With all the hype of Valentine’s Day, it is easy to get stuck thinking that dating and relationships are so expensive. That couples should order flowers, buy expensive chocolates, go out for a fancy dinner date, stay at a swanky hotel, etc. Luckily, DJ and I have never bought into that. We love just spending time with each other and keeping it simple. This was our 10th Valentine’s Day, which kinda seemed like a big deal once we did the math! We got each other cards, actually the same card to be exact. DJ got me some delicious wine infused chocolate. I made him nachos for dinner – way less healthy than our usual week night dinners!
We have been closely focusing on saving money recently, in preparation for a few exciting changes and events coming up! (🐕 !!) So, we were thinking about some date ideas other than just going out to dinner. Though we love dining at new restaurants, we are trying to save eating out for traveling and other special occasions going forward. We came up with some really fun yet inexpensive ideas that we’ve either enjoyed in the past or can’t wait to try out!
Enjoy a movie night in
Dim the lights, make popcorn, and snuggle up with some blankets to enjoy a movie together. Check Netflix, or grab a Redbox rental. Movie nights are way more intimate at home than in a crowded theater!
Cook dinner together
You can make a gourmet meal at home for a fraction of what it’d cost at a restaurant. Plus you two will get to enjoy chatting and sipping some wine while you’re working together.
Explore a new town, then have a coffee / lunch / dessert date
Exploring a new area is always tons of fun! If you work up an appetite, pop in somewhere for a small bite. A great way to plan this date – surprise your partner with the destination or have them surprise you.
Pack up a picnic
Make lunch or dinner, find a blanket to spread out on, and hang out at the park for a relaxing meal together. Enjoy your time together in nature, without the distractions of your house.
Compete in a game night
Whatever your favorites are, board games, card games, even video games, game on! Maybe even make up some new house rules to heat things up a bit.
Pamper each other during a spa night
Light some candles, give each other massages, take a bubble bath, relax and enjoy each other.
Browse the bookstore together
Walk through the local bookstore, looking at new releases and shared interest books. You can each pick out a book, or to save more money, we have a sneaky trick. Take photos of the titles you’re interested in on your phones, then rent them from the library or buy them used online for ¼ of the price!
Go on a photo walk or hike
If you’re both interested in photography, grab your cameras (or phones) and go for a photo walk together. Pay special attention to what’s around you as you walk around the neighborhood or park, and be sure to capture some intimate portraits of each other.
Schedule a workout together
Getting sweaty is more fun together than alone. Book a new class together, race around the block, do a workout video at home, whatever you guys are into! Checkout our post (Getting Active in the Winter) for some ideas!
Enjoy a wine or beer tasting
Tastings are usually cheap or free after participating in an educational and interesting tour of your local production facility. Alternately, you can hold a tasting at your home by purchasing a selection of beer or wine you would like to try. Cheers!
Host a potlock for a double or triple date
Entertaining can certainly be expensive, but potlucks are much more cost effective. Dining at home without all the noise and distractions will make a great night to hang out with like-minded couples and enjoy everyone’s favorite dishes.
Work on a project together
Collaborating on a craft or DIY project can strengthen communication and remind you guys that you’re a team. Plus you can make something beautiful for your home or yard at the same time! Tons of inspiration on my DIY & Crafts Pinterest board!
Roast smores and watch stars around the fire
Cuddle up in your backyard on a clear night for some star gazing and smore munching. You can download Google Sky Map on your smart phone to tell which constellations are which!
Have breakfast for dinner
Put on your pajamas early, brew some decaf, make pancakes and bacon, maybe watch some Saturday morning cartoons, then head back to bed ; )
Watch the sunrise or sunset together
Dates don’t have to be a huge time commitment. If you’re both busy, schedule some quiet time to enjoy the beauty of nature together. Hold hands and cherish the time you have together, whether short or long.
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