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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Guerrero

Budget-Friendly Date Night Ideas!

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

WHOA...what happened to gas prices in southern California over the last couple weeks?! It's gone up more than $1.00/gallon where I am, how about you?

When combined with the forever-rising grocery prices, inflation and "shrinkflation", and the fact that many jobs are not adjusting salaries to compensate for the higher cost-of-living, it can be frustrating and stress-inducing to figure out how we can stretch our monthly budget further than usual. And let's be honest, one of the first areas we usually have to monetarily restrict is the "fun" stuff, right? Between the social outings, parties, brunches, concerts, and quick weekend getaways...the tab can add up quickly!

But what about date nights (or date mornings, date afternoons)? As a therapist I've always highlighted how important it is for a couples to have (and even prioritize) that coveted time away from the house, away from usual weeknight routines, and away from the kids, if applicable. It's a much-needed reprieve in the hum-drum of our daily lives and please hear me when I say... you deserve that!

The truth is that we might need to temporarily adjust some of our expectations, but we DO NOT have to give up date nights all together. Here is a quick list of free or inexpensive date ideas that I've shared with clients to help make sure their special 1-on-1 time together can remain apriority in the household!

Affordable Date Checklist

  • Go watch a sunrise or sunset at the beach together

  • Exchange 30 min massages with lotion or massage oil

  • Game night at home (can include friendly or x-rated bets!)

  • Cook a new recipe together (and trade off who picks the recipe each time)

  • Plan for happy hour at a favorite restaurant instead of full dinner service

  • Rent or stream a new movie - pair with your favorite takeout!

  • Pack a picnic brunch/lunch/dinner for a relaxing date at a park

  • Explore local botanical gardens or a new hiking trail

  • Research local discounted museum or aquarium days

  • Community pop-up events ("4th Fridays", Night Markets, etc)

  • For couples who love sports- consider the batting cages, the driving range, bowling, or billards

  • Don't forget to check out seasonal events like cultural festivals, pumpkin patches, haunted mazes or hayrides, or just walking around to see the beautiful holiday light displays!

I hope this list is helpful or even inspires some ideas of your own that best suit your relationship!

And remember- every date doesn't need to come from the budget list, but mixing in options like these should help ease the financial hit that's usually associated with date night.

However, if you find yourself struggling to connect during date nights or have reached a point in the relationship where date nights are no longer in the forefront of anyone's mind - I recommend considering whether couples' therapy might be a reasonable next step. For more information on this, please check out my previous post, "Is Couples’ Therapy Right for Your Relationship?"

-Wishing you peace and good health-


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2 Kommentare

Ashley Pierce
Ashley Pierce
19. Nov. 2023

So many great ideas!!!

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Dustin Becknell
Dustin Becknell
29. Sept. 2023

OMG batting cages for a date night!!! My wife and I looooovvveeeee baseball.

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