Frugal Dating And The Fun Factor

A couple of weekends ago, the boyfriend had to take his truck to the shop to get repaired. It cost over $1000, so when we went to go out for our Friday night dinner (we hate cooking on Fridays), we decided to stay in to save money.

When I proposed this to the boyfriend, he agreed. But the next thing out of his mouth was “so, what should we do?”. We’d gotten so used to going out that we didn’t really know what to do at home.

We came up with a few things that we thought would be fun, and have enjoyed doing them in the past few weeks. Here’s what we came up with:

Make a New Recipe

I know that cooking on a weekend evening sounds awful, and really, it is. But if you can make a new recipe that is easy or that you’ve never tried before, it can be a lot of fun.

We made nachos on our date night. We got all of the stuff that one loves pub nachos for, and they were pretty amazing. We used olives, big, restaurant style chips, fresh salsa, homemade guacamole, jalapenos, tomatoes, and of course a lot of cheese.

The bill for all of these ingredients came to about $13, which doesn’t sound like you’re saving money, but we still had the majority of the cheese and salsa, and some of the chips left, so it was a much better value than going to a restaurant.

Baking something or making something sweet would also be fun.

Total: $10-13 (ingredients)

 Go House Shopping

Last week, my boyfriend and I went to go to the movies, but failed to think ahead. The kids are out of school for the summer, and it was the opening week for a popular movie, so we left after seeing the lineups. We had already picked up some snacks and candy at the grocery store because the movie theater snacks are so expensive, so we wanted to do something. We ended up driving around, munching on the candy, and looking at the nice houses in the nicer neighborhoods. We would rate them and pick a favorite on the street. We’d guess what type of people lived there based on the state of the lawn, the type of siding, etc. We had a lot of fun and it was nice to dream about our goal of becoming home owners.

Total: $5-$10 (snacks in our case, gas)

Wine and Comedy

When you come home on Friday night from a long week, it’s so nice to just laugh a little. One of my favorite things to do if we’re staying in is watch comedy shows for my favorite comedians on YouTube and have a (big) glass of wine.

My boyfriend and I could do that every night and be completely content; there are a few go-to YouTube channels that never fail to keep us  laughing,

It’s always nice to be able to just laugh and forget about the stresses of the work week.

Total: $5-$20 (wine)

Play Board Games

This may seem obvious, but boardgames – if you already have them – are free, and they can be super fun. Get a little competitive and make it so the loser has to buy the bottle of wine.

Monopoly is great, but switching it up and playing the less obvious games can keep it a little more interesting.

Total: Free (or, $5-$20 with wine/beer/drinks)

Just Go For Dessert

Sometimes, it just doesn`t feel like the start of a weekend unless you get out of the house. To save money, eat your main meal at home and then just go for dessert.

The meals and the drinks are definitely the most expensive part about going to a restaurant; at $10-$20 per entre, a dinner for two can end up costing a lot.

Going just for desert can save money and also will help you avoid the dinner rush, which usually comes with long lineups and wait times.

Total: $6-$15 (dessert and tip) 

Saving money and being frugal can be boring sometimes, but it doesn`t have to be. Making a date night fun by thinking outside of the box while still saving money can be helpful to your relationship and your finances.

So, how have you saved money on dates and still had fun? I would love to hear your ideas. 


Comments

Frugal Dating And The Fun Factor — 25 Comments

  1. I’d add just go for coffee (I like coffee! 😉 ) It’s also fun to “window” shop or visit antique fairs. Sort of like window shopping for houses, but instead a bunch of stuff you might not ever want to own, but it’s fun looking at all the same.

  2. It’s fun to window shop and go for some quick hikes or walks. Other things we’ll do is buy more expensive food than what we normally buy for our grocery shopping and have a great stay at home meal with movies.

    • Window shopping seems to be a winner, too! I can’t do it as often because I end up wanting to buy things, haha. Yes we love to walk our dogs for fun. Although depending on the season I tend to complain a lot about how hot/cold it is!

  3. Cooking on the weekend is a good thing. You can take your time and try some new recipes. I guess you have to like cooking to enjoy it.
    We usually just find free events around town. Last weekend we went to the Italian Festival. The music was fun and we only spent $10 on food.

  4. Sweet! Cheryl & I love just checking out houses. Now that I live in a tiny town, we can’t do that anymore. BUT when we’re in the Dallas area we’ve had some great, cheap times doing just that.

    On the board games: you had me until Monopoly. Nothing I hate more than a two hour board game that’s pretty much over after the first 15 minutes. Try Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan for some fun!

  5. Daisy,
    Frugal dates are so fun. The lady and I love to just walk around the nearby college campuses, stop at benches and sometimes people watch (we’re nice, I promise). When the weather is suitable, slow bike rides are fun. We’ve also cooked a few meals together lately. They’re always so satisfying!

    We don’t even need to drive anywhere since we both live close to everything. It’s great to just walk everywhere and not spend a penny on fuel!

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  6. I like these, and most of my dates are pretty frugal, too. Your comment about hating to cook on a Friday night was funny since I have the opposite reaction. Sometimes it’s nice to just be together — me, puttering in the kitchen, him playing on the computer.

  7. Enjoy this time when you can be frugal with your dates – it starts to get harder when you have kids and have to hire a babysitter for each one! I like your list, though. My wife and I like to go on long bike rides and walks together, which is both exercise and fun (for us, anyway).

  8. Frugal dates are awesome, and it makes it more special when you go out and do something like movies, a show, etc. We live by the beach, so there’s a lot of frugal dates right there, but I also like to work out, play tennis, golf, etc with my gf.

  9. Fun post. Frugal dates are great.

    The driving range is a cheap one as well.

    Nothing is better than cooking together on the weekend, when you have lots of time/when you have the time 🙂

  10. I love playing board games, but unfortunately the bf is not a big fan of them. We did play twister once and it did get pretty competitive though. I was holding a pose in the most awkward position ever for the longest time, my ankles began to hurt. lol.

    We’ve done house browsing before and I enjoyed that. I’ll have to remember to bring snacks the next time around. 🙂

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