Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that sometimes it can become difficult to come up with new, exciting date ideas. It’s even harder to come up with them when you’re broke or the weather outside isn’t great. So lately, I’ve had friends come up to me asking about what kinds of dates they can have that are not only cheap but can be done inside. Now, I’m no dating expert, but I’m excellent at coming up with fun and frugal ideas that add romance and spice to people’s relationships. So, if you and your significant other have been doing the same old thing due to insufficient funds, busy schedules, or have just run out of ideas, then let me share some tips and ideas for your next date night!
Tips for designing the perfect date:
Before you actually go on your date, there’s a few things you should consider:
- Is this date going to allow you to communicate with your partner in a meaningful way? If the answer is no, you should incorporate time to talk to your partner on a deeper level. For example, if you’re going out to the movies, it can be difficult to create time to talk (don’t talk in the theater, that’s just rude!). Instead, try going out for a long walk after the movie or grabbing a drink (if you’re underage, grab a coffee/soda/milkshake/anything other than alcohol). If it’s too late at night for that, incorporate talking time before the movie. Great examples are going window-shopping together. This is a great way to talk about your likes and dislikes and naturally brings up topics that can spark conversations.
- Is this date the appropriate level of intimacy? If you’re just starting to get to know someone, it’s probably not the best idea to go on a double date with your best friends. Instead, try going out for coffee, it’s a classic for a reason. It’s a great way to get to know someone casually. In fact, there’s some research that suggests that if you hold a warm beverage in your hands, it mimics the feeling you get when you’re touched. So, having coffee on a first date can enhance the experience and make you feel closer to the person you’re with!
- What are you looking for out of this date? It’s important to be honest with yourself at this point. If you’re looking for something casual, be upfront with the pers
on you’re seeing, so that there’s no room for confusion. And if you’re looking for something serious, let your partner know that sometime during the date. It opens the door for conversation and makes your intentions and desires clear from the get go. Honesty and communication
and the key to any relationship.
Now that you have some tips on how to create your date, let’s discuss some ideas for dates you can go on in the winter months (or, if you’re from Oregon, October-May).
Cheap and easy date ideas:
- A food date. This could be baking something new together (like sushi!) or something classic, like cookies (yum)! If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try dressing up and making a fancy dinner at home. I recommend a pasta dish since pasta is very cheap and versatile. Fondue is also a fun and easy way to spice up a normal dinner. Although, fondue can be expensive depending on what you pick, so keep that in mind! If you’re up for a challenge, you should try a Chopped challenge with your partner! For those of you who don’t obsessively watch the Food Network (Cupcake wars, anyone?), Chopped is a show where chefs have to make dishes that have to incorporate four weird ingredients. For example, I’ve seen an episode where they had to use gingerbread houses, dragon-fruit, leftovers, and English cucumber to make an entree. Now, I’m not saying to use those ingredients (I mean, they’re pretty crazy) but try using ingredients you wouldn’t normally, especially if you already have them. This is a great way to try new foods and to save some money!
- Watching a movie inside an awesome blanket fort! This is one of my personal favorites because you can be creative with how you design your fort, as well as having some fun while doing it! Plus, it can feel like a secret hideaway right inside your own home. If watching a movie is a bit boring, try acting out a movie together! This one might take a little improv, but it’s sure to bring you out of your comfort zone and bring you closer together.
- Board game night! This can be more than just playing Monopoly or Uno (but, let’s be honest those games are amazing!). If you’re over 21, I suggest adding a little alcohol to the mix. (Sidenote: If you do drink, make sure you do it in a safe area with someone you’re comfortable with and always be safe). If you’re feeling creative, try making up a game together! Even if it doesn’t work, it’s guaranteed to create some laughs and conversation. If you’re like me and my boyfriend, we love to play video games together as well. Although, I wouldn’t suggest Mario Kart; that game tears people apart! (Curse you, Rainbow Road!)
- Make a date jar together. This involves having popsicle sticks (hit up that Dollar Tree!), a sharpie, and a Mason Jar. Sit down with your significant other and write down things you’ve always wanted to go and do together. Then, whenever your next date night comes around, there’s no fighting over what to do! You can simply pull a popsicle stick out with your date idea on it and go for it! If you want to be a little more creative, you can color code them by whether they’re free or not. I’ve had friends do this in the past with great success!
- Go window-shopping together. This is easily one of my favorites because not only do you get to spend some quality time with your partner, but it’s a great way to add some exercise into your day! Often times, when people go and exercise, they aren’t with their significant other. So, by window shopping together, you can easily combine both! Plus, pointing out what you like and dislike creates amazing conversation you might not have otherwise. For example, I wouldn’t have known that my boyfriend likes puzzles if we hadn’t gone window shopping in a bookstore and he saw one! And it’s free; you can’t really beat that!
- Groupon. Now, personally, I haven’t tried this one. However, I’ve had friends who tell me about their experiences with it and it seems to work well. What’s nice about Groupon is that they’re coupons for groups. So, not only will it be cheaper for you to go out somewhere, but you can do it with friends! In addition, Groupons can be for places and things you’ve never even thought about going to, so it can add an element of surprise and adventure for you and your significant other.
- A nature walk. This is another great date idea that combines exercise with quality time! A nature walk can be as simple as going to the park, or you can make a day trip out of it and travel to somewhere you haven’t been. One of my favorite places for a nature walk has been Silver Falls State Park in Oregon. They have beautiful waterfalls all over and cute little nature paths. Just beware, there are some big hills, so bring your walking shoes!
- Go to a local animal shelter. This is easily another favorite of mine. So many animals don’t receive the care and love they desperately need. Back when I was younger, I would love going to local animal shelters and walking the dogs around the park. Or, if you’re into cats, you can always go into the kitten area and play around with them. If you and your partner have been together a long time, it might spark the idea of adopting one (or five, if you’re like me). And if not, then at least you’ll be spending some time with animals that could really use it.
- Take a trip to the Farmer’s Market. Where I’m from, they’re only held on Saturdays, so you’ll need to look into which days are available. But, if you’ve never been, they’re a lot of fun! It’s an amazing look into the community and agriculture around you. Whenever I’ve gone, I always got free samples of homemade bread, cheese, honey, and more! Plus, there’s usually lots of live music and great conversation!
- Take a sleeping bag and pillows and go stargazing! I would recommend only doing this one either in late spring, summer, or early fall as it can be quite cold or rainy. But there’s nothing more romantic than snuggling up with your partner underneath a starry night. I find that some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with people are when we’re out stargazing. I recommend leaving your electronic devices off for this so that you can give your partner your undivided attention. Plus, nothing ruins the moment more than your ringtone of “Turn Down For What” blaring right in the middle of an intimate conversation.
Going on dates doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. As you can see, there’s lots to do without even spending a cent! What’s important for a date is spending quality time with your partner and actively listening to what they have to say. As long as you’re doing that, you’re good to go! We hope you enjoyed these 10 cheap and fun ideas for your next date night! Please share with us any other ideas you have! If you decided to try one of these, let us know how they went! Please like, share, and subscribe, thank you!