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It was a time of unplanned fun. You could make spur-of-the-moment decisions and set out on a new adventure, without giving it a second thought. Date night was almost every night, as you were constantly hanging out while getting to know each other better. Money was no object, as you had fewer obligations and two incomes.
But then the wedding came. And priorities changed. And then there were babies. Oh, my! Life was so different then.
During the baby stages, you didn’t even need a date night. With one baby, you were still spending hours with your spouse, while carrying for your permanent “third wheel.” Going out to dinner wasn’t a huge event or something you had to plan for. You could still easily throw your baby in the carseat, pack a diaper bag and head out to meet up with friends.
But then baby #2 came along. And everything changed again. Every baby after that made it more and more difficult to get away and enjoy your husband’s company. You are exhausted and grumpy and just want his undivided attention, if only for a few hours.
But date nights don’t come as easily as they once did. What once took less than 5 minutes of planning now requires weeks of strategic planning, extra money for babysitters and stress that only a mom understands.
Even when you do get some time alone, you feel guilty spending your hard-earned money on a “nice” dinner. Even a trip to the movies is too expensive for you to really enjoy. With a pile of bills that need payed, it just doesn’t seem right to splurge on your date night.
Luckily date nights don’t have to be mega-expensive. You have have an awesome time using one of these cheap date ideas!
12 Cheap Date Ideas
Geocaching is a great way to get out and explore with your husband. All you need is a smart phone and the free app. (You can upgrade to a 3 month subscription for just $10, which is totally worth it, in my opinion.) If you aren’t familiar with Geocaching, it’s basically a real-life treasure hunt. You open the app on a smartphone and it shows the locations of nearby caches. Using the phone’s GPS, navigate to the cache and use the clues listed to help locate the cache. Each cache is different. Some are buried in ammo boxes, some are small pill bottles and some are in other containers. Most have small treasures (think gumball machine, type of stuff.) You can choose to take something out but must replace it with another trinket or treasure for the next seeker.
Geocaching is a fun way to see local places that you might not otherwise ever see. It’s cheap and doesn’t take any skill or preparations, so it tops my list of cheap date ideas. But be forewarned, once the kids hear about your geocaching date night, they’ll be begging to join you next time!
Netflix and Chill:
Let’s face it: Parenting is exhausting. For the next 20 years, it’s a good idea to take time to relax when you get a chance. Date night doesn’t have to mean getting dressed up and heading out on the town. Sometimes it’s nice to just stay home and relax together. Grab a warm blanket and some popcorn and snuggle up with the hubs on the couch. Whether you choose to watch the latest Transformers movie or binge-watch chick flicks, a night in could be just what you need.
Ice Cream Social:
There’s no denying that ice cream is the perfect end to a hot date. Save money by eating dinner at home, then going out for an ice cream sundae afterwards. Or try making your favorite ice cream dish at home. For under $20, you can recreate your favorite ice cream concoctions. With a few key ingredients, it’s not hard to make the popular ice cream creations that easily sell for $5!
Staying home on date night doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it’s one of our favorite cheap date ideas! All you have to do is make it special. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner, dessert and your favorite movie, without the hefty price tag. If you don’t want to have to cook for your date night, go simple, like a slow cooker meal or a frozen pizza. It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you are taking the time to reconnect and focus on your spouse.
The most important thing about staying home is that you have to put the electronics away. Date night isn’t fun for anyone if you’re both staring at your phones all night. Put them away and focus on the things that made you fall head-over-heels for your husband all those years ago.
A super easy and cheap date idea is to hit the trails. All you need is a good pair of shoes, which you likely have in your closet. Even if you’re not outdoorsy, you might be surprised how much you enjoy hiking. Not only does it help you connect with your spouse but it also helps you reconnect with nature, which always leaves you feeling refreshed. If you’re not into hiking, just take a stroll with your hubby. Walking hand-in-hand will make you feel young and in love once again.
Check out your local discount sites for cheap getaways, activities and restaurant deals. Sites like Groupon allow you to find the best discounts for all sorts of cheap date ideas. They offer everything from photo sessions, admission to zoos, fine dining, zip lining, weekend getaway packages and massages.
Do a quick Google search to find other sites that offer discounts in your area. We recently purchased a $45 dollar package to a local casino from NWADealPiggy. It included a $50 coupon to their buffet and $40 credit for the casino. For under $50, we both enjoyed the all-you-can-eat Prime Rib buffet and spent a couple of hours at the casino.
The best thing about a picnic is that people are less likely to pull out their phones during the intimate meal. Whether you choose to head to the park or just the backyard, an outdoor picnic can be a fun change of scenery. You can even throw down a blanket in your living room floor and enjoy a picnic there. Don’t be afraid to bust out the candles and wine for your picnic. You want it to feel as special as possible.
Sometimes it’s nice to rehash your goals and dreams together. With the hassle of everyday life, you rarely get time to talk about your hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Take this chance to sit down and talk about what you want out of life. What are your plans for when the kids are grown? It’s all too easy to lose ourselves in our kids, so it’s super important to remind each other that you will be in this together, long after the kids are gone. Bringing up your goals for the future helps you reconnect and motivates you to work towards your goals together.
It’s no secret that breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day. Instead of going out for dinner, swap your date night for a “Date Morning.” Head to your local cafe and grab a super cheap breakfast, like pancakes or biscuits and gravy. It’s a great way to sneak in a date when you’re broke but want to get out of the house.
Pick an Activity:
Getting out and doing something fun together is a great way to rekindle your flame. With everything from painting classes to bowling, you can find cheap activities that you both enjoy. Try something new, like a wine tasting or an outdoor movie. Head to a local rodeo or watch a college game together. Without spending tons of money, there are lots of activities to enjoy together.
Giving a massage isn’t nearly as difficult at you’d think. All you need is some good oil and a an hour or two. Staying in and rubbing your husband’s body down with oil sounds about as fun as it gets. Take turns and you’ll both end up relaxed. The intimate activity is something that every couple should add to their to-do list. With super helpful websites that offer instructions and easy to learn techniques, you’ll quickly fall in love with couple massage sessions.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any massage oils: you can easily make you own! Simply mix 1 cup of coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love lavender!)
Get in the Kitchen:
There’s something about baking together that makes you feel young and in love again. Hop up on the cabinet, wrap your arms around your man and let him know that although everything else in your life has changed, your feelings for him haven’t changed a bit. While your yummies are baking, work together to clean up the kitchen. A little bit of kitchen flirting will leave your husband begging for another date night soon!
Date nights are about reconnecting, both physically and emotionally. No matter what you do, make your husband a priority. Put you phone away and enjoy his presence. It’s too easy to forget the man you fell in love with, amid the chaos of everyday life.
With these 12 easy and cheap date ideas, you’ll feel refreshed and more in love than ever!