Jan 23, 2014

10 Date Night Ideas for $10 or Less

When Brett and I were first married we had a favorite cheap date night; going to a casino and playing penny slots. I lived in Las Vegas just shy of 20 years and I think gambling is boring and a complete waste of time and money. But I love people watching, and it doesn't get any better than people watching in Vegas! The best part of playing penny slots is that you still get free drinks, just tip your cocktail waitress and she'll circle around every 30 minutes. We never spent more than $20, it was awesome!

Now that we live in Raleigh, we don't have the penny slot date night option anymore. With three kids babysitters are expensive! Man I miss living near family who babysat for free!

It's time to get creative and make our dates cheaper so we can go out more often. I love our date nights at home; which we still do every Friday night, but we need to get out of the house occasionally. I love dressing up and spending time with my husband alone. No more excuses, these dates all cost less than $10!



1. Go to a movie at a discount theater. We have one by us that has $2 tickets which is perfect for a cheap date night.
2. Have a dessert date. Go to a restaurant and order dessert to share and water. Want to embrace your inner child? Arrange for this date in the morning and have dessert for breakfast.
3. Groupon, Amazon Local, Living Social, and Discount Books are great for cheap dinner ideas. A buy one get one free coupon can really help you save money. You don't have to eat at a fancy restaurant on date night, go to your favorite taco shop instead.

Or Chick fil-A

4. Date at the Lake - We live by a lake that charges $6 for entry. Having a day at the lake without watching 3 kids like a hawk is actually very relaxing. You can pack some snacks and enjoy some swimming and sunshine alone.
5. Picnic in a park. Pick up a sub sandwich or some fried chicken and head to the park for a picnic. DO NOT SIT NEAR THE PLAYGROUND! This is about romance y'all!
6. Go to a high school play. I know it sounds corny but this one is actually fun if you like plays. Check the school's website for the dates and titles; they usually post for the whole year so you can plan ahead. Warning, if you're 30 and some punk kid asks you "whose mom are you?" You will have to suppress your urge to smack him.
7. Winery or Brewery Tour - You can tour a winery or brewery for very little money, including the tasting. We have a brewery by our house that has $2 tasting tours, perfect for a cheap date.
8. Dive Bar - Dive bars are great for a cheap date and every city has one. There is a little dive bar around the corner from our house that has $2 beers and live music on Saturday night. They have a dart board and a pool table for more free entertainment.

Make sure you take a grainy picture to remember the night! 

9. Ice Blocking - Go to the store and buy 2 ice blocks and head from somewhere hilly. Cover your ice block with a towel and sit on it and slide down the hill. I did this in high school with my friends and it is still fun as an adult. My husband had a deprived childhood, he didn't ice block until he met me.
10. Comedy Club - You're not going to see someone famous but you can go to a comedy show for $10. Look for open mic nights for the best deals. There's a comedy club in Raleigh that offers $5 tickets to their open mic night.

I hope you're inspired to book that babysitter and go out for a night on the town. Trust me it won't matter what you end up doing; time away is always fun and rejuvenating. Plus it's an excuse to get dressed up and justify those expensive boots you just had to have but never wear since they're not practical for chasing after kids.


47 comments:

  1. Ice blocking sounds hilarious! I want to try it sometime!!

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  2. It is so much fun! You'll laugh all night, especially when someone falls. You know, as long as they don't get hurt :)

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  3. I didn't know that ice blocking was a thing, but now that I do, I'm going to have to try it! I love this post--hubs and I are all about a cheap date, too. One of our favorites is to go to the beach with a cooler full of snacks and just read, play in the water, or nap. So fun, and completely free!

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  4. Great fun and frugal ideas! I love the desert date, exactly my kind of thing. And never thought to do any Ice Blocking. Definitely something I need to try out!

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    1. Yes you do need to try ice blocking! It is so much fun and you'll feel like a kid again.

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  5. Love these ideas! My husband and I have started a Wednesday evening regular date night and we were looking for some different ideas from our regular "coffee shop" visit. I love the ice blocking idea - I've never heard of it...although, we live in Nova Scotia, so this time of year, we can just grab sleds and head outside to do the same! lol!

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  7. I love saving money! Your ideas were great, especially the ice blocking, LOVE IT! (Written by Danielle, not Brian...lol no idea how to change the name on the account!!!)

