Yeah yeah yeah...every marriage blog and their mom wants to recommend 5 fun date ideas to you. But no one ever wants to talk about how expensive they are! Also, most of those date ideas are kinda stupid, so we came up with our own list.
With Annie taking some time off of work to take on a graduate program, we’ve had to get really creative about the kind of dates we go on. Date nights will always be a priority in our marriage, even though our wallets right now can’t really support the more conventional date ideas most of the time. That’s ok...we’ve found a few ideas that really work for us:
1. Monday Movies in Nature
2. Tuesday Tasty Video Nights
3. Wednesday Walk Abouts
4. Thursday Thurstay!
5. Fake Identity Friday
(On Saturdays and Sundays, just sleep in and go to brunch!)
Monday Movies in Nature
This is a throwback idea that brings us back to our 3rd date ever. When Annie and I first met, we bonded over the show How I Met Your Mother; so one day, I made a picnic out of it. I got us takeout from our favorite Mediterranean deli, picked a beautiful spot in nature (in our case, the quad at UNC) and we had dinner together and watched episodes of HIMYM on a blanket. I even made two thermoses filled with gin & tonic (Annie’s fav adult beverage). With Netflix letting us save shows/movies on tablets/phones/whatever, this gives us all an opportunity to have more outdoor picnics without running into data issues. If you want to save a little bit more money, you can always cook/prepare your picnic food at home.
Tuesday Tasty Video Nights
I really love the Tasty Videos that circulate online. They’re always so delicious looking, while also very simple! On choice Tuesdays (or really any day), it’s fun to just take a few of these videos and make dinner with your spouse. There are videos for appetizers, entrees, dessert, even cocktails! This date does require you to buy the ingredients in advance, so you’ll need to plan for that when you go grocery shopping. But believe me, these nights are very fun. If you want to get super crazy with it, you can set a timer and transform your home into Kitchen Stadium! #FoodNetworkisBAE
This is my favorite one, honestly. Not only is it the cheapest, but there’s nothing like walking around a downtown area or exploring a cool part of your city. On the flipside, we’ve also really enjoyed walking around in nature and seeing some beautiful sites. Walking gives us an opportunity to get our steps in, connect about our lives, and escape the doldrums of another night on the couch watching LOST (but to be fair, we really enjoy those nights too). Sometimes we get dairy-free ice cream or boba when we’re feeling it. On hot summer days, we just walk around the mall and window shop/ironically judge people who hang out in malls. Those walks are fun too!
I won’t lie, we’ve never actually done this one. But we’ve always wanted to! With drink prices at bars getting more and more expensive, we just can’t afford it. So this past Christmas, we got a mixology book so that we can experiment with making cocktails at home. It’s not that expensive to buy your own liquor, mixers, and mixing tools, plus it’s a really great party trick when you have people over. I love the idea of spending a night trying to learn new drinks and enjoying the fruits of your labor immediately afterwards. It beats paying $12-15 per drink at your local cocktail bar.
Fake Identity Friday
WARNING: This date is only for the more intrepid couples out there. If you’re not ok with lying or role playing, this date may not be for you. When Annie and I were engaged, we did a bunch of different cake tastings and food tastings in preparation for our wedding. At one point we thought, “What if we just kept doing this even when we’re already married? I mean...how would they even know?” Long story short: we were right. It’s very easy for random married folks to pretend to still be engaged while enjoying ALL THE FREE SAMPLES! I don’t recommend that you do this that often because eventually people will start to catch on. But in the meantime, treat yourself to some free and delicious dates.
Got any other date ideas? Feel free to let us know about it by clicking HERE and we’ll feature them on our social media pages. By the way, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #shameless
It’s very easy to let dating fall by the wayside when finances and time get in the way. Don’t let the love you have in your heart be stifled by the bills you have in your wallet. As long as you’re setting aside intentional time together, that’s all that really matters. There’s nothing wrong with a night on the couch, just don’t spend every night on the couch. There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of money on a dinner date, just be responsible with your finances. The point is just being smart about how you date each other, both in terms of what you do and how you do it. If you can create a plan for dating that really works for you, you’ll notice that you’ll feel effortlessly more connected and centered with your spouse. And when you do, we want to hear all about it.
Date on, my friends.
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Annie & Jack
Love. Marriage. Teamwork. Art. Offsetting the patriarchal footprint. These are some of the things we're thinking about.