How to do date night on a budget

14/08/2016

Whether you're at the start of a exciting new relationship or like me, in a long term relationship, date nights are incredibly important. There is nothing I enjoy more than getting dressed up, sliding my feet into a beautiful pair of heels and spending time with Liam. Whether that is with a slap-up meal being wined and dined, or as casual as heading out for the day wandering through fields picking our own fruit, I am just as satisfied. That being said, both force us to open the purse strings. In reality, for us, we both can't really afford to spending every day off we have together especially as we have just got back from an expensive holiday not too long ago, and are looking to save to move out together next year. Thus I thought I would share how you can still have great date nights on a tighter budget.

Supermarkets are your best friend - For those evenings when you can't be bothered to wash your hair or even get out of your pyjamas, having date nights sitting at a table with a great meal can be just as enjoyable as spending over £50 for a meal out at a nice restaurant. One of our favourite meals to have together when we are having a date night are either a tapas or cheese board. The above photo including the wine cost us £15. Yes that's right, £15. The key to how I managed to save so much money on this meal was to shop around.

Lidl recently released a new 'Taste of Iberia' range with a huge variation of Spanish delicacies starting from 59p. It's such a shame that some people avoid supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl or try and distance themselves from them when in European countries they are all you see. It's the best way to get some culture into your meals and for me (Liam took some convincing) it just shows that cost doesn't always guarantee taste. Almost all our meats were from here and the cheese too and they tasted so, damn, good. I only picked up a few bits of the range for our tapas night but I could have bought so much more. FYI this post isn't in collaboration with Lidl, I just really like the supermarket.

Not only just for evenings, an awesome alternative for those days when the sun is shining is to head out and have a picnic together. Picnicking in the park is an adorable and inexpensive classic. Get yourself to the supermarket, grab some of your favourite ingredients to make fingers sandwiches, some sweet treats and a nice bottle of bubbly (or a non-alcoholic beverage) and you'll both be good to go. 

Netflix and chill - Take that as you will, but Netflix or Sky Movies are a great alternative to spending quality time together; watching a movie, rather than paying what can be up to £30-40 (if you buy snacks, which I definitely do) for a trip for two to the cinema. When you have had a long day at work it can be hard not to just want to curl up on the sofa, alone, and spend hours catching up on what everyone else has been up to on social media. The best way to avoid this is to agree that for both of you it will be a no phone zone for the duration of the film/series. Power off, relationship on. What is also another positive, again if you're anything like me for those days where getting out of your pyjamas was something definitely not found in your to-do list, it's a great way to get yourself positioned under the duvets, have yourself a little cuddle and spend some quality time together. 

Dust off those old board games - One of my own personal favourites, you will be surprised that even as an adult, countless hours of fun can be found from playing board games as a date idea. Maybe not the greatest idea if you are looking for more of a traditionally romantic setting; as you enter the house to You and Me by Lifehouse, finding rose petals scattered everywhere and only able to see by candlelight. Instead you may find yourself arguing over who's turn is next, or how that was the property you needed to start buying houses. Many a time has this happened in the McAneny-Hopkinson household. Liam is adamant I'm cheating every time we play. The reality? I'm just better at Monopoly than he is. Board games are a really great way of injecting a bit of silliness to a date night, plus you could also have a double date this way as well.

Explore the beautiful outdoors - There is so much to be seen simply from just placing your two feet out the front door. Why don't you both wake up early one morning, put on some comfortable footwear and just go for a walk together. This is perfect for dates that don't lend themselves to real conversation; use the walk to get to know each other and the date for having fun. The days of scavenger hunts may feel long over, but they don’t have to be. You have no idea what you might come across. Plus, they’re easy to organise yourself. Simply make a list of a few things you both may have been wanting to see or do, and head out to find and experience them all.

So there you have it. My tips to still having great date days/nights together without breaking the bank. In addition to that too, I think it's exciting to do things together with your better half that are outside the box. Some of the best moments I have had with Liam have where we haven't spent a penny. After all, love doesn't cost a thing. Let me know your thoughts and if you think they may come in handy for you, or if you have some great ideas to add to inexpensive date nights.

6 comments

  1. These are great tips, thank you for sharing! I'm always wracking my brains for how to do date night without spending a fortune, and you've inspired me to arrange one of our own next week! x

    Lorna | Lorna, literally.

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    1. That's so great to here, I hope you have the best time! Plus you can keep those pennies and treat yourself to a new dress... Win-win ;) x

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  2. We just had a budget date night - I made a nice dinner followed by a film and lots of treats! Not a massively exciting one, but definitely cheaper than heading out to town. Personally I'd rather chill at home together than be in a busy restaurant or bar 90% of the time! Especially when I'm waiting out for pay day! x

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    1. I'm the safe as you, I do love a nice night in together rather than being around all the hustle and bustle that can come with evenings at the weekend. X

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  3. Great tips! I really like to put together little bags of things my girlfriend likes from the supermarket for date nights too! Usually cheese, meats and some chocolate.

    Aisling | anthologie.

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