I am sure everyone who is married or who has been in a long term relationship remembers the good old days of expensive romantic candle light dinners, flowers, chocolates, blah, blah, blah. But as reality sets in you realize that these expensive dates won’t last forever. And while it’s always nice to be treated with an extravagant date on special occasions, we have found a way to connect and spend quality time with one another but at a fraction of the cost. So in honour of our anniversary this week we are sharing our favourite date night ideas that won’t throw your budget out of whack, in fact many of them are free!
Themed date night at home
This is one of my favourites. Pick a theme (Indian, Italian, Mexican, French, etc.) and have your entire night based on that theme. Have a theme based dinner followed by a movie. One of my favourites was our Indian themed date night. We have an awesome recipe for butter chicken and curry so together we cooked up a storm and ate dinner as we watched Slum Dog Millionaire. This is can easily be incorporated into your weekly (or monthly) grocery budget so it feels like you can have a date night guilt free!
We LOVE the beach, in fact we make a trip to the beach every weekend we have available. Not only is the beach relaxing, but you can visit a beach for pretty cheap. However, don’t buy food, instead pack up a cooler with your favourite treats and enjoy a picnic by the water. The only thing you may have to budget for is parking which based on my experience ranges from $0 to $20 for the day.
Tour some wineries
Living close to wine country this also happens to be a favourite date spot of ours. You can tour most wineries for $5 – $20/person and if you buy a bottle of wine most places will reimburse you for the cost of the tour. We also enjoy hitting up the winery patio for some snacks and a glass of vino (Jackson Triggs has the best patio!). There are also beautiful parks nearby so you can pack and enjoy a picnic lunch before hitting more vineyards.
Dollar store date
This is next on our date list. Basically, each person gets $10 and you have 15 minutes to spend that $10 on items for the other person. After you have made your purchases you then come together and share what you bought. My idea of this would be to buy humours gifts for the other person and get some good laughs out of it.
Play tourist in your own town
My husband lived in his hometown for 23 years, yet every time we visit we find something new and exciting to explore. We enjoy testing out a new downtown patio, trying out a new ice cream shop, checking out the unique downtown stores or visiting the historical sites. Whenever we go home we try to find a new site to see or something new to do. This past long weekend weekend we took a boat cruise around the thousand islands which costed $25/person and well worth every penny.
Have a games night
We had our first games night together a few months back and now we are addicted. To be honest when we first planned our games night, we thought it was going to be lame. But we laughed, reminisced on our childhood days, and got super competitive. Before we knew it, we had been playing games for 5 hours straight! If you already have games laying around your house this date can cost next to nothing. Pick up some of your favourite snacks and enjoy beating each other at your favourite childhood games.
Find a new hiking trail
We love to hike and we didn’t realize how many hiking trails were available to us. Our goal this summer is to discover three new trails. I love hiking because you get in some great exercise, most trails are free to discover, but most importantly we have had some of our most meaningful conversations on our hikes. It is the perfect setting to connect.
Find a free festival in town
I love community festivals! We enjoy window shopping at vendor booths, listening to great music, and the live entertainment. It’s a fun, and inexpensive way to enjoy each other’s company and see what’s happening in your community. One of my favourites is our city’s Jazz and Sound of Music Festival (which also includes free parking on the weekends).
I can’t think of any better way to connect than to give back to your community. Last Christmas, we helped pack Christmas boxes for Samaritans Purse and we had an absolute blast. It was actually one of the highlights of our year and we decided that we are going to make it an annual “date”. Regardless of the fun we had it was a humbling experience to give back to those in need. Consider giving up some of your time to volunteer and give back. I am sure there are tons of organizations in your community looking for volunteers this summer!
What are some of your inexpensive (or free) date night ideas? Comment below or follow me on Instagram (@theaccountantswifeblog) and share a picture of your favourite date night!