It can be challenging to plan dates with your spouse or significant other when you're on a tight budget. Fortunately, though, there are many alternatives that can be both inexpensive and meaningful. Here are 6 fun date ideas that won't hurt your wallet.
1) Instead of going out, cook a romantic dinner at home.
You can save money on both food and drinks by simply eating in. Find a new, exciting recipe to make and prepare it together, for an enjoyable and memorable evening.
2) Rent or stream a movie instead of heading to the theater.
Grab a few snacks and find either a new movie or a classic you both love, and watch it at home. Even if you do have to pay a few dollars to rent the movie, chances are it will still be at least a few times cheaper than if you both had to pay to go out to see one.
3) Go ice skating or roller skating.
Surprisingly, many cities offer open skating for indoor ice skating rinks year-round during certain hours each week. Most places don't charge more than a few dollars per person, even with skate rentals included. You could also check out any roller skating rinks in your area. Regardless of which type of skating you choose, it's a good idea to call first before you head over to make sure they still have open skating at their normal times, as sometimes they may close the rinks to the public for parties or private events.
4) Go to the beach or a park.
If you have a beach or park near you, this can be a great place to spend time during warmer months without spending a lot of money. You could also pack a lunch and have a picnic. Depending on the beach or park you go to, you may need to pay for parking, but other than that, you can usually expect a free outing. Even when places charge for parking, you may possibly be able to find a free area to park at nearby, although your walk may be a bit farther as a result.
5) Invite one or more couples over for a game night.
Instead of feeling like you need to go out to spend time with your friends, invite over other couples you're close to for games and food. If you don't feel like cooking for everyone (or don't have the budget), consider asking everyone to bring a dish. You could also have them over after dinner for appetizers and/or dessert instead- just make sure they know to eat first. You can ask everyone invited to bring their favorite game(s) so you'll have different activities to choose from. You can also look up free game ideas online that you don't need to purchase anything for. Playing games with other couples is a really fun way to relax together without spending too much.
6) Take advantage of discount days and end-of-season sales for local activities.
Places like museums, zoos, theme parks, and fairs can be really great locations for dates, but full price admission may cost more than your budget allows. However, these places generally have specific days during the year that they'll offer a significant discount- sometimes half-off the normal price or more. So pay attention to information and event schedules on the official websites of places you want to visit, and keep an eye out for coupons or discounts in your local paper or even on social media so you don't miss out.
Also, certain theme parks and other event centers will at times offer a group discount, so if you have other friends you want to go together with, you may all be able to save money. If you patiently wait to do more expensive activities only when they are on sale, you can still enjoy them, but without worrying about wasting money you need for other things.
So those are 6 fun date ideas that won't hurt your wallet. By making simple adjustments to how you date, you can still enjoy basically the same activities, but for a much better price.