Cheap Dates- Or Dating on a Budget

We have all heard how important it is to spend quality time with our spouse/significant other. Yes, we usually enjoy it once we are out of the house, but it is so hard to get out of the house. Especially if you have kids. Especially if you’re on a budget. My husband and I are currently going through this. We have two precious girls, and it’s hard to leave them to go out on a date. When we really need a date night, sometimes it doesn’t seem worth the money. We live about 45 miles from Oklahoma City. If we want to go into the city to dinner and a movie, it’s just so expensive. A date in Bricktown (which is an area near downtown OKC for my non-Okie readers) would include $10-$20 to park, $50-$60  for dinner, and at about another $30 for movie tickets. That’s so $90-$110 on top of 90 miles of driving! It becomes expensive really fast!

I was needing to come up with some ideas and I wanted to share them with you. We haven’t actually done any of these yet, but we will!!

Picnic- This will  have to wait until spring, but a nice little picnic in a park, by a lake, in the backyard… wherever you want would be a fun and very inexpensive date! You don’t have to have a fancy wicker picnic basket with two hinged openings… although that would be cute and nostalgic! All you really need is a blanket, a basket or bag (reusable grocery bags would work great for this!) and a meal. You could go all out and make a nice dinner, or you could do finger foods. There is a show on the Food Network where the host put together fried chicken salad sandwiches and lemonade. They were so cute! I heard another person describe a picnic by the ocean (yeah, I live in OK. There are not oceans here) where they just had some cheese and crackers and single-serve bottles of wine. Super easy!

Outdoor Movie- I thought it might be cool to set up an outdoor movie at home, but projectors are not cheap! I even looked up rentals, but it’s still pretty pricey to rent a projector… so for this one, you will be at the mercy of your location. Some towns may do an outdoor movie night as a special event. You should check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any such events in your area. There are also still drive-in theaters around and they are usually pretty inexpensive for admission. There is one in OKC that we really enjoy going to, of course it’s not a year-round thing.

Dancing- If you have a VFW in your town, check which nights they have dances. It could be really fun! There will probably be quite a few more “experienced” couples there to hang out with, and it will definitely be cheap! They may serve dinner or they may let you bring in snacks.

Driving- It would be fun to go test drive some cars, even if you have absolutely no intention of buying a new car. Test drive your dream car. Test drive your honey’s dream car. Go for an ice cream cone after and I bet you’ll have a great time!

Run- or walk. Train for a 5K race together. You may be runners, you may be walkers- it doesn’t really matter. You’ll feel better knowing that you’re getting healthier together!

Backyard Camping- Set up a tent in the backyard. Roast some marshmallows, make some s’mores and watch a movie on your tablet- just the two of you- or the whole family. Try to find different constellations. Then you could sleep outside, or choose to go back in.

Go to a baseball game- Baseball is probably one of the least expensive sports to watch- especially if you have a Triple A team in your area! Buy the cheapest seats they have and just enjoy the atmosphere, the game, and each other!

Go fishing, cook what you catch. This one is going to be longer than just a couple hours. Go fishing in the morning or afternoon. Take a picnic lunch or some snacks and spend the day at the lake/pond catching your dinner. Later, back at home, have a nice fish dinner. If you don’t really know what to do with the fish you catch, ask your Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator. I bet she can find out for you!

It doesn’t really matter what you do. What is important is spending some time having fun together! Let me know if you have any other inexpensive date ideas, and let me know if you do any of these! I love hearing from you!

This is Husbee and me at a baseball game back in 2012!

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