I love going on dates, but for Alec and I that meant going out to dinner, movies, or anything that required spending a little bit of money. I think we blamed it on our location because south Florida is a pricey area to reside in, however, since our big move to north Florida, I think our mindset on what a date should be was the thing that was flawed.
After dating for 4-years, there have definitely been times when the two of us weren’t able to spend money on dining or entertainment because our bills had to be paid or we were trying to save money. That’s why I’m actively trying to redefine what a date means.
Like, why don’t we make grocery shopping into a cute date? Why does it have to be something we label as a weekly/bi-weekly chore?
When I think of dates (especially that first couple of dates), I think of how spontaneous they were and if we bring a little bit of that spontaneity into our everyday routines then maybe they wouldn’t feel so routine? While grocery shopping, you could purchase a few items to create a DIY date night when you get back home or you could make a quick pit-stop for $1 ice cream at McDonald’s on your way home? Who says you have to go straight to the store and then straight home; and don’t give me the, “well, I have milk in the car that will go bad” excuse. It will not take you THAT long to make a drive-thru pit stop. They’re usually quick 😉
& hopefully, the list I created below will give yourself a chance to look at everyday, routine activities with a different point of view or creativity.
- Visit a Local Farmer’s Market: this has turned into our weekly grocery shopping for the two of us because we like to shop package free. However, if you shop at the normal grocery store, maybe one week pick up your fruits & veggies here instead? It’s nice to get a change of scenery, but it’s also nice to help out your local farmers.
- Picnic: I know this is an activity that is listed on every blog about dates for couples, but hear me out on this one! This can be the easiest, cheapest, and most flexible date on this list. Easy because all you need is your favorite foods. Cheap because you can make lunches/dinners in your kitchen and flexible because this can be done anywhere! Want to have a picnic in your backyard? Do it! Want to have a picnic at a nearby park? Do it! Want to have a picnic somewhere miles and miles away? Do it, but also make sure to pack food that would stay good after that trip 😉
- Go to the Beach/Lake: this a great option that in most places are free or close to it. In the past, Alec and I would make mixed drinks at home, put them in a reusable tumbler and take them to a nearby beach to get some sun. If we don’t have anything to make mixed drinks at home we would go to soak up the sun regardless.
- Drive to the Next Town OVer & Walk: we do this one all the time!! I love traveling, however, I can’t keep spending money for flights (as much as I may want to) which is why Alec and I will drive a couple hours in one direction and explore. You can make this as cheap or expensive as you would like based on the distance. Keep it on the cheaper side and explore the next town or two over and grab something for lunch. Or, as expensive as you’d like and make this drive into a small weekend getaway.
- Play Video Games Together: My boyfriend LOVES video games (he’s playing one right now as I write this) and to put it lightly, I suck at them! The only game I like playing is Jeopardy! because you don’t have to move a character and I love anything trivia-related. Even though I suck at video games, the two of us will play a game because it’s something that Alec can teach me and he really appreciates when I try to learn something that he loves.
- Themed Movie Week: I know most of us are watching a movie before bed, but why not make it into a theme? I mean, themes make everything instantly more fun anyway, right?! Each week the two of you can choose which theme to base your movie picks on. Whether your theme is based on action, romantic comedies, or childhood favorites it will be fun to mix up the movies you normally watch. Or if you’re like us, it’ll be nice to switch it up from The Office for the millionth time.
- Wine & Beer Tasting: another thing on this list that can be as cheap or expensive as you wish. For the two of us, we usually stick to 2 kinds of cheese and 1-2 types of meats. But, of course, you could do less or more depending on your preference. We tend to do cheeseboards when we want to mix up our week and this may personally be my favorite item to mix up your work week. But your girl is a major cheeseboard lover!
- Dress Fancy for a Dinner at Home: To purely shake up your work week, take the time to really get ready for dinner. Take your time when getting ready as well. Take a hot shower, do your hair/makeup, and get dressed in an outfit that leaves you speechless. Do all of that to have dinner in your own home, but don’t forget to dim the lights because candlelight makes everything more romantic.
- Read a Book Together: this one may be challenging to do if your partner isn’t the biggest book lover. I really enjoy reading but have turned to my Audible because I no longer read a book before bed like I used to. I brought this idea up to my partner about the two of us reading the same book together and discussing those chapters, but I was more in love with the idea then he was. So, I think this one would be a great date idea if the two of you both love to read.
- Dance in Your Living Room: ANYONE can do this date idea! You don’t even necessarily need music for this either. I mean, what’s more romantic than dancing closely together in the living room with nothing but the energy between you two. I know, at the moment it just feels like awkward silence, but when you think back on that moment you will think it was time well spent with your loved one. But, of course, if you have music play that sucker!!
- Take a Bath Together: I hate taking baths, however, every now and then I like to create a bath with Epsom salt. One evening, Alec and I were having our normal pizza night when we decided to mix things by having our pizza together in our bathtub. I know this may sound unsanitary, but we didn’t really care and our bathtub was huge enough to fit the two of us and then some.
- Goodwill Date: Set aside a certain amount that you would like to spend. You can make it simple at $5-10 or extravagant enough with a $20-25 budget. When your budget is set, the rules are simple: simply buy clothes for your partner to wear during your dinner out. My cousin did this with her now husband early into their relationship and the photos were SO cute and dorky!! I love this idea because it helps you and your partner branch out and not care about what other people think of you and what you’re wearing! And of course, you better take photos to remember this wonderfully hilarious date night idea.
- Recreate your First Date: since we’re on the topic of dates, you might as well spend one night recreating your first date together. You can recreate the date however you’d like with keeping it budget-friendly by recreating it in your home or going all out and sprucing up the first date you had. No matter how you recreate your first date, it will always bring you back to the memories you originally had on that day.
- Dessert-Only Dinner: this can be dessert-only, appetizers-only or drinks-only! Whatever floats your boat! Go all out and have a blank-ONLY dinner!
- DIY Painting-with-a-Twist: I know you know what I’m talking about and instead of spending $35 for two hours of instructed painting lessons. I’ve done this twice and have personally enjoyed each visit, but why not create your own DIY painting night in the comfort of your own home? Alec and I turned Bob Ross on Netflix for background noise/inspiration and we did our best at painting something that kind of resembled art. Our best tip: the more wine you drink, the better your painting will look in the moment!
If you’re having any issues figuring out what to do during the work week, I hope this list of simple date ideas helps you out. Even if you read my list and thought “wow, I’ve seen all of these before and this didn’t help me at all” I hope you build upon my ideas and create your own. You don’t need to follow mine exactly.
Alec and I are always looking for ways to spruce up our weekdays. If you have a favorite date idea that you and your partner do during the week, and I didn’t list it on here, PLEASE comment it down below because we’re always thinking of budget-friendly date ideas!!
A Simple Wildflower