Lifestyle

Creative Date Ideas for Couples that cost less than movie tickets

Date Ideas for couples | cheap and fun date ideas

Fall is one of my top 4 seasons of the year. Leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and almost every day is hoodie weather. Fall is also the season we seem to come up with our most creative date ideas. Since the holidays are right around the corner, we’re facing busy schedules and extra expenses. It’s a crucial time to make sure those relationship bonds are strong.

Here are a few date ideas that cost less than a pair of movie tickets, but are far more memorable:

1.   Have a Hygge Night

I thought “Hygge” was invented by Danish women that wanted an excuse to enjoy lazy days, candles, and hot chocolate. However, I think I get it now. Curling up on the couch together under a blanket, without any distractions other than the flicker of a candle or 4, is an amazing way to reconnect.

  • Pro Tip – Adding Peppermint Schnapps to hot chocolate makes the world a better place. Before the second mug is gone, you’ll both rediscover that sparkle in each other’s eyes.

memorable date ideas for couples

2.   Pinterest cook-off

Neither my wife nor I are chefs so standards are fairly low in the kitchen (aside from my guacamole, which is irresistible). Our goal is to meet our daily caloric needs, and to avoid food poisoning. Fortunately, Pinterest is packed with delicious looking meals and easy-to-follow recipes. We still can’t make our culinary creations look as pretty as the pictures, but it’s a lot of fun to try. Even better, we have a 0% incidence of food poisoning so far.

cheap date ideas for couples

3.   Donate clothes

Normally, preparing a donation would fall into the “chores” category. However, sorting through clothes that others need more than we do was surprisingly fun. It satisfies our minimalist leanings, and triggers lots of nostalgic moments (“Remember when I had to wear a belt to keep these pants on?”)

  • Pro Tip – A strategically timed comment like: “Aww, I can’t believe you’re donating that dress. You look gorgeous in it” is worth at least one Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card.

4.   Go for a Hike

Unless you live in flat country like Kansas (I’m sorry) or Nebraska (I’m really sorry), going for a hike doesn’t necessarily mean packing a tent, sleeping bag and asking for vacation time. Trade the hustle and bustle of city life for a few hours of fresh air and a brisk walk in the woods. The extra adventurous couple can earn bonus points by leaving cell phones in airplane mode.

creative date ideas for couples

5.   Explore a cemetery

Going to a cemetery on a date may sound depressing or macabre, but it’s not. Visiting the right cemetery is like touring an outdoor art museum and a haunted house all at the same time. Best of all, it’s free.

Still not convinced? Our recent visit to Bellu Cemetery in Romania ended with me running into my wife’s arms. It’s the kind of thing that only happens in romance AND horror movies.

Our date at Bellu cemetery had plenty of both.

Bellu cemetery | Cheap Date Night for couples

Save the Date!

There are plenty of great date ideas we haven’t tried yet but are looking forward to checking out. Have any of you tried Geocaching yet? I just learned that there are Geocache sites here in Romania, so it must be available everywhere!

I have a feeling this is going to be a fun, but busy holiday season. I hope these affordable date ideas get your creative juices flowing before the holiday rush hijacks our time and energy.

 

Any other memorable and affordable date ideas we’re missing out on?

 

Creative and affordable date ideas  #love #holidays #romance #almostunsalvageable

Creative Date Ideas for Couples

91 Comments

  • Reply ralietravels November 26, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Fall is one of my four favorite seasons too!

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Too bad its so short right?

  • Reply curioussteph November 26, 2017 at 7:45 am

    multiple chuckles!

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

      hehehe hopefully there will be more where these came from 😉

  • Reply Bel November 26, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Exploring the cemetery is a super cool scary date. Awesome suggestions – you don’t need to spend money to have a good time. I also like hiking to the areas close to (Greek Theater, Rose Bowl) where concerts happen – we get free music, sometimes eve fireworks and the night sky as our view. 😊

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

      ooo that sounds like a cool idea Bel! Monica and I have accidentally wandered into street concerns before. Always makes for a great time (even if the music sounds like a cat fight).

