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Summer Dating on the Cheap

My husband and I were friends long before we got married, so instead of the awkward dating period, we just hung out for about 10 years before we decided that being drinking buddies had transitioned to something more meaningful.

So now I’m into date night. But I have to be honest – there is nothing more frustrating to me than going to a restaurant, spending an outlandish amount of money and be served subpar food. Because that’s when my hubby smiles at me, tells me that he loves my cooking and why should we waste money when I could make something better in the comfort of our own home? (And I admit that he has a point and he does dishes, so I can’t complain that the man loves my cooking.)

So what are some good, cheap ideas for date night? I got this list of 20 dates under $20 from The Nest, this is a website that’s geared towards newlyweds.

As much as this website is geared towards making me want to buy stuff, they have some really good ideas that are broken up by category (i.e. – sporty dates, at-home dates, etc.) and range from cheap ($) to around $20 ($$$).

Here are some of the dates I look forward to having this summer with my hubby.

1) Picnic in the Park – One of the best gifts I got for a wedding shower was from my cousin Cheryl, who bought me the loveliest picnic basket and filled it with all of the things needed for a successful picnic (i.e. – plastic plates, plastic glasses, silverware, water guns, etc.) One of these first weekends, I’m going to take hubby on a picnic. Pack up some good crusty bread, grab one of the multiple bottles of wine that we received as a wedding gift, make a pasta salad and enjoy the great outdoors. And hopefully no ants.

2) Support your local baseball team – I lived in Wisconsin for a time and had the fortune of moving there right after the Brewers built their new stadium. I went to several games with my friends and even the cheap seats were good seats. I’m not as fortunate in the great state of Minnesota – yes, they have cheap seats, but it’s a pain in the arse to find parking in Minneapolis, so I’m getting my outdoor baseball fix closer to home. Our town has a summer collegiate baseball team and for $5 a ticket, my hubby can “take me out to the ballgame.”

It’s odd – I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I do love going to live baseball games. Just one caveat – a cheap date can turn spendy in a hurry if you’re hitting the concession stands.

3) Become one with nature. I’ll be honest, after going to my favorite park last weekend and getting my butt kicked by breathlessness, I don’t know if I’ll be bringing my hubby hiking with me until I’m back to my fighting shape, but many counties have wonderful resources when it comes to parks and hiking trails. Just avoid the very scary Port-A-Potty at the Cannon River Wilderness Area in Rice County, Minnesota. It looks like someone might have hit it with a truck and although the door locks, there’s enough of a crack to show other park goers Paris and France. Not that I’m talking from experience or anything.

4) Town festivals/fairs – I’m lucky – our town has an event called “Thursdays on First” where they shut down parts of downtown and have free music, food vendors and local artists displaying their works.

I tapped hubby to get a couple ideas – here’s what he came up with:

– Board games (I think he mentioned this so I am compelled to note that he’s kicked my butt multiple times at Scrabble.)
– Find a planetarium
– Coffee at a bookstore

Finally – the best date I’ve been on in awhile was a recent movie night that my husband orchestrated. We had a gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants (a wedding gift from one of his co-workers), so we went and had burgers and then watched “Strange Brew.” I had never watched that movie in my life and hubby considered that a travesty. The next movie night is my turn – and it’s either “Sense and Sensibility” or “Twilight.” 🙂 All is fair on date night.

What’s your favorite cheap date night?

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2 thoughts on “Summer Dating on the Cheap

  1. Now that we have kids – and no babysitters within 2 hours, our dates include the whole family. Today we spent the day at the local beach. Cost=3.75 worth of ice cream to lure the kids home. Other favorites are going for a walk or bike ride and popping some corn and watching home movies. Our official dates without the kids tend to be more pricy because they are more ‘events’ that happen 3-4 times a year – concerts, etc.

  2. I suppose a night of wine and playing video games may or may not be considered a “date” by some…but it’s cheap and fun 🙂

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