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Cheap Date Night Ideas

By April 26, 2010January 27th, 2014Culture, Encouragement, Family, Marriage

Cheryl and I believe in date nights. We actually believe in date days and date weekends and date vacations. Obviously, with our children mostly grown, stretching dates over several days has become easier for us to do, but the point is we have made a practice of spending quality and quantity time together on a regular basis all of our marriage. It’s perhaps been a key to protecting and growing our relationship.

I often hear objections from couples that they can’t afford to go out much. I understand. Babysitting alone is expensive. One idea I know several couples do is to partner with other couples to share the responsibility of keeping kids while the other couple has a date night. Your children enjoy playing with other children and you get to have a date night without the expense of a babysitter.

As for the date itself, it doesn’t have to be expensive. The goal isn’t to spend a lot of money…the goal is to spend uninterrupted time together as a couple. I hope this post will encourage you to get creative in spending quality time together.

Here’s where you, the reader, can help other marriages.

What’s your cheapest and best date night idea?  What are some ideas we may not have thought about yet? Share your suggestions as a comment so others can learn from you.

Could your marriage benefit from some couple time?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 55 Comments

  • Keep God First says:

    Take the children to Awana, eat homemade Italian dinner in the car in the parking lot, and watch a movie like Fireproof on DVD from the library on the laptop computer on the dashboard.

  • Gracia says:

    I love sharing a ride with my husband when he's on the way to the office (I'm a housewife), we share a lot in the car along the way. When he stops at his office I will shop or visit my father, then I'll pick up my husband again for lunch, just the two of us because the kids are still @ school. Some other day, the schedule changed to picking him up at the office and we have a simple dine out. It builds the relationship, indeed.

    • ronedmondson says:

      That's a great way to spend time together and probably helps your schedule as well. Love it.

  • Chad says:

    I'm amazed at how important "talking" can be! 🙂

  • crystin says:

    Free hors d'oeuvres at a new museum opening, or gallery showings! Chic and cheap. Plus, you can learn about art, history, whatever, so… Bonus! Bring a picnic to the park or beach in nice weather, most towns offer free exhibits or fun things all the time. I live in a tiny town, so small there isn't even a mall; yet we have free airshows on the base, free christmas light shows during the winter.

  • Rocco Capra says:

    My wife and I were talking about this last night and we remembered the time we were walking through Wal-Mart and a movie just started on the TV's in the AV department. Yes, we did, we sat on the floor in one of the isles and watched it all the way through!! What fun!

  • Rebecca matt says:

    We like to walk the greenway or just go to Dunbar Cave! Grab a $1 ice cream cone from McDs and head down to the riverwalk…doesn’t have to cost $$$$

  • Holly says:

    we are board game and Rock Band Junkies! We enjoy cooking dinner together, drinking wine and talking. My favorite date is ice cream!!!

  • Pam Farrel says:

    Pix date– go around town with camera and take pix of you and date in lots of places– turn into email cards, postcards, posts for FB, tweets– texts– make the date last by sending the pix to each other afterward!

    Raid kids toy box: fly kites, play board game, skateboard!

    On our website we have 25 free or nearly free date ideas: www/
    and in Red Hot Monogamy book we have 200 Red Hot ideas!

  • @sumyunguy says:

    Stroll around Costco people watching, then a couple hot dogs at the food court = $4!!

  • Faye says:

    In Knoxville, if one has a Sam's membership, you can dinner on the prowl… then slip off to the dollar theater for an inexpensive movie with a bucket of popcorn.

    When our boys were home, we would oftentimes just make some coffee after dinner and while they were getting homework done & ready for bed, we'd sit on the porch and "visit" with each other.

  • Tiffany Hellerstedt says:

    a Netflix movie and a Little Caesars $5 pizza! yummy! 🙂

  • Anita Soler says:

    Sushi or fondue – ordered in. The rule is, you can't feed yourself. Watch what happens!!!

  • I'll second a picnic in the park. Make some food that you love to eat with your hands, get the kids off to school and eat your lunch together surrounded by nature.

    Think also about dessert out. When we were first married, dinner out was, budget-wise, almost always out of the question and if we did, dessert was unaffordable. The problem was that some of our favorite restaurants made fantastic desserts so we made a change of plans. Eat dinner at home and go out for dessert. It's way cheaper.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I love the eat dinner at home and go out for dessert idea. Conversation always seems better when you start the conversation with a full stomach.

  • Great resource I was not familiar with. Thanks for sharing

  • @a_acmb says:

    take an evening picnic in the park, feed the ducks, listen to the birds, talk, watch the sun set.. then take a slow drive home with the windows down playing jazz music thru the speakers 🙂

  • Russ N. says:

    We make a date-day out of the first day back to school in September. We each schedule the day off of work as a vacation day or paid-time-off. we might go shopping, go on a picnic, go hiking, “talk” or whatever, but we’ve got hours and hours together for very little money.

  • Casey Graham says:

    How about flying to Chicago and walking around the streets till late into the night and visiting two fun churches? LOL

  • @cevra says:

    It doesn't cost much to make a "fancy dinner" at home (it could be spagetti!) and serve it on the "fancy dishes" as a candlelight dinner. I let the kids help me setup the table and clean up – they were excited! Then they went to a friends' place so that we could be alone! We ate the dinner slowly and talked and "talked" 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    We have young kids and want dates on more nights that we can get/afford a sitter. Sometimes we will make our own coffee house in our living room (just by switching pillows around, playing coffeehouse music in the background) and drinking specialty teas or coffee that we've gotten just for our date nights. We love it since we inevitably head to Starbucks to wind down our real date nights anyway!

  • Jessi says:

    My husband and I enjoy picnics and running/hiking at our local park. We also both love photography so we often pack up our cameras and drive around looking for photo-ops. Not everyone likes hiking / photography, but I think some of the most fulfilling times that Bill and I have together are when we are working as a team, whether it be on a project around the house, exercising, a hobby that we both love, etc.

  • Rocco Capra says:

    My cheap date…

    1. Take the kids to Grandma's for "Grandma Camp" (Spend the night at Grandma's).
    2. Get some cheese crackers and wine (don't cheap out on the wine!) (or whatever fancy foods you like, that are cheap).
    3. Get an old romance movie from the public library (It's FREE!! – well, as long as you don't take it back late).
    4. Put the TV (or computer screen since we don't have a TV) on the floor.
    5. Throw some pillows and blankets on the floor.
    6. Watch the movie while you cuddle, eat the cheese and crackers, and drink the wine.
    7. When the movie is over you can talk (see comment above) *wink*

  • Bob

    I'm sure there will be some very creative ideas posted here. There are many things to do that do not cost a lot (or anything). One that has a dual purpose for me and my wife is when we both know we need to talk – just talk – away from home. There are many places we have tried but the best place, for us, is to go to our church parking lot. We've walked around the property and sat and talked or we just sit in the car on a nice evening with the windows down and…

  • Mike Hasley says:

    Find ideas in Facebook. For example, there's a group called 365 fun things to do around Richmond. Most of the items mentioned are cheap or free. I've seen other cities used in that title. Maybe you can find yours.