  • Reply Writing to Freedom November 26, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Fun ideas Gabe, but you didn’t give me credit for this post. My comment on your cemetery visit mentioned you’re creative date ideas. I want creative credit and royalties from future books. 🙂 Hygge is my favorite idea, except I don’t have someone to snuggle with. Do you have any ex girlfriends you’re willing to donate? 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I’ll tell you the same thing I tell Monica: “You get all the credit, and half the blame.”

      As for donating ex-gorlfriends, can we wait until the next calendar year. If my hunches are correct, donating people will be a tax credit again and I could use the write-offs 😉

  • Reply Suze November 26, 2017 at 8:18 am

    My husband and I had a first date of a picnic in a park. We simply wandered around the paths through the woods, spent a few hours sitting in the grass next to a lake watching the birds and sharing a simple meal of cheese, bread and fruits. It was, quite frankly, the BEST date I ever had! Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory and for the giggles. loved the comment about Nebraska (I agree!)

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Yay! a fellow anti-Nebraskan. (BTW spell check recognizes this as a real word!)

      And glad I could trigger fond memories. Hopefully there will be many more to come

  • Reply Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] November 26, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Love this and very creative. You can never have enough ideas for ways to have fun 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

      I agree. And always looking for more.

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson November 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Very creative Gabe, I’m game for all of them except donating clothes – I love to have a good sort out but it definitely wouldn’t get my wife into my arms.

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

      hehehe you’re so awesome Andrea!

  • Reply Janis November 26, 2017 at 9:09 am

    All great suggestions! My opinion is that if you have to spend a lot of money having a good time with someone, you are with the wrong person.

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Agreed. And it’s not surprising to me that money is at the root of so many marital squabbles.

  • Reply RhymeLovingWriter November 26, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Great ideas here! Still crazy in love after 37 years of marriage and we’ve done a variation of all of these (except that cemetery thing – we’re going to have to work up to that). 🙂 Geocaching was loads of fun – and good for the whole family if you have kids (though it’s been awhile), hiking is a big one and SURPRISE! I’m originally from Kansas and currently live in Nebraska (got a big smile over that – there are more hills than you might imagine and we know of a few steep inclines – though in all fairness they are pretty short compared to the ones in the mountains).

    Tai Chi classes through the local library, Junk Stock (a local festival where people bring out their repurposed/recycled treasures to sell…we went mostly to look – not to buy), local festivals or food competitions, Costco/Sams free sample extravaganza (that might be more than a pair of movie tickets since you need a membership), estate/garage sales, etc. Lots of ideas. We got started on this kick where we’d take turns surprising each other about where we were going or what we were going to do – that was a lot of fun!

    The last couple of months we’ve fallen out of the dating routine due to extended family needs, but this makes me realize how much I miss it.

    Thanks for the reminder and inspiration Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:20 am

      hehehe I’m laughing so hard. I KNEW there would be a Nebraskan in the crowd. As a Coloradan, we have a word for those elevation changes in Nebraska. They’re called sidewalks 😉

      Seriously though, I really like the idea of the Junk Stock. Repurposed items have become a new interest for us. In fact, My wife still sees me as her most posed repurposed object.

      Congratualtions on the first 37 years! Sounds like you’re off to a great start!

  • Reply YellowCable November 26, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I really like the idea of visiting a cemetery.

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

      I was surprised. But I think it will be a new thing. More fun (and actually romantic) than expected.

      • Reply YellowCable November 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Some sense of serenity sounds great to walk around until it become popular 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:07 pm

          Yes, I think too many of us are writing about the benefits of hiking/walking around in nature. Pretty soon it’s going to become “cool.” Fortunately there are still plenty of off-the-beaten-path hideaways for us to explore.

  • Reply Mick Canning November 26, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Great ideas, Gabe. Top one has to be leaving the phone in airplane mode. Better still, leave the damn thing at home. Come to think of it, switch it off for the evening and open that peppermint schnapps…

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

      I hear you Mick. But we’ve become dependent on these portable extensions of ourselves as picture takers and flashlights 😉

      Glad to see I’m not the only P.S. fan. Really good stuff for the holidays.

