Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thrifting Thursday: Cheap Date Nights Don't Have to Suck

We've all been there, right? You want to spend a special evening with that special someone and the ATM is practically mocking you. "You think you have enough money to do THAT?! Think again, dummy!" 

As Valentine's Day approaches, it might seem like every single person in a relationship is making reservations at the swankiest restaurants or booking weekends away at five star hotels (or even just going out at all) and you feel like you and your significant other are going to be stuck eating dry ramen at home in the dark.

Fret not, dear friends! I've got a few go to date-nights that are easy on your budget, but won't leave you feeling or looking like a cheapskate! And you don't need reservations for a single one, so there's still time to plan a fabulous, yet frugal Valentine's Day for you and your sweetie!

1. Peruse a Local Bookstore- 


Rick and I both love to read. In fact, our very first date took place at a Borders book store, mostly because we're both, apparently, calmed by the sight of books (I'm only half kidding...).  If funds allow, grab yourself a beverage at the in-store cafe and peruse the stacks together. If you're anything like us, you might spend your entire evening wandering around the displays and talking about your favorite books and authors and having some wonderful time connecting with one another! This date would be free if you skipped buying a beverage. 

If you like a more structured date, check out this post over on The Dating Divas! It takes a little more prep work, but I think the potential for fun makes it totally worth it!

2. Events at Local Art Galleries (Free)- 

Most people wouldn't guess this about Greeley, but my city has a lot of art galleries. On top of which, almost every coffee shop has a monthly art show displayed. One really excellent way to get to know your city, spend some time with that special someone AND have a cultured night on the town is to check out the local art scene.


One specific event springs to mind and that is the First Friday Art Walk. On the first Friday of every month, the downtown distinct here in Greeley, and all across the U.S, invite their businesses to stay open late and open the doors to the community. Many if not all of these businesses plan art shows, music performances and art demonstrations, usually for free! Some of them even provide light appetizers and beverages, free of charge! That's one free date night guaranteed every month! Check into your own towns events. Who knows! Maybe you have First Friday going on right under your noses!

3. New Food Night- 

While this is not a free date, it is definitely a cheaper option. Pick a genre of food/recipe that you both would like to try your hand at and make a menu, shop for ingredients, prepare and enjoy it together! Maybe make a day out of it by heading to the local farmer's market and picking out your fresh ingredients. This date can cost as much or as little as you'd like it to, depending on the type of food you choose, but you're bound to spend less by eating in and you might have enough left-overs to get you through the rest of the week! Yum!

4. Build a Fort (Free)

Call me childish, but I love a good blanket fort; I always have. Sometimes when money is tight, it's good to remember some of those simple pleasures from when we were younger. How did you entertain yourself before you new what it was to have money? You'll be surprised how fun some of those activities still are!


Grab some blankets, sheets, a couple of chairs and some clothespins and you've got yourself the foundation of a perfectly respectable hide-out! There is nothing better on a rainy/snowy night than snuggling up with someone you love under a fort you've built together and watching a movie. Add some twinkle lights and some popcorn and you've bumped your night up to magical! If you're not in the mood for a movie, grab your lap top and cue up some of your favorite You Tube videos! Hmmm....I just might suggest this idea for this weekend! :)

5. Thrifting (Obviously!)- 

Rick and I can always bond over a good thrifting session. We can thrift all day, if left to our own devices. During the summer we can hit multiple thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales and the flea market all in one day, if we've had a breakfast high in protein! For the purposes of a date night, find yourself a thrift store that's open late. Give yourself a budget of, say $5-$10 a piece and come up with some sort of a challenge and a time limit. For example, who can find the most valuable item, who can buy the most items, who can find the weirdest item, who can find the item that best suits the other person. You get what I mean. The possibilities are endless!


Valentines Day can sometimes focus us too much on the commercial aspect of dating. But you don't need money to have a memorable time with someone! All of these ideas have one thing in common; spending time with the person that you care about! That's what this all boils down to. If you're with that person, any activity can be amazing, whatever the price! Get creative and have fun!

What are some of your favorite frugal date night activities? I would love to hear them!


  1. Mmm...a blanket fort. Lots of fun things can happen under there. ;-)

    1. What happens in the blanket fort stays in the blanket fort! ;)


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