35 Cheap and Fun Date Ideas

When you’re in a relationship with someone in the Military who is always coming and going, you learn to make every second together count. You want to spend your time doing something special. Unfortunately, “something special” usually involves money in one way or another. Thus, my husband and I have become quite crafty when it comes to planning a special day or night activity, while going easy on the wallet.

You may start to feel defeated when brainstorming ideas, because wouldn’t you rather just go out to dinner or a movie? Of course, but dining out and paying for other traditional dates can really start to add up in a not-so-good way. Then you’re stuck thinking you can only go on a couple dates a month. That’s just boring. If you’re married, YOU SHOULD STILL BE DATING YOUR SPOUSE.

So here I am to hand over wonderful date ideas & inspire you to create your own. Here are some of our favorites, that we think all couples should try together:

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1. Browse a bookstore together and spend the day drinking coffee and searching for new hobbies to do together. Hobby farming, anyone?

2. Make a family favorite recipe for each other. Get your mom’s meatloaf recipe and have him get his grandma’s rice pudding recipe and make an event of it. Chances are, it’s much cheaper than Olive Garden.

3. Go on a hike, take lunch along. (Grocery store, pre-made deli sandwiches and bottled Coke are a fav for us)

4. Look up local attractions and be a tourist in your own town. There may be some hidden gems you didn’t even know about.

5. Rent your favorite childhood movies and watch them together. (The Goonies, Sandlot, and anything Disney) 

6. Visit the Humane Society. Its free and fun, but also dangerous. (You might come home with a puppy)

7. Read a book together. I recommend “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge and “Captivating” by Stasi Eldredge. They are wonderful Christian books that help us understand each other when it comes to gender differences. So fascinating, and helps any couple build a strong foundation for a healthy and understanding relationship.

8. Make goals together. Whether it’s to eat an organic meals once a week or start a new hobby together (like canoeing) goals are a fun way to better yourselves, TOGETHER. (Click here to see how to make effective & organized goals)

9. Make a list of places you want to travel – and what you want to do there.

10. Play your favorite board games together. (May I suggest Life, Dominos, and Empire Monopoly?)

11. Watch a documentary about something you’re both interested in. Then discuss your thoughts afterward. (On Netflix: Blackfish, Inside North Korea, 180 degrees South, Into the Pride)

12. Binge-watch TV Shows together. (On Netflix: Breaking Bad, Jericho, Lost, Portlandia, Malcolm in the Middle, The Tudors… more suggestions HERE.)

13. Visit a U-Pick farm (raspberries, strawberries, etc) – then make something out of what you gathered.

14. Explore the local Farmer’s Markets (usually between April – November)

15. Get Library cards together. (Cheaper version of the bookstore date)

16. Spend the day at the zoo, showing each other your favorite animals.

17. Go fishing. 

18. Visit a local jazz bar when there’s live music.

19. Put together a puzzle. (Put it away and make-out if you don’t have the patience for puzzles)

20. Shop around at flea markets and restore something together.

21. Play miniature golf.

22. Take your dog(s) to an off-leash dog park and make friends with other dog lovers.

23. Go to a pet show and guess which animals will win.

24. Play your favorite childhood video games together. (Crash Bandicoot or Mario?)

25. Go on a coffee shop date. This is our favorite – go to an old trusty or funky, new coffee shop. Bring your computer, notebook and pen, and talk about future plans together… whether it be next weekend’s getaway trip or your future baby names.

26. Look up movies that were filmed in your area, watch the movie, then visit the location. (The Notebook – Cypress Gardens, SC)

27. Have a Spa Night. Listen to soothing music, give each other massages, paint your nails while he clips his toe-nails…

28. Make an outrageously awesome Bucket-List. Go hot air ballooning, pet a lion, ride the world’s fastest roller coaster (at Farrari World in Abu Dhabi).

29. Play pool together at a local bar.

30. Make House wish-lists. Tell each other about your dream homes and see what parts you agree on. (Pinterest makes this one more fun)

31. Make a Pizza together. You can put whatever you want on it, you just have to agree on what.

32. Go Geocaching. Click HERE to find out how.

33. Design mugs for each other. All you need is a sharpie, two dollar store mugs and an oven. Directions are found HERE

34. Make fancy drinks together. Pina coladas, mojitos, bloody mary’s… yum.

35. Do home projects together – paint a room, stain the deck, hang up new pictures, etc.


“Most men think the mission ends after they marry the woman they love, that the most exciting and rewarding work is over… The reality is that the mission has only just begun.” – Justin Buzzard in Date Your Wife





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