  • Reply Didi November 26, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Hygge…the hype word in blogging and book land right now😉. So good though especially when you master it. A bit similar to the Durch word “gezellig”. I’m sorry but there’s no Englisch translation.

    What I love as a date is stroling over markets with fresh food, look for unknown items, cook and enjoy a nice dinner together and have the blanket/couch/cuddle/hygge evening afterwards.

    • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:24 am

      That sounds great. And we actually spent the day doing just that. (Risotto ingredients are a bear to track down here in Romania)

      Hope you have many Hygge nights to come Didi!

      • Reply Didi November 26, 2017 at 11:28 am

        My post didnt show and now i posted double..sorry.
        What is so hard to find in Romania? The arboro rice? As stock and a bit butter they must have there.

        • Reply Gabriel November 26, 2017 at 11:38 am

          hehehe celery, arborio rice, and in this case, fresh shrimp.

          • Didi November 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm

            Never realized those basic ingredients where that hard to find there.
            Find a recipe without shrimp and you’ve sold one problem. 🤣

      • Reply Didi November 26, 2017 at 11:30 am

        As for the hygge nights..not so many right now and no to look forward to anywhere soon.

  • Reply Didi November 26, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Hygge the hype word in blogging and book world right now. 😉so good though when you can master it. A bit like the Dutch word “gezellig” . Sorry no englisch translation for that.

    What I love as a date?
    Strolling down a market qith fresh peisucts, finding good ingredients and cook a dinner together. After emjoting that a eveing couch cuddle under a blanket.

  • Reply JT Twissel November 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Cooking always makes for a great date! Unless one of you is on a diet. I’m

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      hehehe I hear you. I’ve already put on my winter weight, and the holidays aren’t even here yet;)

  • Reply Amy November 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing and reminder us that having an enjoyable together can be costless. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Absolutely Amy. I’m often surprised by the inverse relationship between the sentimental value of an experience and the money we invest in it.

  • Reply Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta November 26, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Summer is humid and slimy in Australia so indoor activity is best during the middle of the day, making it great for jigsaws, airfix kits, beading and journaling. All with music on the CDPlayer and perhaps a glass of wine. At night, when the temp drops, we go glamping setting up a mattress in the back garden, telling stories and looking at the stars.

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Thats so true. This is the warm time of year in the land down under. But sounds like you’ve got a great handle on ways to have fun regardless of the weather outside!

  • Reply dawnkinster November 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    These are great! And thank goodness for the no food poisoning!

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      hehehe yup. so far…so good. Wishing you the same culinary success!

  • Reply twobrownfeet November 26, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Higgle Night sounds like an interesting concept! 🙂 I’ve added it to our list. Hubby would be interested in exploring a cemetery, but I don’t think I’d survive it! Hiking tops our list, only if we avoid binge watching our favourite shows. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      yes, you’ve certainly mastered the art of the good hike (and sharing it with us on your blog!). But glad to see you’re not neglecting your Netflix duties;)

  • Reply amindfultravellerblog November 27, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Love these suggestions. I’d like to add a museum or art gallery date too. Pretty cheap, if not free and hours of enjoyment! 😉

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Yes! Love visiting an old museum. Especially the ones with a cantankerous clerk monitoring the entrance. “No photos, no food, and keep it moving’!” substitutes for a greeting 😉

      • Reply amindfultravellerblog November 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm

        Haha. Cantankerous! Now there’s a word!!! Haven’t come across many of those clerks, thank goodness!! 😊

  • Reply Shallow Reflections November 27, 2017 at 4:10 am

    We like doing all the things you suggested, Gabe, though I never thought about donating clothes as a date – it does feel great to weed out clothing and give it to someone who needs it. One of my ‘go-to’ date ideas that works year round is what I call a cleaning sprint. We both work like mad for about an hour and the house ends up spotless. And there is no turn on better than seeing him wearing rubber gloves cleaning the shower. And then we have free time to relax and do anything we want!

