meaningful date ideas... that don't break the bank!

when luke & i first married, date nights were a top priority. dates were a way to demonstrate our love for one another & set aside our daily responsibilities to focus on our marital needs. we had a scheduled date night every week & we really thrived in our relationship when we made these intentional choices.

dates are still a priority in our marriage, but over the years we have allowed them to go unscheduled due to work responsibilities, farm chores & all the other stuff that comes with life. when we do go on a date, it's usually planned that evening because we're simply too tired to make dinner & wash dishes at home. 

half asleep, we drag ourselves to a restaurant, somewhat engage in conversation (usually about work responsibilities, farm chores & so on...) & eat until we're miserably stuffed. sound familiar?

last week we decided enough was enough. we're ready to make dates a priority again. we scheduled a date night & went out for coffee. during coffee, we had fantastic conversation & brainstormed a list of activities that we both enjoyed doing together. 

working within our budget of $40/month for dates, we compiled a list of meaningful date ideas that wouldn't break the bank. looking for date inspiration? below you'll find our list!

- enjoy a gourmet picnic of fancy cheeses, meats & olives in the park

- visit the farmers' market on saturday & enjoy brunch afterward (we've got a crush on the farmer's table cafe)

- rent a red box movie. purchase a bag of candy from the grocery store & make stovetop popcorn

- go on a long walk around the neighborhood (bring your cameras if you're photographers!)

- bring a quilt out to the backyard & look up at the stars

- go to a matinee movie & sneak in your own favorite sweet treats

- throw your water shoes & swimsuits in the back of the car. drive out to the nearest creek & play for hours 

- make homemade cocktails & grill out on the back patio

- ride bikes while holding hands

- enjoy breakfast at your favorite cafe or bakery (we love little bread co.!)

- take a trip to your local bookshop. purchase a coffee & chat while flipping through magazines together. 

- explore surrounding small towns

- build a sheet fort & watch a movie inside

- walk around downtown & visit the local shops

- attend outdoor concerts together 

- purchase local theatre tickets & enjoy an evening of fantastic talent. theatresquared is our local theatre & we have enjoyed several of their shows! they're @theatresquared on IG. 

- make an ice cream bar at home with your favorite toppings & enjoy a scoop together

- go to a u-pick berries farm & harvest berries during the summer months

- take dance classes together & show off your moves any chance you get

- share beers together at your local brewery or favorite bar

- sample your favorite dishes from local food trucks & carts

- schedule a day of fun in a new town (we love eureka springs & prairie grove!)

what are some of your favorite date ideas that are meaningful & don't break the bank? please share!



Emily said...

Ryan and I used to do puzzles together. That hasn't happened for years due to the littles, but it keeps your hands busy and allows you to talk at the same time. When we lived in CoMo we use to go out for beer and soft pretzels at Flat Branch. I still have dreams of it. These days we have such a crazy schedule due to Ryan's job that we only get a date night every month to 2 months. So we've been saving up our date night money and go all out when we do get a night away. We both love fine dinning, so we usually pick a new place and have a three course meal. So worth saving up for. Thanks for the list of great ideas! (Ezra and I like to go on walks with our cameras, too.)

Khrista said...

Such a timely post as Dave and I were just talking about doing more stuff together, just he and I! After 16 years you can get in a rut! Thank you so much for sharing your list!

lulusparkles said...

such a sweet post...very lovely photos !
your green cuff bracelet is charming, where can i find one?

by marion said...

Oh, what a lovely list!
I love good old walks around the neighborbood, too. And of course there's baking pizza in the pizza oven :-)

Angela Spencer said...

TK and I spent Saturday afternoon at the Old Mill in North Little Rock taking pictures and watching the turtles in the lake. We followed it up with coffee and a stroll through Barnes and Noble. It was a fantastic date. I'm always looking for new (inexpensive) date ideas, so your list is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Our last few real dates have been a hike and then pizza and beer! It took us about 16 years to figure that one out.

Pure Heart said...

-play games together
-make a dessert together (new recipes are always fun!)
-20 questions (each person writes out 20 questions throughout the week to ask the other on date night)
-go for a hike

Pure Heart said...

-play games together
-make a dessert together (new recipes are always fun!)
-20 questions (each person writes out 20 questions throughout the week to ask the other on date night)
-go for a hike

Skapt said...

I love all of these ideas!! Although it makes it embarrassingly obvious just how expensive it is to live in Norway where we live – 40 bucks a month for date nights add up to maaaybe one movie theatre night (no snacks included) and coffee to go. But then again, living on a budget makes us really creative, right?! Our favourite date nights include watching a series on DVD (that someone lent us!) a whole weekend, go on random local road trips (Left. No, right!) and coffee dates with books & magazines at hand, quoting to each other stuff we find interesting. :)

Lisa said...

It's the little things that some times leave the biggest impressions. we once celebrated our anniversary just having hotdogs by the riverside in town. It was a beautiful sunny day and just great sharing a moment together. Thanks for sharing.
x Lisa

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