(Updated on July 13, 2019)
A few weeks ago, a colleague mentioned that his date night cost him over $100 for an evening dinner and taxi ride. How much does your date night usually cost? I've witnessed some date night expenses exceeding over $200 for an extravagant dinner.
While I am not advocating against spending this much on an evening for your special someone, I am advocating that if you're not budgeting correctly, this expenditure can set you back.
So why would anyone spend over $200 on dinner? As men, we tend to believe we need to impress the women in our lives. Such impressions include gifts, fancy evenings, or pretending to be someone other than yourself.
In reality, according to Psychology Today, "women want to be desired" and be courted. So stop worrying about trying to impress her, but desire her.
Not every date night has to break your budget. In the below article, you will discover 12 Affordable Date Night Ideas that are budget friendly and will help you desire your significant other to show you care, and you want to spend time together.
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Two essential concepts must exist within a great date night. Before you take on one of the twelve ideas below, ensure you are getting to know each other (even more important for married couples) and have energy (boring date nights without excitement and adventure can be stale).
Let's dive in!
#1 Search Online for Calendar of Events
A terrific way to mix things up and find new events are reviewing your local area's calendar of events. Most large cities have a website posting events by dates to help you plan your perfect evening.
Find an affordable event that is budget friendly, has energy, and includes a way of talking and sharing.
An example of a great night may look something like this. Plan an evening to visit a museum. This creates an atmosphere of learning more about each other's likes and dislikes while opening opportunities for further discussions. Follow this with a wine bar visit.
#2 Groupon Events
At the top of Groupon's title bar, you will find "Things To Do." From boat tours to concerts, you can affordably find hundreds, if not thousands, of events to attend that are budget friendly.
Many of the events can range anywhere from 20-80% off the ticketed price. That is a considerable saving from full retail. For example, a comedy club had 33% off ticketed prices meaning you and a date can go out for a total cost of $29.80. Throw in a decent meal for $30, and you have a $60 fun evening.
#3 Home Game Night
A terrific way to build your relationship is to work as a team and to communicate towards a common goal. Consider inviting some friends over to enjoy a fun game night evening.
Encourage your friends to bring their snack of choice, and you can keep your expenses low by ordering pizza or heading to your local grocery store for chips and salsa, snacks, or other related food items.
When hosting a game night, you should consider some essentials before an event. Make sure you have a large area in your home or outside on a back patio (weather pending), decent lighting, and great music.
Some recommended games that are currently popular are:
Codenames Board Game
What's Your Like
# 4 Dinner & a Movie (at Home)
Guys...listen up! This isn't your "Get Out of Jail Free Card!" Details matter in this one. Your role is to prepare a dish for your partner. When preparing a meal, make sure you are planning correctly. Do not think that cooking up some Grilled Cheese sandwiches and soup will cut it.
Creating a delicious meal is easy as long as you plan accordingly. I recommend using PlateJoy for healthy meal options that will outline which items you need to prepare.
One of my favorite ways to get recipes is researching YouTube. I have a few favorite chefs that whip up some delicious meals at affordable prices.
Next, dress the table appropriately with silverware, flowers, soft music, and a bottle of wine (if you prefer).
Finally, choose an appropriate movie (NO ACTION FLICKS!). The movie selection is to enjoy each other's company, so find something you will BOTH enjoy.
# 5 LivingSocial.com
Much like Groupon, LivingSocial.com has additional offers to save you money on outings from bowling to fine dining. With packages for two, you can easily plan an evening that involves food, drinks, and play.
# 6 City Parks
You might be surprised, but city parks are a great way to catch a free concert or a free movie. Usually, on Friday or Saturday nights, a local group, domestic corporation, or neighborhood will host a movie night event.
Such events are not only a great way to do something out of the box and different, but is also a great way to improve your relationships with your neighbors and friends. Check your local listings and local Facebook groups to explore your options.
# 7 Adventure Date
One of my favorite day dates is to do something outdoorsy together like kayaking, hiking, or walking through farmer's markets. Being outside in the sun charges your energy and is a great way to reduce stress.
While hiking or whatever your adventure may be, look for ways to communicate and learn more about each other.
Visit websites such as REI to learn about outdoor adventures or visit National Park websites.
# 8 Church Events
Local churches will not only host Parents Night Out where you can drop off your kids with responsible babysitters, but churches occasionally will host events and movies as well. It is a great way to connect with your community while also having a cheap date night.
My home church in San Antonio hosted Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, Christian concerts, and family events. While some may find this dull and annoying, it can be a great way to improve your household finances together while removing any tension that may arise between you two because the course acts as an intermediary.
What is your local community hosting?
# 9 Roller/Ice-Skating
What better way to remind you of being a kid than skating. This is an affordable evening that you can enjoy a few hours together followed by a cup of coffee, tea, or wine.
# 10 Go Camping
Some of my best memories are going camping. Think of cooking s'mores around a campfire, walking the trails, checking out a new area, etc.
If you do not have a camper or RV, consider buying a tent, renting a cabin or RV.
You can browse online for a variety of local campsites and campgrounds that are affordable.
# 11 Have an Ice-Cream Date
After having a home-cooked dinner, go out for a delicious ice-cream cone, sundae, or milkshake. This can be a great way to communicate with your date while removing any distractions from home.
Chase this delicious treat with a walk around town, park, or the beach.
# 12 Host a BBQ
Much like hosting a game night, having a BBQ with friends can be a fun evening for you and your date. Consult with your partner or spouse and draft a list of friends to invite while asking them to bring a dish.
When it comes to date nights, you do not have to break the bank to have a fun evening. Above we covered twelve different ways to have an affordable evening. Be sure to check out my YouTube video for other great affordable date ideas.