I’m going to make a confession. I love frugal date night ideas. Especially from Pinterest.
I’m one of those people that read all the tips and tricks liberally sprinkled over the web. I love to Pin and read blogs. I’m also one of those people that specializes in epic Pinterest fails. I aim for egg fried rice and end up with a smushy mix part cooked rice and over cooked egg – nothing like it is supposed to be. I long to be able to create bullet journal pages that have flair, artistry and panache
– but my artistry skills be like:
So one of my aims for this blog is to speak from real life – tried and tested things that I have actually done/used myself. In this post I will be outlining some of my favourite frugal (and fun) date night ideas!
Frugal date night ideas
I am not the biggest fan of formal exercise. No apologies. Just truth! Walking endlessly and going nowhere on a treadmill or stepping indefinitely and remaining on the same floor seems like the ultimate frustration to me. I do, however, like exercise with a point. A walk in the park, along the beach or in the forest can be a wonderfully relaxing thing and my current passion is using my tricycle! Husband and I love to go out tricycling (ok he goes on his bike, I’m inclusive) and sometimes we combine this with some of the other tips below…. read on! If you have a bike, or access to one – a date night bike ride will cost you £0. Hooray!
Pack a picnic
Al fresco eating doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. We often make a sandwich (or salad), grab a thermos of coffee and get out to our local park for dinner. I love how much better food tastes outdoors. Ever since I was little I always begged for picnics. I love that husband is so keen to go out on the bike/trikes and have some outdoor meal time!
Failing the energy to ride or walk out, we sit in the garden to have dinner. It seems so much more relaxed and fun. Last night we went out on the bikes for coffee and bought reduced flapjack for husband as the store was closing. He honestly was so pleased with the flapjack. I was happy about the reduced sticker. Win-win! If you already have your meal bought, changing the location of consumption is easy and free. It’s amazing how different it feels.
My in-laws give us a Costa Coffee gift card for most present-events (wedding anniversary, birthday, christmas etc.). This means we can pop out of an evening or weekend and grab an indulgent coffee for (pre paid) free! We try and take our reusable cups too so that we get the discount, and make our card go further.
I’ve given husband Caffe Nero vouchers, and vouchers for a local independent coffee shop – it doesn’t really matter where or how much. It’s a tradition now that for our anniversary and Valentines gifts we just put money our coffee cards. We love that we don’t have to worry about finding coffee money and we can go out on spur of the moment coffee dates together!
Coffee Shop Loyalty Cards = free coffee dates!
We also love that by having a myWaitrose card we can have a completely free hot drink! Plus don’t forget to keep your loyalty cards for any cafes to hand. The points or stamps add up surprisingly quickly.
Anyway here is an example:
McDonalds McCafe drinks all have a sticker on the side and a pop out loyalty card. Buy 6 hot drinks and get the next one free – but the free one gives you a sticker so that means you only need 5 hot drinks for a free one from that point on!
Costa allows you to collect points even when you use a gift card. This allows us to always keep that topped up in case -gasp- we run out of prepaid cards. We can still get free coffee! Phew!
Home Cinema Night
No, I am not advocating you build an extra room on your house. Do not go and buy La-zee-Boy Chairs, a surround sound multi screen with state of the art projector and vintage popcorn machine. Though if you can afford it and it floats your boat? Go for it.
For us, movie night consists of:
- closing the curtains to make it darker, maybe one lamp on in the corner (especially when husband picks a horror movie. I am an amazing wife. We call them “yarny movies” because I will be making whilst he keeps track of all the blood and gore…).
- Blankets (handmade during previous movie nights) to snuggle under are a must
- either some home cooked popcorn (healthier and cheaper) or a small bag of crisps each, or nothing
- normally have a cup of tea or coffee (from the detail above you can’t be shocked that caffeine is involved), husband and stepson sometimes have a hot chocolate
and that’s it.
Buying the movie
We don’t have a lot of DVDs, but when I am charity shop rummaging I always have a quick look through the DVDs (£2 is fair for a date night!). We own around 10 DVDs that we love so will watch them again too. I scan the TV Guide which can provide free films or feature length dramas, and we also have Amazon Prime (which we pay for jointly and share) for thousands of movies for us to choose from and stream for no extra costs.
Lots of people prefer the cinema as you can see fresh brand new movies, and you can immerse yourself in the film. I have to agree that I love the experience. What I don’t love is the cost – nearly £30 for two people to sit and watch a film with the person next to you scrunchy sweet papers and slurping their £5 drink… No thank you!
Have you got any frugal date ideas? Let me know so I can try them out and tell the world!
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