INEXPENSIVE DATE IDEAS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY 2018
When you're getting out of debt, certain budget items fly out the window. One of those things are the expensive date nights that we all know and love. For Valentine's Day this year, I wanted to compile a list of lovely dates that don't break the budget. After all, date nights are more about cultivating memories and deeper intimacy with your spouse over having one lavish night out on the town.
To save money on date nights, we have to re-define what a traditional date is; while while my husband and I were on our debt free journey, dates would take place in the morning, afternoon, or evening and could occur at anytime of the week--not just on a Friday or Saturday night. By changing the dynamic of a standard date, dating become more creative, fun, challenging, but incredibly worthwhile.
HERE ARE THE DATE IDEAS THAT MADE THE LIST
1. Take a walk in your local park. You'd be surprised what a couple of hours in nature can do for the soul as well as for the relationship. We love to take our dogs for a romp in the leaves while giving us time to stretch our lungs, our legs, and catch up on our lives. Bring a picnic basket and make a day of it!
2. Challenge each other with a game of Rummy. I have many fond memories of beating my husband, Michael, in a game of Rummy. No matter the game or the place, healthy competition with your spouse is exciting and gives the winner all the bragging rights. Pull out a bowl of popcorn and a deck of cards, you're all set to go!
3. Get rollin'. One of my favorite past times was taking a Friday or Saturday night and heading out to the skating rink. For as little as $10 a person, you and your best friend can burn calories while taking it back to the good ole' days. Whether you're on ice skates or roller skates, each of you is guarenteed to have a smile on your face.
4. Stargaze. Make homemade hot cocoa, put it in a thermos, and pick a clear, moonless night to go stargazing. Stargazing invites silence, slowing down, beauty, and an opportunity to snuggle in the cold weather. The dogs will love it, too.
5. Have a dream meeting. I'm sure you're asking, what in the world is a dream meeting? This kind of meeting takes place in the comfort of your own home with a bottle of wine, a notepad, and pen (or laptop, if you prefer!). The two of you sit down and discuss your dreams or goals for the next one, three, or five years. Write them down as you go; it's a joyous exercise that excites your soul, sparks connection with your spouse, and sets the seeds of your journey for years to come. Once you're done, you can print them out and hang them on the fridge to look upon everyday. Dream meetings can happen once a month, yearly, or as often as you'd like.
5. Cook a new recipe together. My husband and I both love to cook, but get tired of making the same things over and over. Choose a more complicated recipe (in technique, not necessarily in number of ingredients!) to help each other with. It promotes bonding, togetherness, and working together as a team to complete a task. Want to make it more romantic? Put on your favorite love songs and light a few candles to set the mood.
6. Go to the Farmer's Market. The farmer's market in our area is open year round and carries seasonal as well as local items to peruse. It's a great spot to pick up local product, grab a fresh squeezed lemonade, or pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers from a local nursery. Prices are usually more economical than at the grocery store, it's an experience of getting out of the house, enjoying the fresh air, and seeing what your local vendors have to offer. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning with the one you love!
7. Hit up a matinee. Seeing a movie in theaters has become so expensive. It's easily a $50 night out, not including dinner! Head out to see your favorite flick during the afternoon instead and save yourself some cash. Don't forget to eat beforehand and stock your favorite snacks in your bag, and you're sure to make Sunday afternoon more enjoyable for you both and easier on your wallet.
8. Spend a night at the theater. Local theater is an awesome way to be entertained, support your local theater, and spend a night out with your favorite person. Each show often has a pay-what-you-can night where you can buy tickets at a reduced rate; thus, giving you guys the much deserved night out together without overspending on entertainment.
9. Walk around the city. We don't live right in the city, rather a tiny town, but we will sometimes just walk around 'downtown' to explore, check out a new bar, or have dessert at a local coffee spot. It's nice to find all the hidden gems together while getting to know our town and a little exercise, too.
10. Volunteer. What better way to not spend money than to donate your time doing something worthwhile? Volunteering makes you feel great, helps others in need, and creates a shared hobby with your loved one.
11. Grab a coffee. Coffee and conversation always go hand in hand. Opt for a drip coffee (or tea!) and you'll have an inexpensive morning out for just a few bucks.
12. Local city events. Check your cities local website for free events you can attend throughout the year. You may be surprised at the the kinds of things your city offers; who knows you'll likely get out of your comfort zone, do something new, or make new friends--all with your best friend!
14. Take a stroll at the art museum. There is no better enjoyment than being surrounded by endless beauty and silence that is an art museum. Even if your spouse doesn't love museums, they can't help appreciate the rich history, art, and sculpture your local art museum has to offer.
What are your Valentine's Day plans this year? Are you on a budget? I'd love to know what other inexpensive date ideas you have or have created with your spouse in the past.
Thanks for reading!