When Luke and I started dating at 20 years old, we were broke college students with loans adding up and not a lot of money to spare. Flash forward 3 years and we are now broke newly weds, still pinching pennies wherever we can. But why should that keep us from continuing to date each other?! I’ve heard so many times, “Never stop dating your spouse.” While I find this statement to be wise, it can be so hard to date your significant other or spouse when money just doesn’t grow on trees. I know other couples can relate… you want to spend time together but dates cost money, especially if you want to make them super fun. BUT, take heart my friends, that is not always the case! In the past three years that we’ve been together, Luke and I have gone on some REALLY FUN dates that haven’t cost us a dime! I’m here to change your thoughts that dating someone means “bye-bye savings account”. Here’s a list of our top 10 totally free AND fun dates:
1. Take a Hike
If you love the outdoors and exercise than what could be better than hitting the trail with your person, getting those endorphins going, and enjoying their company?! Not to mention the beautiful views you’ll partake in.
2. Go Swing Dancing
You don’t need to know how to give it a try! Luke and I were terrible when we first went swing dancing together but we scoped out a few couples in the room who were killin it and asked them to teach us a couple of their favorite, simple moves. Regardless of how terrible we were, we had a BLAST and spent quality time with each other. Dancing is a great way to make some memories and learn a fun skill you can use for the rest of your life. Don’t focus so much on “looking good” but rather having a ball with your best friend 🙂
3. Do a Craft Together
You don’t have to be artistic or crafty to create something together. Luke and I created the painting below together using our hand prints. A preschooler could do it but we had a lot of fun working together and now our artwork hangs in our apartment. If you’re not sure what to make, this blog will give you all kinds of fun DIY crafts to try!
4. Make Dinner Together and Have a Dinner Date
Now this idea COULD cost money if you had to go out and buy ingredients but why not go ultra frugal. Use this website to type in the ingredients you already have in your kitchen and it will generate recipes you can make using only the ingredients you’ve listed. Also check out Dinner4Two’s blog for delicious “dinner for two” ideas. (click here)
5. Check Out Your Local Parks
Wherever you live, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume there is some sort of beautiful park nearby that you can enjoy. Go for a walk, feed the ducks in the pond, have a picnic, or just lay out a blanket and watch the clouds go by. Where I live we have several arboretums, a rose garden, a beautiful park with weeping willow trees and a pond to feed ducks, botanical gardens, a wildlife conservation, and much more. I never would’ve found all the parks though had I not done my research. Use this blog to search for parks near you!
6. Visit an Animal Shelter
Who doesn’t enjoy loving on sweet animals? Who knows, maybe you can convince your significant other to take home a furry friend 😉
7. Go to the Gym or Do a Home Workout Together
If you don’t have a gym membership, most gyms will offer a free trial. Try a fun fitness class with your love or create your own workout together using the equipment and machines the gym offers. If you don’t want to go the gym route, you can try a partner workout. Check out this blog for a fun partner workout to try!
8. Play Tourist in Your Own Town
Your town may have a lot to offer that you’ve never discovered! Play tourist in your own town by looking up online what to do when visiting wherever you live. There may be interesting free museums, book stores, libraries, free parks and swimming pools (if it’s warm out), beaches, volleyball, basketball, or tennis courts, and much more.
9. Learn and Improve at a Sport Together
Luke is a champ at tennis, but I on the other hand went to tennis camp at the age of 7 and was caught picking daisies in the field nearby. It didn’t interest me much then, but soon after I started dating Luke I realized how much fun it would be to get good at a sport together. We had indoor and outdoor tennis courts at our University and public outdoor tennis courts a two-minute drive from our campus. The first time we played together I was at the same level of that 7 year old picking daisies, but after many tennis outings together and LOTS of patience from Luke we can now rally and play singles matches together. It also was a lot of fun for me to let Luke teach me how to play because I tend to be the louder more dominant person in our relationship but this taught me how to take a step back and let Luke be the leader.
10. Bake Goodies for a Neighbor or Friend
Nothing is more fun and fulfilling than serving someone. Whip up a batch of baked goods with your honey and surprise someone out of the blue with your treats. Who knows what will come of it, maybe you can finally meet a neighbor you’ve never spoken to or make your friend’s day! If you have ready mix on hand for baked goods than great! If not, don’t worry, I gotchu. These cookies are to die for and are SO simple. They are made with ingredients that any human who doesn’t have a peanut allergy will have on hand. 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. I’m not kidding. They are THAT easy. Simply mix all ingredients together, drop in 1-2 inch balls on an un-greased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, and then TRY to not eat all of them before they make it onto the plate and into your neighbor or friend’s hands. They may be an artery clogger but hey, a cookie that tastes this good and melts in your mouth like this one will is absolutely worth it.