Wining and dining as a couple is nice but it’s A. Not always necessary and B. Expensive! Dinner and a movie these days can cost $100+. That’s absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. And let’s get real for just a second…after all of your monthly bills, you’re probably lucky to have $100 to play around with. Unless you really need some time out as a couple, is dinner and a movie what you want to blow that $100 on? If you’re like me, the answer is no. It’s just not worth it.
So below are a few date ideas that you can enjoy when you literally have no money.
1. Cloud Watch
You heard me. I know you looked at the clouds as a kid and proudly announced that that one looked like a duck. Everyone did it. It encourages imagination and it enhances your communication skills because you are sometimes forced to explain to the other person how you came to the conclusion that it looked like a duck. Those attributes and skills are still necessary in adulthood! Not to mention they make the relationship easier! Plus, being outside looking at the sky is so incredibly relaxing. The two of you, as a couple, are given the opportunity to put the annoying parts of life (like bills and dishes) on the back burner and enjoy each other’s company. How can that be a bad date, really?
2. Star Gaze
This one is just like cloud watching but, it’s in the dark! It’s likely a little chilly outside so grab a blanket and cuddle up. You get to put real life on the back burner again and maybe get a little philosophical. Do you think that aliens are out there? Does the universe really goes on forever? Are our loved ones who’ve passed are looking down at us from up there? It doesn’t matter what you talk about. Just take the time to talk. It’s so incredibly important.
3. Picnic Lunch
I’m not talking about the picnic lunch that the movie stars take in Hollywood movies. Do you actually have an adorable picnic basket stored away somewhere that is calling your name? Are you going to strap that basket to the back of your bicycle and ride to the park while holding hands? I know we sure as heck aren’t! A picnic lunch is packing a meal and eating it outside. So, make a few peanut butter & jellies, throw them in Ziploc baggies, and head to the park. You could even go a little wild and take some fruit, cheese sticks, and sparkling grape juice! (Our parks don’t allow alcohol.) Just like that, you have a date and it cost you a few dollars from your weekly grocery budget.
4. Feed the Geese and Fish
This one could cost you a few dollars but in our house, it costs us nothing. Do you know why? Because at any given time, we could have up to six mostly empty bags of bread. We don’t eat the butts but I don’t think that the geese and fish care. And don’t forget about those stale hot dog and hamburger buns. Like I said, those fish and fowl don’t discriminate! If you keep your bread drawer nice and clean though, you can head to your local Aldi and grab 5 loaves of bread for under $5!
5. Take a Walk
This is so incredibly basic. Stop staring at each other and move your booties. If you have a dog, take her with you. She will love it! Talk about the different styles of homes you walk by. Is that the kind of house you want to live in one day? If you’re walking in a city, people watch! This is my guilty pleasure. It makes me so happy and my husband thinks it’s hysterical that I notice, and then point out, the most ridiculous things. For example, we were driving through the city last week and I started practically screaming, “That woman has some fantastic purple boots! They match her dress perfectly but that purple in her hair, it’s clearly faded and doesn’t match as well. But her enormous umbrella makes that a little less noticeable.” I swear he’s dumbfounded by me sometimes. And look at that, you spent no money at all with the added bonus of getting in a few steps!
6. Water Battle
This can go many different ways. Do you have water guns sitting around somewhere? If you do, fill them up and hide them until the time is right. If you don’t have water guns, do you have a little time and some balloons? Fill those babies up! Put them all in a laundry basket and soak him when he’s least expecting it! Grab the hose in the back yard or the one on the side of the sink. It doesn’t matter. Just spray them. Or, if you are like my husband and I and you brush your teeth together before bed, spit water at him when you’re done! Does this make a mess? Absolutely! Is it fun and memorable? Yes!
Head on over to Google and search “hiking trails near ‘your local city'”. You will be amazed at how many Google will shoot back with. Find the closest one and plan a nice hike. I say plan because you will need to make sure you have the right clothing, footwear, and plenty of water. Checking the weather might be beneficial too. Again, though, with the exception of the cost of the water bottle, you’ve got another great date idea on your hands.
8. Bike Riding
If you have a bike and some cool, sunny weather, head outside. Start at the end of your driveway and just pedal. You don’t have to have a destination in mind. You could also drive your bike to the closest park or biking trail and ride that way. It doesn’t really matter. You could even go for a double whammy and go for a bike ride and have a picnic when you’re done. BAM! Romance in a bottle folks. Just remember, though, as far as you bike, you have to bike back.
This one is location dependent. I know that not everyone lives in a place that has the space or opportunity for a bonfire. If you do, though, light it up! There’s something about a bonfire that is just so relaxing, peaceful, and romantic. Grab your favorite drink from the fridge and enjoy a quiet evening.
10. Back Yard Games
Do you have a wiffle bat and ball? What about golf clubs and a bucket of balls? Or a Frisbee? Any backyard game will suffice. Play some games, have some fun, maybe get a little competitive. See who can hit the wiffle ball farther, who can get the most golf balls closest to the bucket, or who can catch the most Frisbee throws. It doesn’t matter. Have fun! Show off your skills (or lack thereof). But don’t limit it to these three examples of course. The sky is the limit.
My husband and I love to play Gin Rummy. We have spent many evenings just playing cards together, laughing when the other is stuck with a handful of points and goes into the red. Every once in a while, we will break out the checker board. He stomps me. Every. Single. Time. Why in the world am I so bad at checkers?! And chess? I don’t even know the rules but you might. Break out those pieces and have at it. Definitely a cheap date.
12. Scavenger Hunt
This is something I make the kids do when I can’t find anything else for them to do to keep them out of my hair but it’s a great date idea too! Grab your phone and your hunny’s hand and head outside. Start walking or driving and stop when you find something that starts with the letter “A”. Take a picture together with that object and move on to “B”. Go through the whole alphabet. This could take you a fair amount of time depending on how side tracked you get. And at the end of the scavenger hunt, you will have 26 pictures documenting your date.
Ok so now that you’ve read through these date ideas, you might be wondering, “How in the world do I initiate one of these with him/her?” Saying something like, “Do you want to go out and look at the clouds?” might sound a little weird, especially if you’re in a new relationship. I know this. So, here’s the solution. Start walking to the door and say, “Let’s go outside.” Sit down and start commenting on the shapes of the clouds. I promise, they will almost always follow suit.
Do you have any other money free date ideas? Let me know in the comments! My husband and I are always looking for some new ideas!