting. My ex didn’t like to read, he struggled to learn in school but found my fascination with books interesting. It began one night I couldn’t put a Stephen King book down, we were curled up on the couch, me reading him watching a basket ball game. He would interrupt me to watch a replay of something and commercial time he would ask me to tell him what was happening in my book. One night he couldn’t take the suspense any more. He asked what I wanted to do that night with a look in his eye that told me he knew what he wanted. I asked what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to prepare dinner while I read because he had to know how the book ended. After dinner he had me read out loud to him the rest of the book. It began a love of books for him and we frequently shared nights like this.

    • Evelyn
      March 9, 2013

      Thanks for sharing that sweet memory, Lois. :)

    • Dale
      February 10, 2014

      What a great memory, Lois! My hubby is not a reader either – and he’s not overly interested in anything I read… sigh….

  • Jane
    March 9, 2013

    Wait a minute: what about smelling shampoo at Target? Or shopping in strange grocery stores? :)

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Evelyn
      March 9, 2013

      Nothing tops YOUR hot dates, Jane. :) However, those activities require leaving the house, so I’ll save them for another blog post…

  • Kim
    March 10, 2013

    I am a new visitor to your blog. Everytime I have read it, I come away encouraged. Thank you for your humility and transparency.

    • Evelyn
      March 11, 2013

      I’m so glad you’ve been blessed, Kim. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • MrsWesonga
    March 11, 2013

    the Husband and I need to use some of these ideas! These are great for a little date after a long day at work too. THAT is something this wife needs to find more of!

  • Carol
    March 13, 2013

    We were broke for so long that we apparently cannot change our ingrained habits. A walk, a weekly date night with our favorite TV show, a movie (go Redbox) or a game. We also take in shows and concerts that feature local school kids–never expensive and always a good cause.

    • Evelyn
      March 14, 2013

      Carol, grabbing a concert or play featuring local kids is a GREAT idea! I never would have thought of that. I’m excited for summer because our city has tons of free concerts in the parks around town. Those are a blast too! I love that you and Keith are ingrained in your weekly cheap date habits. :)

  • Jenifer
    February 10, 2014

    We are lucky to have an Ikea near us, because they have Smaland and DS is still small enough to go.

    For one hour, he is in free chilld care and we go up to the cafeteria and sit there by the window and talk for a whole hour. How nice is that?

    • Evelyn
      February 11, 2014

      Jenifer, the answer is REALLY nice. If we lived closer, we’d be there every Saturday morning for the cheap breakfast and playtime! ;)

  • Dale
    February 10, 2014

    We enjoy a walk together with our dog (or without!) and way back when, we actually worked on a puzzle together – still unfinished but a fond memory nonetheless!

    • Evelyn
      February 11, 2014

      We LOVE walking too, Dale. It’s healthy and we find we have better conversations when we’re holding hands and being active. Also, a puzzle is a great idea!

      • Dale
        February 13, 2014

        And now you get to walk pushing a stroller! How fun…

        • Evelyn
          February 17, 2014

          Haha… pushing and stroller AND wearing one! Hopefully that will get the extra pounds off faster… ;)

          • Dale
            February 17, 2014

            ha ha! Always a silver lining!

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