Making time to spend alone with our partners is not always so easy these days. We all live very busy lives. Most of us have that incredibly unpleasant “job” thing that we go to every week day. Afterwards, we’re tired and most of our spare time is spent grocery shopping, running errands, or attempting to make our home presentable for any unexpected guests. It’s difficult to see where a dinner and movie can fit into our busy schedules, and into our budgets. With that being said, quality time with our significant other is definitely important to maintain a healthy, romantic relationship. However, going on a date with your partner doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does the activity you choose have to be complex and incredibly time consuming. Here are a few easy and budget-friendly date ideas, besides the classic movie and dinner, mini putt, bowling, and museum visits that are all so common.
1. Home workout. Search exercise videos on YouTube or challenge your partner to a fitness competition. Who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, etc., without breaking down, crying, and grabbing a Twinkie.
2. Board game competitions. Pull out all the board games you own and think of all the card games you know. Pick your favourites and compete to see who’s the champion! You can even experiment with adding a sexy twist to your games (i.e. strip battleship), or maybe decide on a sensual prize for the winner.
3. At home spa day. Soft bathrobes. Bubble baths. Massages. Relaxation. Need I say more? Recreate a spa scene at your home for a stress-free date with your love.
4. Fruit picking. Depending on the time of year, you and your significant other can go apple, berry, or pumpkin picking; and then make a delicious dessert afterwards. If it turns out to be a boring date, you can always throw the fruit at each other to make it more fun. On second thought, maybe not if you’re at a pumpkin patch.
5. DIY photo shoot. This is the perfect opportunity to dress up and you don’t have to spend a dime on fancy plans. Take cute pictures, funny pictures, totally silly pictures, or include your dog. Then post your favourites on social media, because that’s just what humans do nowadays.
6. Dessert outing. Who says a date has to mean going out for a full meal? Skip right to dessert! You and your significant other could go to an ice cream parlour, bakery, or chocolate store. Better yet, you can go out to a restaurant and be “those” people who only order off the dessert menu. Think about those deep-fried mars bars and fancy cake slices. Mmm.
7. Geocaching. What is geocaching, you ask? I have absolutely no idea. I think you search for little treasures of some sort, and I’ve heard there’s an app. That’s all I know. Sounds like a fantastic date idea though, don’t you think?
8. Scrap booking. Finally, an opportunity to do something with all those selfies. You can find most of the materials you need for this date at the dollar store, or at your local craft store. Together, you and your significant other can sort through all the photos, discreetly trash the ones you look awful in, and create a beautiful scrapbook of memories.
9. Upcoming holiday events. Find out who is the biggest scaredy cat in your relationship when you check out Halloween events near you; such as, spooky wagon rides, haunted houses, and zombie walks. During the Christmas season, relive the old days and go sit on the old jolly guy’s knee at the mall, or stand outside in the freezing cold and watch the Santa Claus parade. Hopefully you get enough free candy canes to make it worth it.
10. Ride a bike or go on a hike. Hey, it even rhymes! On second thought, I’m not entirely sure if anyone still owns a bike these days. If you and your partner have access to two, then great. You’re all set for an adventurous, yet romantic date. You’ll be all smiles and lovey eyes, until you wake up the next morning with sore legs and the realization that you’re out of shape, that is. You can get the same wonderful experience from going on a hike. I encourage a Google search of “poison ivy” before you head out, however.
11. Window shopping. It’s the perfect cheap date. You and your partner can head over to the closest mall, book store, or IKEA, and pick out all the things you like and cannot afford. This sounds depressing but it’s actually not- at least not completely. Together, you can pick out things that you want to save for, like a new couch, or choose some things to throw on your birthday/Christmas wish list.
12. Picnic at the Beach. There is nothing more fun than relaxing and soaking up the sun with your loved one. Except for maybe sunburnt cheeks and sand all up and in between your other cheeks. Don’t worry, it’s worth it. Bring a ball to toss around, or buy a cheap kite to fly, to make the experience that much more special.
13. Play a sport. This is the perfect way to disguise a partner smack-down as a date. A little healthy competition never hurt, right? On the other hand, if you or your partner are not particularly good at sports, then this could be straight up hilarious. Many neighbourhoods have basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and large fields for soccer or football. Give them all a chance, maybe you’ll find one that you and your spouse are particularly good, or hilariously bad, at.
14. Funny YouTube videos. There’s nothing like spending a few hours wetting your pants with the one you love. From videos of people getting hurt, to cats experiencing brain freeze, your sides will be aching by the time this date is over.
15. Experimental cooking. Dig out an old dust-covered cookbook and find a new recipe – or just look online. You and your partner can buy the ingredients, make the dish, and taste-test the dish together. You’ll either be pleasantly surprised by this new meal and potentially add it to your regular menu, or you can both laugh at how totally awful it tastes.
How do you and your partner spend quality time together? Comment below if you have any other ideas for budget-friendly date ideas.