15 Ways to Do Date Night on a Dime
1. Go to the movies for cheap. There are ways to do movie dates on a budget: "Find second-run theaters. They cost about $2 per person per show. Or go to a matinee of a current movie."
2. Make it a lunch date. "Order from the lunch menu -- it's cheaper than dinner and the portions aren't that much smaller."
3. Go to a cooking class. "Go to Williams-Sonoma and attend one of their cooking demos." You'll have some new recipes to try instead of going to a restaurant, so you'll save even more money.
4. Rethink tool time. Cooking stores aren't the only places with free how-tos: "Hardware stores like Lowe's and The Home Depot have DIY seminars. You can both learn to fix things, and it's fun and free!"
5. Make a reservation -- for dessert. "We go to our favorite ice-cream shop and get sundaes, then drive around town and get in some quiet time."
6. Have a Wii night. You've already invested in a Wii, now use it for date night. "We have date-night Wii tourneys and make some interesting bets to spice things up. Anything goes, from doing dishes to sexual favors!"
7. Hit the links. "A really fun date is going to the golf course and playing just nine holes. I did that recently with my husband. Even if you guys aren't good, it's still fun."
8. Volunteer together. For a feel-great date: "Volunteer together somewhere. One of my favorites was volunteering for a local farm to harvest veggies that are then sold at ridiculously low prices to people in need. We had a blast and felt great about helping. Cost: gas money."
9. Step up to the plate. "My husband and I take a bat and a ball to a local school and play around." Get into it with knee-high socks, baseball hats or even your favorite team's jersey.
10. Get crafty with your home improvements. Decorate and date! "My husband and I do silly, crafty things. For example: We'll go to A.C. Moore or Michaels craft store and buy things that we can make to decorate the outside of our house!"
11. Go on a field trip. Soak up culture free of charge: "Our neighborhood library has free passes to local museums. You can check out the passes like a library book."
12. Read all about it. "If you look in any local paper, you can usually find an entertainment section full of cheap activities in the next few days." Stick to your own neighborhood so you won't have to use extra gas or waste travel time.
13. Pack a picnic in the park. Pack a picnic basket: blanket, bottle of wine, cheese, fruit, etc. -- but be warned: "We did this once to be cheap, and ended up spending about $70. So, make sure it's an inexpensive bottle of wine and cheap cheese."
14. Take a staycation. You don't even have to leave the city limits: "We live in San Francisco, so we visit the Japanese Tea Garden and pack a lunch. You'll get to experience a little bit of another country right inside Golden Gate Park."
15. Have a theme night. "Schedule a theme dinner and movie night at home." Create a menu based on the movie you're watching (i.e., spaghetti for a Francis Ford Coppola flick) and make it together before watching.