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  8. Cute Ideas!! We love going to the discount theater!!!

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  9. As parents of 9, I can't say my hubby and I get out a whole lot and its because even though our older kids babysit (for free), we just have to stick to a budget. I love your ideas and somehow I never even thought of at home dates. Thank you for all the ideas, when we lived in Florida we would drive to the beach at night until the police showed up thinking we were teens being naughty. After telling them we were getting away and we were parents of 9, they were super embarassed and left us alone. We got a big laugh out of it but that ended our beach nights. Tricia @ farmishmomma.com

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  10. We love going to the lake! We take everything we need with us to eat and drink and enjoy soaking up the sun. We have 5 kids so I completely understand about not having to watch them like a hawk!

    (Ice blocking reminds me of how we used to "sled" down the hills growing up on toilet seats from when my parents remodeled their house...so fun, slightly dangerous, and weird lol.)

    I love that you have some different ideas than what you usually read about for cheap date nights. Great post!
    Jenny @ womenwithintention.com

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  11. These are great ideas. I love sitting/relaxing at the lake nearby (free). Going to the high school plays here costs a tidbit more though. Our goal is date night once a month, just reconnecting is great.

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  12. Great ideas! My hubby and I always say that the best things in life are free: each other's company, ocean, sun, mountains, nature in general are all free. So when we want to have a date, we just go for a walk in the mountains or along the ocean. Wherever it's quiet and without too many people passing by. We always have the time of our lives.

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  13. Love this Allison! The Ice-blocking made me do a double take as I read through the post. :) I had a deprived childhood too.. I have no idea what that is.

    We don't take as many date nights as we should, for the same reason. However, another idea to add to that list is a good old fashioned hike. We live near a big field and timber that we can tromp through. I pick up my camera and he just trods along. It makes the connecting so much easier when the burdens of everyday living are no longer hanging right there in front of you.

    Thanks for sharing the great ideas!
    Blessings!
    Dawn

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  14. None of those things near here are that cheap. But those are great ideas! We don't have time for dates though. I feel bad asking anyone to watch three kids for a few hours. So we just stay in. It's been a few years.

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  15. What great ideas for date nights. Sometimes hubby and I grab a bite to eat and do the grocery shopping together while the boys stay home with grandma.

    Angi from Tim and Angi's Blog

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  16. Awesome ideas! My husband and I are moving, and bc of that money is going to be so tight for the next couple of months, but I'd really like to still get out and enjoy time with him ALONE. This list has some really wonderful ideas, that I will absolutely taking advantage of!!

    Thanks for writing it!!
    Jillian
    http://www.babydoodah.com

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  17. Great ideas! I'm from Michigan and I've never heard of ice blocking. We definitely have enough snow around here to take a sled out though:). Cheap date nights can be a lot of fun. You've inspired me to schedule a few with my husband!

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  18. Truly positive spin on making a neat time with your favourite date ;-) It doesn't need to be expensive! Sometimes people get a bit overhwelmed by their money troubles so being told it CAN be done is just awesome!

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  19. Some great ideas. I think the most important thing is just to have fun with each other. Some people greatly undervalue the importance of spending time in each others company, without any distractions or outside responsibilities.

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  20. Fun ideas. I've started to see movies before noon. They're half price and the theater is definitely less crowded. I love the big screen and this makes it much more affordable.

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  21. All great ideas! We don't have kids but we are starting our own business so money is tight. Thank you for making me realize that we can still do things, even if we don't have extra money.

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  22. What an awesome post with great tips! We love cheap dates because we can justify going out more often! Plus I'm more myself when we're just going to the pub or a cheap movie. Hilarious about the picnic at the park but staying away from the playground!! Ha! And I'll definitely try that ice block idea in the summer! Thanks much!!

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  23. Date night? What's that? haha. With two young kids and a jammed packed schedule, my husband and I are WAY overdue for a date night. We have a comedy club near us and agree that's a great cheap date idea. We've always left with our cheeks burning from laughing for so long and we've even been able to find deals on local coupon sites that offer BOGO tickets! Last time we were there was a little over 18 months ago and I was close to 8 months pregnant, when the show was over and bills were dispersed, the couple next to us grabbed our check and said, "Congrats on your new addition, please let us take care of this for you." It was SO kind and I've been looking forward to going back and finding a way to pay it forward to someone else!

