12 Cheap Non-Cheesy Date Night Ideas

So far, 2018 has been a bit weird over here for us. We’re struggling to find a rhythm that isn’t driving us into the ground. We’re both crashed on the couch right now and our dogs are on their 3rd or 4th nap of the day. It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away. I have no idea what we’ll be doing. As we’re striving for a rhythm of of intentionality, rest and Sabbath and still being able to be true to our commitments and who Jesus has called us to be, date nights haven’t been top of the list on my mind.

With the hustle and bustle, date nights seem to get lost in the mix under nights out with family and friends, grocery store trips and differing work schedules. Every now and then, I hit up the internet for some date ideas. It’s such a struggle though. The good date ideas are expensive. Most of the date night ideas are cheesy or just not simple to pull off for tired adults at the end of the week. Since we don’t have the money to throw down on expensive date nights every week, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite ones together here to help you jump start your ideas. We love easy date nights that can be pulled off no matter what schedule you’re having to work with. Here’s some cheap, non-cheesy date ideas we love!

At Home Date Night Ideas

Wine + Cheese Night at Home
This sounds like it’d be crazy elaborate and expensive. It’s totally up to you on how crazy you’d want to get, so you could splurge for expensive wine and all artesian cheeses, but you don’t have to. We usually buy table wine and then get a few of the blocks of cheese in the main cheese section, a pre-made cracker kit – they’re cheaper at our local store and a perfect amount for just us two. Every now and then we may throw in an artesian cheese or two to just try different flavors and keep it interesting. You can also pair deli meats like salami and fruits like grapes or apples to make it more of a meal.

Cook Something Together
We don’t do this one super often, because Rick is 100% the chef in this house, while I am the baker. We do love checking out recipes and trying new ones. If it ends up being a keeper, Rick usually puts his chef spins on it later. If you’re looking for some fun new ones, try perusing through the food boards on my Pinterest to get you started. We have a few Favorite Recipes we just started.

S’mores Night
This is a relatively simple idea for a dessert date night. We have done it in our fire pit, our fireplace, and even with the burners on our stove. Mix it up! Get some fruit, some different chocolates and even some flavored marshmallows. If you haven’t tried a Reese’s on a s’more, I highly recommend getting a King-sized on your next s’more making night. It’s one of my favorite upgrades to the classic s’mores treat.

Anywhere Date Night Ideas

Couples Resources
A few weeks ago, I talked about how I was trying to start my 2018 off well. Part of that included Rick and I sitting down and really talking through this Dream Guide together. We went out for dinner at a cute little local Vietnamese place and filled it out separately before discussing it. I loved hearing all our dreams and expectations for this year. There’s a ton of other resources that get you talking including this book we loved going through while dating and throughout our engagement, as well as various conversation starter cards like these.

Read a Book Together
This is one that we’ve been doing since last summer. It’s super easy. We take turns reading to each other. We’ll sit out in our back yard, read and discuss. We’ve also found that this is a great one to make a road trip seem more like a date. Some of our favorites that we’ve read and talked about together are: A Fierce Love and The Turquoise Table. We’re currently reading The Road Back to You.

Coffee or Milk Tea + A Bookstore
This is a pretty cheap date night for us, provided we don’t get sucked into buying books. It’s super simple too. We’ll eat something at home to save money and then go get to-go coffees or milk teas before wandering around a bookstore. Our cost is typically under $10 and our favorite book store to frequent on these dates is Half-Price Books. We have different interests and typically read different genres, so it’s interesting to see what the other picks up and what conversations spring forward as we walk around and peruse.

Same Page
This isn’t exactly the most romantic of ideas, so I’d skip it if you’re celebrating something big. This is a time when we literally sync our calendars. It’s definitely not the sexiest of date nights. I love it though, because we use it to intentionally discuss what’s coming up and how we can walk alongside our people in the next coming weeks or months. This mini date night helps us to not feel like we’re ships-passing-in-the-night, and it also helps us to not overcommit or over-schedule ourselves.

Game Nights
Did you know I absolutely love board games? Just kidding! If you’ve been around here, you know that I frequently talk about how much I love board games on the my What I’m Loving posts. It’s a simple low-tech way to connect in a competitive manner. Our current favorites that can all be played with just 2 people are Settlers of Catan, Skip-Bo, Bold, and Ticket to Ride, especially with the 1910 Expansion Pack. We’re also digging this lawn game and can’t wait for it to warm up so that we can play again. You can also play games at a tea house or a cafe like we do with our Coffee or Milk Tea + A Bookstore dates.

Out of the House Date Night Ideas

Yes, really! This is ironically one of my favorite date nights. It gets us completely out of our routine of dinner dates. We get to walk through and dream together. We peruse the dollar section, read funny greeting cards to each other, walk the aisles dreaming about the ‘somedays’ of home renovation and children, and of course get lost in the kids toy section, because Legos are so much cooler today than when we were kids. It’s a quirky date night, and it allows us to pick up a few things at the end if you need something at home.

We have a beltway by our house that we love to go hike with our dogs. This is one of those that is so doable, especially depending on your time. It takes roughly 30 minutes to walk our beltway. That gives us 30 minutes to talk, listen to and discuss a podcast together, and generally catch up. It’s a break for us from ‘city life’ and we get to tire out our dogs at the same time. Real trails or simply a walk around a local park is super fun too.

Local High School + College Events
We recently went to a high school choir concert where a lot of favorite songs from our middle school and high school years were showcased. The students were really good, plus we enjoyed living the past a little through the music. Tickets to these events are pretty cheap, and it goes towards helping fund arts education for the schools. As art and music lovers, we love being able to support that. Check out local football games in the fall for a throwback Friday night lights feel. Also, there’s some good high school musicals, especially depending on where you live. Houston’s got some great ones!

Mural Hopping
This is best for a day date, but we’ve loved it. We had the best time doing this as part of our Austin vacation last year. It is super adaptable in any area that has a bunch of local artists that have painted murals. You drive around, discover new places and get to see some incredible artwork along the way. Don’t forget to take a selfie at every stop!

What do you have planned for your next date night?

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