Spending quality time with your hubby, boyfriend or significant other is important in building a good foundation and keeping the relationship healthy. But regular date nights can be difficult when you’re trying to be frugal with money. Thankfully, there are a lot of cheap alternatives.
Here are some ideas that cost little but makes for good memories. Remember that dates need not be fancy, what’s important is the quality time you spent together.
1) Enjoy at-home movie/TV series marathon.
Stay in and have a romantic DVD marathon date. With only potato chips and soft drinks to loot, you can watch together, laugh together, fall in love together and hold each other’s hand all night long.
2) Have a picnic at the park.
Ditch the lavish restaurants. Buy some groceries to snack on and find a quiet place at the park. There’s a reason why Parisians love picnics. It is romantic.
3) Cook a special dinner at home.
Mostly, the expensive meals you see in a restaurant’s menu are also something that you can make at home. Find a recipe or watch a how-to video. Learn to poach an egg, sear meat or blanch vegetables. At the end of the night, you not only end up with a great dinner (hopefully), but a new cooking technique too!
4) Have a wine night in. (Or coffee, fruit juice, whatever)
Nothing is more relaxing than having a drink together and bonding over good conversation. Play some romantic music in the background and voila, an instant date for yah!
5) Volunteer together.
Find a local cause that you both care about. Spend a day with homeless kids, help pack relief goods for donation, or dance and play with the elders. Love is meant to be shared after all.
6) Have a game night!
Remember New York Time’s 36 Questions On The Way To Love? It’s a good exercise for date nights too. Read the prompts aloud and take turns answering the questions.
Ge and I had fun doing this. It was interesting to discover and re-discover what makes us click, and for what does not, we agree to compromise.
7) Sweat it out!
While others are taking calories in, go out for a run (badminton, tennis, or any sports) and burn those calories out. It’s nice to have a workout partner who will encourage you to exceed your limits and will be there in case you can no longer walk back home. Right? :)
8) Write each other a letter.
Instead of buying each other an expensive gift, get silly and write a good old-fashioned letter. With everything going digital nowadays, and people having only a short attention span of about 5 minutes, text messages only lasts as much. Tangible letters, however, require time and thoughtful writing. It’s a treasure that is worth beyond price.
9) Explore locally. Go on a photo walk.
Walk around the neighborhood, go to a free museum, find a colorful alley, or discover a new lane. Even if you think you know a place like the back of your hand, there’s always something new waiting to be found. And bringing your love along with you can make the same place feel different.
We usually bring our cameras with us when we do this. This way, we look at the surroundings with purpose and get to practice photography too. Win win!
10) Try each other’s hobby.
Whether it’s basketball, baking or arts and crafts, try one hobby that makes your partner happy. You don’t need to make it your own. You don’t even have to like it after you tried it. Just try it once. Who knows, it might help you see your significant other in a completely new way.
11) Share ‘firsts’ together.
‘Firsts’ don’t have to be only for people who moves out of the country or starts over. It can be as simple as trying new restaurants together, googling a new place to hike in your area, or playing a new sport for the first time. Choose something that you both have not done and life will never get boring!
These are the things we do ourselves so we get to save without compromising the “necessary” regular dates. As you may already know, Ge and I really enjoy traveling dates too. I spend ridiculous amount of time planning and researching cheap everything. But even if we travel on a budget, it still does incur expenses. And really, the only way to do it is to save money.
We try to simplify our lifestyle as much as possible. We eat breakfast and dinner at home, we bring packed lunch to the office and we minimize watching movies outside. We still do splurge and enjoy a few luxuries to reward our hard work but generally, we cut back on the daily things. We reserve the night-outs for friends and special occasions. If it’s just the two of us, we’re happy sitting together over 3-in-1 coffee.♥
Over to you, what are you up to this valentines weekend?
Do you have any cost friendly date ideas to share?