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      hehehe I’m gonna have to suggest this… rubber gloves may make the Christmas list 😉

  • Reply Arionis November 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

    All great ideas but you know I love #4. That marker post is practically in my backyard, if my backyard was 4 hours away, but still.

    Did you get a chance to read about my (mis)adventure on the trail a couple of months ago?

    • Reply Gabriel November 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      You know, I’ve been trying to get caught up, but real life is keeping us pretty busy recently too. Could you drop the link here – I’d love to check it out?

  • Reply Ann Coleman November 27, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Those are fabulous ideas for cheap, and yet fun, dates! My husband and I also go to the local history museum every now and then. It’s in a huge park, has great exhibits, and we stop at a little cafe afterwards for a glass of wine.

    • Reply Gabriel November 28, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Sounds great Ann. The whole package in one walkable area. History, culture, nature, and alcohol. You’ve covered all the dating food groups 😉

  • Reply Liesbet November 27, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    These are great date ideas, Gabe, and right up my sleeve, cozy wise and frugality wise. I have tried and enjoyed them all. Funny you bring up hygge, since another blogging pal of mine, Karen of Profound Journey (not sure whether you follow her) just dedicated a whole post to this Danish tradition. 🙂

    Geocaching has been around in Belgium for a while. I have some friends who are really into it with their kids, but I have never done it. Sounds fun and exciting, so perfect for your kind of dates! Cooking together is one of my favorite ways to end the day. I think you have summed up all my usual ways of spending time with my other half…

    • Reply Gabriel November 28, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Nice I’ll have to check out Profound Journey. The title sounds like my kind of blog.

  • Reply mazmisc November 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I so wish to get back to the point where I can do these things with my spouse.

    • Reply Gabriel November 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I really hope you do as well.

  • Reply bravojoy November 28, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Have you tried letterboxing? It’s like geocaching but you don’t need a GPS. You can search for your area at atlasquest.org and then follow the clues that box-placers have left for you. I’m not sure if there are any in Romania but it is a lot of fun and has led me to some neat spots!

    • Reply Gabriel November 28, 2017 at 9:27 am

      thats great. Do you follow road/street directions then to get from one place to another?

      • Reply bravojoy November 29, 2017 at 7:23 am

        They usually direct you to the main area, like a park or public garden, and then give you more detailed directions from there! Inside each box is a log book so you get to see how many others have also found that box.

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies November 28, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Love these creative date night tips Gabe! Fall is one of my favorite times as well. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel November 28, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Yup – we’ve been in a hurry to take advantage of it before all the leaves are down.

  • Reply Leah November 28, 2017 at 10:13 am

    as a funeral director I have a love for cemeteries and I can agree walking around in one isn’t morbid at all. Especially where I’m from, Connecticut, there are plenty of old old old cemeteries even back to the revolutionary war.

    • Reply Gabriel December 5, 2017 at 7:45 am

      Connecticut is AWESOME! I can see why you would love to get lost in the colorful history and ambience.

  • Reply the incurable dreamer December 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

    The last time I went on a date, it was during the stone-age, but I know that if I did go on one now, I would drink copious amounts of peppermint schnapps straight from the bottle, probably in a cemetery with your guacamole. Gabe, I think I need an online dating profile with this as my description of the perfect date. OMG! Think of all the interesting ladies I am going to hook! K, gotta go…

    • Reply Gabriel December 5, 2017 at 7:50 am

      hehehe I’d say “Good Luck” but you don’t need it. You’re already an amazing catch!

  • Reply Lutheranliar December 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Love love love hiking! Especially if hiking with The Dude, who lets me be peaceful and think. Museums are a nice date option too. As long as they’re free, which some are.

    • Reply Gabriel December 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Sounds like you have an amazing gift in the Dude. Finding that right balance between being together yet still allowing one another that space to absorb the good stuff from our surroundings is a rare blessing. Congrats to you both!

      • Reply Lutheranliar December 5, 2017 at 10:31 am

        Thank you, Gabe. He is a rare gift indeed!

  • Reply Terese December 2, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Gabriel! I was just thinking about you. Thank you for stopping by Hope For Today. Love Pinterest for meal ideas also. Mine NEVER look the pics, but they are edible.

