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Dane and I try to make sure we have at least one date night per week in our house. Our day-to-day gets pretty busy for both of us, so having a set day each week where we get to connect with each other is very important. When you hear the term date night, it can bring about ideas of an expensive night out or a fancy dinner, but I’m here to tell you – we don’t always have the budget for that. Sure, we enjoy dinner out, going to the movies and hitting the town every now and then, but in an effort to save money, sometimes we have to get creative on the cheap. In fact, part of our #SummerBucketList was to save money for some big fall trips we have coming up, so it was our mission to make cheap date nights fun. Let me just go on record – day dates and at-home date night ideas can be just as fun! Today I’m sharing 6 inexpensive date ideas for when you’re trying to save money. Dane and I have tested them all out for the fun factor and honestly – the sunset picnic combo won out as our favorite. Don’t worry – I’m not suggesting things like renting a movie or playing cards – sure, those are fun, but you can find that date idea anywhere. If you’re looking for some fun dates with your spouse or significant other, today’s cheap date ideas are for you!
6 Inexpensive Date Ideas For When You’re Trying To Save Money
Sunset Happy Hour
We have lived in Hawaii for over half a decade and sunset happy hours are our JaM (pun fully intended). There is nothing better than skipping out of work a little bit early on a Friday, grabbing our favorite bottle of wine and picking one of the best sunset spots to kick off the weekend together. We love the opportunity to unwind, share our days, plan what we want or need to do that weekend and just kind of relax. Honestly, the best part is that we aren’t trying to wrangle dogs or worry about them jumping headfirst into the water! It really helps that the sunsets in Hawaii never disappoint – every single night is something completely different. Usually we pack a couple easy snacks to munch on while we sip and we always end up asking ourselves “why don’t we do this more often?!”
Have A Picnic
This idea piggybacks a little off the first one, but having a picnic instead of going out to eat can be a really inexpensive way to enjoy a meal together without spending a fortune at a restaurant. Inspired by the delicious bottles of JaM Cellars that showed up on my doorstep, I wanted to surprise Dane with a fun date night after a particularly hellish work week. There is a delicious pizza food truck on the North Shore that we both love (it’s only open Thursday – Saturday) and I thought it would be nice to order a pizza, bring our favorite bottle of JaM Cabernet and toast to the end of the week.
We really lucked out, because the park we chose to go to wound up being pretty empty, the wait for the pizza was not long (half 3 cheese for Dane, half goat cheese and onions for me) and we got to have a really relaxing picnic dinner together, just chatting about what we wanted to do the rest of the weekend. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be absolutely wonderful – that’s the best part!
We wound up loving this bottle of JaM (think rich berries and plums in terms of flavor) and were happy to see that we could find it at our local Target and it didn’t require hunting it down at a fancy liquor store in town.
Are you and your significant other passionate about a certain cause? Spend time together giving back! Here in Hawaii, Dane and I have given our time to the SPCA and a few military-related volunteer days that surrounded races, Wounded Warriors and Fisher House.
Go For A Hike/Day Date
If you didn’t already know, going out during the day is a pretty great way to save money. An easy way to capitalize on this is to go for a hike (or another free activity that you enjoy together!) and follow it up with lunch or drinks out. Dane and I enjoy hiking in the morning hours before the sun gets too hot here, so either brunch or lunch out at the end is a nice motivation to keep going 🙂 If going out after is not an option, pack a small lunch at home and bring a bottle of wine from JaM Cellars to make it a picnic date at the summit!
At-Home Cooking Challenge
This is a fun one that my neighbor was telling me about and once tested, wound up being better than I anticipated. It might be best for couples who aren’t afraid of a culinary challenge, but could be equally enjoyable for anyone….just have a sense of humor! Each person assigns the other 5 ingredients that they need to use to come up with a recipe. It works best if one of you assigns ingredients for a main course and the other assigns ingredients for a dessert or appetizer. Then, that person gets to work in the kitchen! We made it easy on one another with ingredients that came together for delicious food (see also: pasta and cake), but I have a feeling that giving weird ingredients could wind up being a laugh-fest and make for some great memories. If you are assigning dinner ingredients, don’t forget to add a bottle of JaM Cellars on there to pair it with 🙂
Explore Somewhere New
Dane is one of those people that loves finding new-to-us places, marking them down in a big notepad list he keeps on his phone and then sharing them with me when you’re thinking of our next adventure. The best part of this is that since they’re all places we’ve never been, it’s like discovering an entirely new area of the island or seeing something we didn’t know was there before. This weekend, we found a new beach park (free), set up our chairs (free) and opened a bottle of Butter midday to enjoy as we watched the waves..in total privacy! That almost never happens in Hawaii, so a beach to ourselves was a total reason to celebrate. I love a white wine for daytime, so we chose JaM Butter, a bold taste with hints of stone fruit and lemon.
What is your favorite inexpensive date idea? I am (clearly) a fan and always open to suggestions!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.