10 Affordable Date Ideas With Your Spouse

December 31, 2012

affordable date ideaAre you looking for affordable date ideas so that you and your spouse can go out from time to time without needing to climb your way out of debt afterward? Here are some suggestions that can help, and maybe they’ll get you thinking of some other possibilities.

1. Attend a fireworks display.

Yes, fireworks tend to happen most often at Fourth of July, but there other times and places that fireworks are held that we pay less attention to. Some communities will hold fireworks displays on something like “founders day” (commemorating the day the community was founded), or perhaps to promote the local downtown area. Sometimes they’ll be held in connection with a successful sporting event, and they’re not at all uncommon at beachfront communities on summer weekends.

You can usually attend these displays for free, and not only can you enjoy the fireworks, but also the participation in a community event.

2. Take a trip to the beach.

You can usually go to public beaches for free. And since you won’t be paying any money to get to the beach, it opens up a lot of possibilities for add-ons. You can bring lunch or dinner, or even a bottle of wine. And while you can go swimming by day, walking on the beach at night – accompanied by a campfire – can be really romantic.

3. Go out for a night on the town.

You can head out for a night on the town without spending a lot of money. There are some thriving downtown areas where the stores and shops are open well into the night, and some of them have street activity too. There may be a free concert in the square, or even stands or kiosks giving out free samples. You can spend time window shopping and taking in the sights and activities without spending more than a few dollars.

4. Attend ethnic festivals.

Many ethnic groups have annual festivals that celebrate their culture and their food. You don’t have to be a member of that ethnic group in order to attend one. In fact, sometimes you even more fun if you’re not a member that ethnic group! The festival can include dancing and free food samples. You’ll probably spend some money there, but not a lot.

5. Get free movies or concerts in the park.

In an effort to increase civic pride, communities often have free movies or concerts at a local park. The movies and concerts themselves are free of charge, and there usually are concessions selling drinks and snacks at reduced prices. Some of these events can be combination affairs, offering an evening movie that’s preceded by a concert provided by some local talent. Universities and hospitals will sometimes have these free events too.

6. Visit art galleries and museums.

Art galleries and museums often offer free admission. They’ll do this in an effort to promote themselves, or to encourage people to buy productions in their galleries. These are low-key events where you can take your time. And since they cost so little (or are free) you can often combine them with an inexpensive dinner out for a very affordable date.

7. Go to a high school football game.

You probably attended high school football games when you were a teenager and had a lot of fun doing it. Bringing back an event from your past can be one of the best dates that you can have. It’s not just the nostalgia factor, but the fact that you can forget yourself in the middle of something so quaint. High school football games are inexpensive to attend, especially when you consider the prices charged at college and professional events. You can make a night of it without spending a lot of money.

8. Find dessert out.

If money is tight and going out to dinner has become too expensive, a nice alternative is to go out instead for dessert. It’s not quite like going out for dinner, but you are still going out, which is the next best thing. It’s also a nice thing to do in combination with some other low-cost or free date ideas.

9. Go dancing at a nightclub or hotel lounge.

Hotel lounges and many nightclubs have admission without a cover charge. You could quite literally dance all night for free! To be equitable though, you may want to order a couple of drinks – you can make them soft drinks to save a little more money. Just make sure that if you do, you tip your waiter or waitress generously.

10. Have an at-home dinner and a movie.

I saved this one for last because it’s virtually a cliché when you’re looking for inexpensive dates. But cliché or not, it’s still an excellent idea! You can rent a video or two for just a couple dollars (or try Netflix), and make your favorite meal complete with a bottle of wine and dinner candles, without spending over hundred dollars for the evening.

To make the movie feel more real, pop your own popcorn – with real butter – and turn the lights out when the movie is on. Atmosphere makes all the difference!

What suggestions do you have for affordable date ideas with your spouse? Leave a comment!


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Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids and can be followed on Twitter at @OutOfYourRut.

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