Often as soon as you say your vows, the dating allowance goes right out the window so you can start being responsible and saving up to buy a house. You have to stop dating, though. Plenty of fun and frugal dates are out there. Try some of these ideas on for size.
1. Bookstore scavenger hunt
Head to your favorite bookstore and, just before going in, create a scavenger hunt list of books with specific characteristics. Maybe you each have to find a purple book, a book with the letter “Q” on the spine, a book you’ve read at least twice and a book with the word “silly” in the title. Set a time limit and pick a spot to meet back up, share your finds and peruse the books, all the while looking for amusing or interesting parts to share with one another.
2. At-home fondue
Going out to eat can be really pricey, especially when it comes to a romantic dinner. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to make your own fondue at home. You don’t even need a special pot or forks; just cook it on the stove. Try cheese fondue with bread for an appetizer, mushrooms and cubes of steak cooked in simmering beef broth for the main course and chocolate fondue with fresh fruit for dessert.
3. Doggie date
Rather than leaving your dog at home while you’re on a date, include her on your next outing. Find some coupon codes for groomers in the area, take your dog out to get pampered up, and head to one of her favorite spots. You and your spouse can go on a hike in a picturesque spot. Alternately, you can go to a dog park and make up life stories for all the other dogs there. Spend some time cuddling and talking on a bench while you throw the ball for your dog to play fetch.
4. Farmers’ market Iron Chef
Head to your local farmers’ market, browse the stalls and then split up to purchase your spouse a secret ingredient for a cooking challenge. Head home, exchange secret ingredients and give yourselves an hour to each prepare a dish featuring your ingredient. You can allow the use of computers to look up recipes if you want the food to be edible.
5. Open house hunting
Start imagining your dream house by heading out on a date to visit open houses together. In most parts of the country, you can find open houses all over the place on Sunday afternoons. Often, you can drop in even if you don’t have a real estate agent. Just remember this date could get really expensive if you fall in love with a house you see!
6. Spa night
Everyone likes being pampered, especially when there are so many ways to take care of yourself. Start with some lit candles, music of your choice and homemade spa products for facials. You might also try almond or jojoba oil to give each other massages. Finish off with at-home pedicures or deep conditioning treatments. You’ll actually be able to relax because you won’t be worried about how many dollars per minute you’re spending!
7. Yard sale challenge
Pick a Saturday morning, get up early, and start scouting about for garage sales. Try a variety of neighborhoods when seeking out treasure, especially residential areas you don’t normally frequent. To keep things affordable, limit yourself to $5, $10 or $20 and seek out the best possible deals. When you’ve spent your allotted amount, head home and make a case for why you scored better deals than your partner.
Dating your spouse doesn’t have to cost much — or anything, in some cases. Just find some fun scenarios and enjoy spending time together and learning more about each other. Most couples find a regular date night a great way to stay connected and keep their relationship growing.
Editor Note: Don’t forget to let us know your ideas for dating your spouse on a dime.