Just because you’re trying to save money or live a more frugal lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have regular date nights with your significant other.
In fact, it’s a good idea to make date nights a priority and find a way to fit them into your budget.
It’s so important that you don’t get too focused on your current goals, side hustles, or even just day to day life, and forget about nurturing your relationship.
Date nights are a great way to spend some quality time with your partner, so find something that you both enjoy and make them a regular thing.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for 30 years or if you’ve only just moved in together, everyone should be able to enjoy regular date nights without blowing the budget.
If you’re looking for some great frugal date night ideas that are both fun and easy on your bank balance, read on!
Here are a few date night ideas that won’t cost much at all:
1. Enjoy a fancy three-course dinner… at home
Next time you’re feeling a little fancy, you should enjoy a beautiful three-course dinner…in the comfort of your own home.
This one is all about making an effort and spoiling each other without it costing a fortune, so get dressed up in some nice clothes, light a few candles, put on some music, and dust off your good dinnerware.
Then you’re going to head into the kitchen and cook dinner together.
You can try cooking something new for at least one of your courses – maybe even pick a different cuisine each time you have a fancy dinner at home.
If you’re lucky, you might even find something you love enough that you want to incorporate it into your regular weekly meal plan.
These kinds of date nights are great because they can still be inexpensive, you get to try something new, and it shows your partner that you care enough to put in a bit of effort.
We all live busy lives, and sometimes a little effort can mean a lot.
2. Take advantage of Happy Hour
If your idea of a great date night is having a meal that you don’t have to cook yourself, this is still an option, even if you’re trying to be frugal.
If you want to eat out, but not spend a heap of money doing so, take advantage of Happy Hour at your favorite restaurant.
If you can be a little bit flexible with your meal time, Happy Hour is a great way to save on eating out.
Many restaurants offer 50% off or more on certain drinks and food during happy hour – just check out the menu before you go to make sure that you’ll both find something that you like, as the Happy Hour menu can be a bit limited.
3. Go see a movie
No, this one isn’t a mistake.
Seeing a movie at the cinema can turn into an expensive date, especially if you include snacks from the Concession stand.
But it doesn’t have to be.
There are some great ways to save on the cost of going to the cinema, particularly if you’re a regular.
One clever way to save is by purchasing discounted gift cards for your local cinema. Depending where you buy them from, you can often get 15-20% off the sticker price. It’s a good idea to buy digital gift cards so that you don’t have to wait for them to arrive by mail.
If this sounds like something you’d like to try, check out CardCash.
Buying discounted gift cards is a great way to save on something that you were planning to buy anyway.
In addition to my cinema gift cards, I’ve also found great discounts on brands like Old Navy, Target, and Coldstone Creamery.
If you want to save more on your date night, I highly recommend checking out CardCash first to see what kind of discounts you can get.
And one final saving tip for a visit to the cinema…
For goodness sake, don’t buy your snacks at the Concession stand. The mark up is ridiculous. Instead, bring some snacks from home or stop by your local grocery or convenience store on the way there and grab some.
You can easily save $15 to $20 on the cost of your movie date night just by bringing your own snacks, so avoid the Concession stand and put that money towards something more useful.
4. Learn Salsa
Many bars, clubs, or dance studios offer free salsa dancing lessons or live music dance nights.
If this is something that you think you would enjoy, find your nearest free salsa night and give it a try – it’s a great way to enjoy a night out with your significant other and get some exercise in too.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be salsa either.
There are lots of different partner dance styles available, so find one that interests you.
Even if it’s not free, many dance studios offer discounted introductory lessons for new members so you can give it a try without breaking your budget.
5. Have a picnic at sunset (or sunrise)
Pack yourselves a picnic and head to your favorite place to watch the sunset (or sunrise if you can handle the early mornings).
This is a great opportunity to get some beautiful photos too, so don’t forget to take advantage of the great lighting to snap a few extra memories of your date.
If you’re not in a hurry to be elsewhere, you can take a blanket and stay a little longer in the evening and gaze up at the stars as they begin to shine.
6. Roll the dice and let Groupon decide
If you like surprises or you’re just not that great at coming up with frugal date night ideas, Groupon is a great resource.
If you’re stuck for ideas for date night, head on over to Groupon and check out the deals that are close to you.
You can filter by category if you have an idea of what you’d like to do, or just leave it open and browse everything that is available near you.
It’s a smart idea to have a budget in mind before you start browsing because it’s easy to end up spending too much if you’re not clear on your limit.
And if you find something that looks good, make sure you read the fine print before you purchase. Don’t get stuck with blackout dates that don’t work for you or a voucher that doesn’t give you what you thought it would.
7. Plan your next year of frugal or free date night ideas
If you always find yourselves struggling to come up with ideas for date night, why not have a date night for planning your date nights.
That’s a lot of date nights.
This is a great idea if you’re having one of those nights where you just want to stay at home, but you still want to do something fun with your significant other.
Why not cook yourselves a nice dinner (or prepare some tasty snacks), open a bottle of wine, and plan out a bunch of date night ideas for the next 6-12 months.
Not only will this be a fun activity in itself, but it will also ensure that you’re prepared for future date nights.
To get started, think about how often you want to have date nights, then set some criteria.
Maybe you want to have one date night per month at home and one out on the town, and every 4th date night, you might want to try something new.
Once you have your criteria, get planning!
If you’re feeling creative, you can write your ideas down and create monthly date night envelopes with your ideas inside.
That way you can open an envelope at the start of each month and have all of your date night ideas ready to go, and all you need to do is take care of the logistics.