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  24. Cute ideas -- I love picnics in the park or at the beach/lake. Very romantic. The hubs and I had a picnic today as a matter of fact. Love your logo. Did you design it or have it designed? I'm looking to change up my logo.
    Divachyk @Relaxed Thairapy

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  25. Those are great ideas! I don't remember the last time we had a date, but these are great tips for a cheap date!!! Definitely keeping this in mind for our next one! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  26. Loved your ideas for a cheap date night or day out! I never heard of ice blocking! What a hoot. With all the snow we are having I think I'd rather go to the lake! You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun!

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  27. We don't get out on a regular basis but when we do; thankfully I have parents that live within a half hour drive(and close to lots of things to do), and our church has a parents' night out program(5 bucks/kid) not bad. We have even been known to do our date night at a gourmet grocery store...we love shopping so it works for us.

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  28. Great list. Way back when I was dating but not married I bought one of those local coupon booklets and it had a ton of buy one get one coupons for restaurants and local attractions. It really helped save money.

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  29. This is a great list of ideas, I cannot wait to try some of them. We don't often have a chance to get a date night but I think if we can squeeze it in, I might just break out this list. And living where it's cold most of the year, Ice Blocking would work for sure :)

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  30. Ice blocking! hilarious that's probably something I'll never do LOL but it sound awesome. I love cheap driving movies. you can bring your own pocorn from home :)

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  31. Hi Allison, great tips! Some of my favorite cheap dates include going on hikes and going swimming at a state park. Our local college also has a monthly art exhibit that you go see for free. Or even just walking the mall and checking things out, but not making any purchases can be fun and you can learn more about each others tastes. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. I love going to high school plays! I need to get better at going again now that I have kids and take hubby with me. So much fun!

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  33. Ice blocking sounds like a lot of fun! Living in the desert we don't get winter...what a great way to spend a date night enjoying a "winter" activity!

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  34. These are great ideas! My husband and I are always looking for new ideas for date night. We usually will have dinner and a movie, walk, or just sit in our backyard with candles and a glass of wine. I'm curious to give the ice blocking a try. That should be fun :)

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  35. What fun ideas! My husband and I need to be more proactive in going out. I like the ideas that don't mean you have to spend much money to do them.

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  36. Such great ideas. The best dates are usually the ones using imagination and time spent with the one you love. I would love to go ice blocking or spend a day at the lake with Dear Hubby. I need to get my imagination going and have some fun! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  37. Great Post! I love the idea of a dessert date! Hubby and I are doing that for sure. Thanks for all the great ideas.

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  38. Great post, we use groupon, living social and similar sites as a way to find deals and explore new places. Totally possible to have a nice date night without spending a lot of money.

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  39. Ice blocking reminds me of college when we used to steal the dining hall trays and "tray" down the biggest hill on campus after it snowed. I frequently take my girls out for girls night to high school plays. Then hubby and son do their own thing (mainly because I can't get hubby to go to a play!)

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    1. I've heard of tray sledding. I went to college in Las Vegas so there was no snowy hills to sled down. That's why we used ice! It takes major teeth pulling to get my husband to see a play. I think I'll start taking my girls one day when they're old enough.

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  40. We just moved away from our family so we also have to start paying for babysitter so thank you for the ideas!

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  41. These are so cute! My bf and I went to a beer brewery last summer and it was actually a lot of fun. The drive was about an hour and a half so we made a day trip out of it and packed a lunch to eat in a nearby park.

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  42. Great tips! It's not always easy when on a budget to find the 'date' night ideas that are reasonable yet fun! Thank you for some new ideas!

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  43. My husband and I have 4 kids 5 years old and under! Our dates are PRECIOUS. We have some awesome teenage girls who babysit, as well as a couple older "grandma figure" ladies who watch the kids for free every now and then. Even though we don't have family to help out, we feel like we've got it made!

    We're both almost 30, and returning to college. My husband graduates in May, but I'll still be going for quite a while yet. With our student IDs, we can get free tickets to the local college basketball games as well as extremely cheap tickets ($2-$7) for all the local university concerts, shows, and the city symphony. Pretty cool!

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  44. I love your ideas! We will definitely have to try some of those. One of our favorite date spots is our local brewery :)

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  45. Love your ideas. AND Ice Blocking. Never heard of this before. Looks like I have something new to add to our date night list

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