I have been with my husband for 5 years, 2 of those years as husband and wife. Having met him in high school and essentially “adulting” together, we have done what seems like every typical date night -on a budget.
In our old high school days, date night meant we did the ever-so-classic restaurant & scary movie date, Netflix binges with junk food, & good ol’ playing the games at out nearest Dave n’ Busters.
Presently, as a married couple in our 20s, those classic high school date nights have been tragically overplayed. In truth, marriage requires creativity. I mean let’s be real, when you live with your significant other, every night can be Netflix binging with junk food, you can go out to eat every night, & maybe you outgrow the scary movies and rollercoasters etc.
Truth is, the trick to giving your loved one the best date night, is creativity & attention to detail. With so many money saving hacks available, a date does not need to be expensive.
In my experience, men like to be told straight up what we expect because they do not want to disappoint. Even women might admit they don’t like surprises. But here’s the thing, sometimes even though we may say we don’t like surprises, we like the good surprises. Am I right?
Maybe you’re a man looking to take your lady on a first date & you’re on a tight budget. Or maybe you’re married and need some new ideas for date night number 1376.
My goal with this post is to not only give a few affordable date night ideas, but to teach you how you can continue to create new ideas for date night that don’t have to break the bank.
Where To Start?
Okay so before you start planning a location or activity for date night, there are many things to consider if you want to create a personalized date night. Meaning not every idea will be fun for your specific partner.
What are her/his interests? What is her favorite food, hobby, or sport? Is there anything she has been talking a lot about lately? Introvert or extrovert? Outdoorsy or indoorsy?
Maybe even write a list of these traits and read along my list of affordable date night ideas. These date night ideas are intended to match all different personalities and interests.
5 Affordable Date Night Ideas
- Italian Night
Branch out from the typical restaurant date, and bring the restaurant to you. Here’s the catch if you actually want to make this special- plan in advance. Show that you actually cared enough to plan this surprise. Please, do not just buy oven ready pizza & call it a night.
Buy the ingredients, print out a recipe for the both of you to attempt one of her favorite cuisines from scratch. It is important to pay attention to detail, this shows that you placed thought into this date.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money, in fact you can simply go to your nearest dollar store and buy things such as a tablecloth, cute props & candles. Pick up wine, beer, or favorite drink of choice, & some rose petals. Create a romantic setting and have matching or personality appropriate aprons ready.
It is not about the food itself, but about the attention to detail that will mean the most.
- Kids at Heart
Sometimes adult life can be draining, & boring. Yet at the same time, being an adult means you can control whatever you do. If your date is someone silly & playful & who lately has had nothing but stress & responsibilities, take her somewhere that reminds her how fun life can be.
No I’m not talking about Disneyland, I’m talking about indoor jumping parks. I mean honestly, trampolines & jumpy houses are not just for kids. Of course, plan ahead of time so you can find a time when it will be more private and not just jam packed with kid birthday parties.
Maybe you have a backyard? Think about renting a bouncy house, having and barbecue, burgers, pizza, some beers, etc. There are so many infinite possibilities with this idea.
This idea shows her that you not only have payed attention to the fact that she needs a break from adulthood, but that you are that partner that can provide fun & silly memories even as you grow older.
Does your partner love new experiences? Travel & adventure? Sometimes such activities can be intimidating & seem too expensive if you are on a budget. Sites like Groupon can become your best friend if that is the case.
I live in southern California which means there are so many outdoor activities available. I have seen affordable couple cruising deals on Groupon as well as kayaking & snorkeling deals. There is also great deals for whale watching and skydiving.
Plan according to the interests of your partner, & plan ahead of time. Always try picking a time when there will be less tourism, and good weather.
- Selfie Queen Photoshoot
Maybe your significant other is very involved in social media or just loves a good selfie. This is the case for you if you are constantly being the unpaid photographer for your lady. The man behind the photo, aka the Instagram hubby.
Take this to the next level and plan a whole date night around it. Make it so your lady feels truly special and use that creativity. Here is my idea, but tweek it as you like.
Plan an entire photoshoot. Let her know your plan early on by leaving her a note. With this note leave money for her to buy herself an outfit & get her nails done. Maybe you know of a spot she loves taking photos by, or you can also create a backdrop. You can always buy a single color tablecloth from a dollar store and pin it up the wall so it looks like a backdrop for photos.
Have props such as plants, flowers, or bubbles ready to include in the photos. She will more than likely already have props in mind. Be willing to get nicely dressed and use the self-timer feature on your phone or camera for a couples shoot.
Just have fun, be silly with it, and make her feel special. As always, have a plan for food because nobody likes posing for photos on an empty stomach.
- Romantic Picnic
Yet again, a picnic is another one of those dates where attention to detail means everything. It is so simple that detail is what can make it go from a cheap date to a romantic one.
Sure, ordering a box of pizza and setting down a blanket is all fun & delicious. But, if your intent is to romance your lady with a date out of the ordinary, then you need to take this to the next level.
Set the scene and pick a location that is romantic and fun. The beach, the lake, somewhere private, whatever suits your personalities. Make sure your have props prepared to set the scene. Roses, pillows, blanket, solar string lights, photos, etc.
Pack a picnic basket with wine or whatever food and drink you both prefer. Think about having a speaker play your song and consider other things that would be meaningful to her and you as a couple.
Props may seem extra, but truly it makes the biggest difference and shows just how much thought you put into making it special for her.
With so many ideas brewing in my head, I have decided to make a part 2 of this post which will be a continuation of ideas for affordable, creative, and romantic date night ideas.
The common theme in creating a romantic date, is adding a little zest to simple ideas. That zest is what shows your loved one that you still love and care enough to set time into planning and preparing.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post!