    • Reply Gabriel December 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

      My pleasure Terese! And glad to hear we’re not the only ones that enjoy Pinterest cooking, even though we’re not picture perfect.

      • Reply Terese December 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        It all eats the same!

  • Reply Kelsey @ There's Something About KM December 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Oooh I like the sound of a Pinterest cookoff! Great ideas. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel December 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Cheers!

  • Reply D. Wallace Peach December 5, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Aw. What a sweet post and great idea. Romantic, culinary, thoughtful, adventurous. You have it covered! It’s amazing what fun can be had that’s free and just around the corner. Going through the music collection and listening to some old CD’s is also fun. Like the belt that once held up your pants, Gabe, music is loaded with memories. 😀 Thanks for the ideas and the laughs too!

    • Reply Gabriel December 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

      “Music night” hasn’t been a big hit on our end. I think it has something to do with Monica’s horrible taste in music. She prefers hard rock and doesn’t like country music at all.

      The fact that I still love her despite poor auditory preferences is a testament to my open-mindedness and humility. At least thats what I always say…

      • Reply D. Wallace Peach December 6, 2017 at 8:21 am

        Oh dear. Stick with the snuggling and Schnapps, then. 😀

  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany December 9, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Some very good date ideas. I tried to have my husband help me with the donate clothing thing. We had to down size in a big way when we moved to Germany. It took me days to sort through everything and decide what to keep and what to donate. My husband went to the kitchen, grabbed 2 garbage bags and threw all of his clothes into them. Ta-da, he was done. He also arrived to Germany with 3 shirts, a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of sock and 2 pairs of underwear. We will have to try some of the other date ideas as he doesn’t have any more clothes left to donate.

    • Reply Gabriel December 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

      hehehe sounds like your husband and I went to the same relocation school, but he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

  • Reply MindOverMeta December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

    These are great ideas. I actually like the idea of visiting a cemetery because they are such peaceful places and make me more reflective about life. Some of the statues and tombs are beautiful too 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel December 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

      I agree. Historic cemeteries like Bellu are trips to an outdoor museum and art gallery.

  • Reply D. Parker December 9, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Gabriel, does it count if I take myself on a date? I’m going to go ahead and say yes (OMG, she said yes!!! 🍾🍾🍾) because these ideas are too good to wait around for a date (seriously, time is finite).
    Had to share so others, even those with dates, can find this treasure trove of ideas.
    Dropped by from #SocialSaturday #BigUpYourBlog but always glad to be here. 😊😊😊
    Hope this weekend is wonder-filled! 😊 Hugs, Donna xox

    • Reply Gabriel December 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Hey Donna! absolutely counts! And sounds like you found yourself quite a catch. Don’t let her get away 😉

  • Reply Adventures of a New Floridian December 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    These ideas are all wonderful! I love the Pinterest cook-off idea! Also, I absolutely LOVE geocaching! I’ve run several geocaching summer camps for kiddos in the past. They all love it! I hope you try it and really enjoy it as well! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel December 9, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      hmmm geocaching summer camp… sounds interesting.

      • Reply Adventures of a New Floridian December 11, 2017 at 12:09 am

        It was always a good time! Although, trying to get kiddos ages 6-12 to walk for several miles is not an easy task!

  • Reply Miriam December 9, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    What an awesome post Gabe. I love all of your ideas. Especially love the cuddling up with peppermint hot chocolate and long walks. The hub and I have been married 25 years next week and we still try and get out on dates (actually we’re going on one next weekend) 😊💕
    Oh and you’ve spurred me to go and sort through some clothes!

    • Reply Gabriel December 9, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      25 years. That sounds like a great start! Have fun shrinking the wardrobe Miriam.

      • Reply Miriam December 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm

        Oh I will!! 🙂

  • Reply restlessjo December 12, 2017 at 2:00 am

    I forgot to say that I LOVE that mausoleum photo. 🙂 🙂 That is Scooby Do in shadow, isn’t it?

  • Now it's your turn to play!

    %d bloggers like this: