Money shouldn't have to get in the way of you and your date having a good time together. That said, sometimes it can feel like the main solution to saving money is just staying in and twiddling your thumbs or watching television. There are plenty of other activities to do together that are fun, cost-effective, and that might even pull you outside your usual routine. You might just surprise yourself and find a new activity you turn into a recurring date night! Just pick and choose what works best for you. Some of these date ideas can even be combined together to make it a more epic date!
1. Make a life list
A life list is basically like a bucket list, but for couples. Just write down different events or activities you'd like to do together sometime in your lives. These could be for the short-term or long-term. Maybe you want to go see a certain band, but don't have the money for it yet. Put it on the list as something to look forward to someday! Plus, this gives your significant other great ideas of the kind of dates and activities that you appreciate.
2. Video games
Whether you play a multi-player game together or alternate playing a single-player game, video games can be a thrilling and competitive experience. Maybe you shoot for an old-school style of gaming and bring out the Wii to face off with tennis. Or you can always play a more modern game for the PS4 or XBOX — there are lots of great ones out there.
3. Card and board games
Sometimes taking it back to the basics is a refreshing change of pace. Card games and board games are fun ways to interact with your person face-to-face! Bring on the Monopoly!
4. Spa day
I'm not talking about going to a spa and paying a buttload of money to get pampered. You can easily do this by yourselves at home! Get some massage oil or lotion and give each other massages. Soak in a bubble bath. Slather on some face masks. Do mani-pedi's — you can still trim your nails and take care of your cuticles even if nail polish isn't your thing.
Find a recipe you both like, grab the ingredients, and get to work in the kitchen together! This can be even more adventurous if you try a tricky recipe or one neither of you have done before. If you have enough time on your hands, make it from scratch! If time's an issue, just buy a mix at your local grocery store to simplify the process.
6. Movie night
Agree on a movie or if you have time for two, choose one you like and one they like and watch both! You can raid your existing DVD collections or if you have a subscription, see what's on Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu. Another option is to go to a movie theater for a matinee movie or on one of their discount days. The Reel Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and The Village Cinema all have discounted ticket prices on Tuesdays. It's also worth it to check out the prices at your local drive-in theater. The Terrace Drive-In in Caldwell, Idaho costs $8 per person, and that's for two movies!
Spending time together helping others is never a bad way to spend your time. There are plenty of causes that could use help, like humane societies/pet shelters, hospitals, or homeless shelters.
8. Browse thrift stores/Go antiquing
Do you want to go shopping together but your budget is tight? Shop in thrift stores — you're bound to find unique clothes that are your style. Antiquing is also a great idea if you want to find cheap trinkets or items for your living spaces.
9. Take a walk or hike
If you feel like you've been cooped up or you just want to do a light exercise together, go for a walk or take a hike. Boise's Table Rock is a fun location to hike, plus there are different lengths and difficulty levels you can choose to get to the top where it overlooks the city.
10. Be productive
Sometimes there is too much homework or too many house projects to be able to take a break. Here's a solution: work on it together! You can work on homework alongside each other. Having a person around you that's working is a great motivator to keep going and resist getting distracted. Of course, working on projects together can be a fun way to bond and to get things done faster.
11. Ask questions
Whether your relationship is new and there are lots of unknowns about each other, or you've been seeing each other awhile, you can tailor fun or serious questions toward them to get to know more. You can ask lighter questions like "Who is your celebrity crush?" or deeper ones like "What does your dream life look like?". Asking intimate questions can also be a good way to go about this if you're both in the mood for that type of thing.
Pack up some fruit, cheese, bread, or whatever you deem worthy picnic food and spread out a blanket. Use fancy little flute glasses for juice or champagne. Make it as simple or extravagant as you want. If it's not ideal weather outside, just keep the picnic inside and spread it out on the living room floor!
13. Learn something new
Is there a language you both want to learn? Work on Duolingo or another language-learning application/book alongside each other! Or maybe you've always wanted to learn guitar and your partner plays guitar. Get them to give you lessons! Whatever you want to learn, you can do it together.
14. Blanket fort
Some might call building a blanket fort childish. I happen to think it can be a lot of fun, although I've been told I can be a childish person. Use whatever furniture, blankets, and sheets you have around to build the ultimate blanket fort and hide inside away from the world for awhile. Grab snacks and your laptop and lie back to watch a movie.