Love Don’t Cost A Thing, But Relationships Can Be Expensive!

30 Jun

dateBut they don’t have to be.  There are many ways that we can save money, while splurging on love.  In today’s economy, we are looking to spend as little as possible in all areas of our life, including spending quality time with the one that we love.  I am sure many are wondering what types of things are out there to do that are free, or cost very little.  With a little prior planning and creativity, you can spend quality time, without spending large quantities of money! 

Free or Inexpensive Date Ideas:

Artsy Dates

Free- $ Art Gallery Most art galleries are free, so check out new artists in your area. Free wine is often served on the opening night of exhibits. Cheers!

Free–$$ Local Concerts Check your local paper or its website for free concerts. For shows in the park, pack a picnic so you can dance and dine in the same place.

$-$$ Pottery Painting Okay, you won’t exactly be able to reenact the scene from Ghost at a pottery shop, but you’ll be able to paint funky coffee mugs!

Free Book Reading Check out a local (free!) book reading. Then grab coffee and talk about your latest read.

Free-$ Museums If you have museums in your area, they can be an excellent place to enjoy an inexpensive or free date.  Admission prices are generally low and they often have discounts for special exhibits and local residents. 

Free Summer Live Music Events  Most cities have free live music events on Friday evenings during the summer.  What a great way to unwind…bring your blanket or lounge chairs, a few sandwiches and tea and enjoy the warm summer breeze filled with live tunes.   Don’t forget the bug spray! 

At-Home Dates

Free–$$$ Bathroom Spa Take turns giving each other massages and rinse off all that oil with a bubble bath. Just don’t get too relaxed. Falling asleep really kills the mood! 

Free-$$ Movie Night or Movie Theme Night The Redbox has led to many movie nights in my house.  Put the kids to bed and snuggle up on the couch as you watch an old favorite or something new.   Want to try Movie Night with a slight twist, decide on a theme.  If you’re in the mood for Italian, rent The Godfather and cook up some pasta. Watch Wedding Crashers with slices of cake from your fave bakery.  Pull out Love and Basketball and play a living room game of “one on one”!  Instead of renting, watch one of the many DVDs that are in your home. 

Free-$$ Candle lit Picnic  Stay in and have a romantic dinner by candle light.  Set out a blanket in the living room or even in the back yard and eat.  You can make it as simple, or as fancy as you please.  The main thing is that you are setting the mood and enjoying food!

Free-$ Couples Game Night  Invite a few friends over and pull out the games- Scattegories, Pictionary, Taboo and others make awesome couple games.  Ask the couples to bring a dish or snack foods and you have an instant date, lots of fun and laughs and have saved lots of money!

Food Dates  dinner

$ Street or County Fair Whether it’s a pie bake-off on a farm or a Greek Fest in the city, fairs are great places to sample and soak up the local flavor and lots of culture.

$-$$ Ethnic Eats Here’s the thing about low-key ethnic restaurants: The food is often just as good as pricier cuisine.

$$ Cooking Class Get friends together and ask everyone to bring their favorite recipes and the ingredients to make them.
$-$$ Farmers’ Market Grab your reusable grocery bag, and head over to your local farmers’ market.

$$-$$$ Brunch Many weekend hot spots offer deals on brunch buffets and drinks.

Free-$$  Potluck  Ask friends to bring over a favorite dish and wine and enjoy the evening with your “someone special” and special friends.  Rotate meeting locations/homes.

$$-$$$ Restaurant Week  This is a great opportunity to enjoy a classy night out on the town at a reduced cost.  During restaurant week, four and five star restaurants will offer 3+ course meals for $20-$40.  These meals would frequently cost twice that amount per person.  So indulge yourself and visit a local participating restaurant.  Many cities have Restaurant Week starting soon!  Put on a some fancy clothes and enjoy a night on the town!

Free Snack on Samples Put on your walking shoes and head to your local bulk shopping market like Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs.  They offer many samples throughout the store.  We usually end our shopping trip with a full belly! 

On The Go Dates  walking

Free- $ Volunteer “Work” Doing good together can be a lot of fun. If you love the outdoors, find an organization that plants trees or cleans beaches.

Free- $ Historic Tour Every town or city has a unique history, so find out yours by taking a walking tour of local sites with historical significance.

$-$$ Dance Class Obsessed with Dancing With the Stars? It’s time to test your own skills by taking a couples dance class.  Check the paper or contact the dance studio for specials and possibly open hours when the price is reduced or free.

Free Nature Date  The beauty of nature is all around us and it doesn’t cost a thing. Grab some water or wine, a blanket…or just each other and head to the beach, a walk on the pier, in the park or forest or take a hike.  Take an evening walk and star gaze.  The possibilities are endless.  You can explore nature together and pay absolutely nothing!  

$-$$ Thrift Store Shopping Head to a local flea market, consignment shop or thrift store and have a contest to see who can find the coolest item. Find something to give your partner as a gift.  The only catch? You can spend no more than $10 each.  (You determine how much to spend)

 Check your local paper regularly for free events in your city.  These are just a few ideas.  Please add to the list by making a comment below.  Let others know what inexpensive of free dates you have tried.

Consider placing all of the aforementioned date ideas on little slips of paper and placing them in a hat.  On date night, pull a slip and let that be your date for the evening!   Let the element of surprise add to the excitement of your date!


$: $1 – $10
$$: $11 – $20
$$$: $20+


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