Although budgets buy freedom they don’t buy fancy date nights! As simple as this sounds it’s one of most challenging parts about changing your personal spending habits since it directly affects our most important relationships.
Like most things learning to be a totally pro frugal dater takes effort but it’s totally doable. You just need to be creative. Like any kind of budgeting it’s a bit of an art form but you’ll soon start to see cheap and fun date nights everywhere.
In the mean time start with these three great free date nights:
Make Dinner at home an Experience
Since you’re going to go grocery shopping and cook meals this week anyway you may as well turn it into a much less ordinary cooking date night! Even if neither of you like cooking you still get to have a lot of fun throwing potato peels at each other.,.
In a nutshell one of you will be making dessert and the other the main meal. The fun comes in when you are each choosing the ingredients that the other needs to use:
- When you’re at the supermarket flip a coin for who makes which part of the meal
- Next split up and each buy 3 ingredients that the other person will be cooking with. Limit yourselves to the grocery budget you would have spent on that meal anyway. Add some more fun by trying to keep what you’ve chosen a surprise until you get home – this way you get to sneak around the supermarket trying to avoid each other!
- Do the ‘big reveal’ at home and get the smalltalk going by talking about why each of you chose what you did. This is just to get the conversation flowing which is really the key to this cooking date night
- Now it’s up to you – cook away! Don’t forget to have some fun by putting some music on, dancing together (while not holding kitchen knives…) and throwing vegetables at each other
Our house rule is that you can use anything you already have at home so you can cook some more creative meals.
Chalk Chase (the cheapest non-free date)
Ok so this one isn’t free but there’s going to be $3 in the spare change tin and it’s a total blast!
Long story short you are going to leave a trail of chalk arrows on the pavement which guide the way to a small present. Later you’ll both come back however you’ll be acting all chilled as though you don’t know what’s going on.
its totally simple to set up:
- Grab a small block of chocolate ($2) and a box of chalk ($1)
- Head to a nearby park by yourself before the date starts and and hide the present somewhere
- Walk away from the destination and draw chalk arrows on the ground, trees and walls to guide the way. Mix it up a little using some romantic slogans like You’re sweet or Keep going beautiful
- Ask your partner if they want to go for a walk/run/bicycle ride together. Just act natural as though nothing is out of the ordinary
- Eventually you will get to the start of the chalk arrows where you’ll have to work at not letting the cat out of the bag. Once they notice the marks play along with the game as though you are not sure why they’re there – simply suggest that you could follow them
- At the end of the chalk chase give a hint they should look around for a special something… the penny will drop as they realise it’s all a setup that you’ve done just for them! Priceless
Park Run Date – Getting Fit the Fun Way!
Perhaps you’re one of those people who love 5:30am boot camp but for the mere mortals (like us) we found we needed this extra trick to get us going. It’s all about merging two activities into one and making them both better:
- Getting Fit – everyone starts but it’s a challenge to keep going
- Date night – lots of fun but it’s hard to come up with new ideas after a while
What’s the trick to solve this? A weekly Park Run! (absolutely free!)
It’s a running/walking group that started about a decade ago – back then it was just a handful of friends but now it’s world-wide! (there’s even one in our small country town down under in Australia so there’s a pretty good chance there’s one near you).
There’s nothing intrinsically unique about the actual run – it’s just a 5km (3 mile) track through a park so you could choose any running group in your area. We like this group since they have a great volunteer ethos and it starts a little later in the day (sleep ins…)
Amanda and I have found it to be a great way to get fit while connecting since we can smash down a breakfast at a cafe afterwards. This gives it a great date-morning feel and we’re still getting fit.
Volunteer – Bonus idea!
This one sounds boring at first but some of the best memories you’ll ever make are working together on something. After all dates together are really just about finding something you will both enjoy.
Here’s 5 great ways to do a Volunteer Date are:
- Animal rescue center – totally rewarding if you love anything cute and in need of a good bath
- Support the organisers of Park Run: great if you both like fitness
- Random acts of kindness – you don’t need permit, insurance, and red tape in order to do something worthwhile in your community – just get out there and do it! Some great ideas are:
- Cleaning up that rubbish pile that’s been building up in your local park
- Mowing that older neighbour’s lawn
- All those abandoned shopping trolleys really need a home!
- There’s bound to be a local charity group or church that would love some extra hands to help do more good stuff
- Donate blood (don’t forget the terrible vampire jokes)
Our Story / BIO
Elliott + Amanda used to go on huge date nights. Theatre, expensive dinners, pricey shopping trips – you name it! Then they both started businesses and had to shrink their budget. They had to say goodbye to the fancy stuff and instead bust out some creativity for how to connect on the cheap!
The most fun dates are online at their site Fight For Her. Try one out!
Featured image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net