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.