Grady and I been trying to spend less and save more, and as a result we haven’t been going out as much and have been saying no more often. It’s been okay, but we’ve been feeling a little stuck. So, a few weeks ago, we made a jar of cheap date ideas! And it’s been helping us have more fun, more often.
We found lots of the ideas from here and here, and wrote them all out on different coloured popsicle sticks to make it pretty. These are pretty good for just hanging out with friends too… depending on your taste of course!
Update: An Epic Money-Saving Deal
I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and it came with some excellent stuff about relationships — it even comes with an adorable set of 52 Date Cards you can use to make your own book of date ideas! It lets you categorize them as “free,” “inexpensive,” “out-on-the-town,” “quick and easy,” and “at home” so you can find what you want really easily, instead of picking out ideas and having to put them back because they’re too expensive. (Which sucks, by the way. I’m totally going to make this album with Grady to replace our jar!)
And it has 50 ideas you can choose from!
Seriously, this bundle is awesome. It comes with over 100 different resources about saving money, organizing, self-care, relationships, and more. And it’s for a ridiculously good price of less than $30. Be sure to check it out here 🙂 it’s only on sale for a couple more days!
Here’s what our budget-friendly date jar contains. Feel free to make your own using our ideas!
1. Get coffee to go and go for a walk.
Nice and simple, but taking the time to actually just be together and talk is so nice!
2. Take your pet on an adventure
This is perfect if you have a dog — Grady and I have gotten Matrix a leash. We think he misses the outside world… he loves looking outside and is always escaping our apartment into the hallway whenever he can!
3. Watch the sunset.
Sounds cheesy, but this always makes for great conversation. Just picture yourself in the forest on a camping trip… or just go on a camping trip!
4. Visit the Humane Society and walk some dogs.
This is one of my favourites. The Humane Society is always grateful when we go by.
5. Go rock climbing.
Grady and I haven’t done this one yet, but I used to LOVE rock climbing. I’m no real mountaineer, but the indoor walls are so much fun! It’s solving problems with your body, which is super cool, and it’s surprisingly good exercise. Not really a team thing, so if you like doing things together but kind of separately, this is a great one.
6. Visit a local orchard or farm and pick fruits.
Then go home and bake!
7. Go ice skating.
I mean, I live in Canada, so…
8. Go make snow angels.
Again, Canada. This is basically a year round possibility!
It’s been YEARS since I’ve had fondue, and I’m excited to try this out!
10. Find all the historic landmarks of the city.
Basically a staycation. These are always fun! It’s cool to learn more about your city, and you get to feel kind of proud of where you are. (Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!)
11. Go snow tubing.
… did you know I live in Canada?
12. Have a NERF gun war.
Bonus if you attack first thing in the morning. Ha!
13. Go swimming together.
Not the greatest thing in the winter, even if you go to a pool, but I’m a sucker for the water.
14. A technology-free night.
Always much-needed: just talking.
15. Take a cooking class.
16. Go hiking in the river valley.
Or wherever you can go hiking.
17. Dinner & a movie.
Classic. We do this a lot anyway.
18. Go Geocaching.
It’s basically a real scavenger hunt! And totally free, unless you want to upgrade.
19. Do an Escape Room together.
Where we live they have “breakout” or “escape” rooms where you need to solve some kind of mystery/puzzle to escape in a certain amount of time. Lots of fun! I know they have them in other cities, so definitely see if you can find one near you.
20. Williams-Sonoma technique classes.
Fancier cooking classes.
21. YouTube dance lessons.
23. Board game night.
Another one we do all the time.
24. Go to a library and have a reading date.
25. Progressive dinner.
Appetizers at one place, dinner another, and dessert at another.
26. Go to the shooting range.
Little known secret: I’ve never shot a gun. Can’t wait to try it!
27. Dollar store date & ice cream.
$5 gift contest. Whoever gives the best gift gets free ice cream courtesy of the other.
28. Visit a mall without buying anything.
I hate shopping. Don’t know how this got allowed into the jar. Maybe because it’s not actually shopping?
29. Redo our first date.
This will obviously vary. For us, it’s missing a movie we plan to see, walking around that street, visiting a bookstore for an hour, then walking some more, and then going home and watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
30. Night car ride, windows down.
Weather permitting, of course.
31. Go to a Paint Nite.
They have a teacher guide you through replicating another painting (seriously it’s dollar store supplies, you need not have any skills whatsoever) and you get to drink and paint! You can choose the level of skill you want anyway.
32. Go to the Observatory and stargaze there.
If you have one, this would be a lot of fun!
33. Build a fire and make smores.
34. Coffee shop date.
Stay at the coffee shop this time.
35. Weekend Banff trip.
Or somewhere else kinda nearby that’s worth visiting!
Or do a stay-at-home massage date.
37. Put together a puzzle.
38. Bowling night!
39. Play guitar together.
I’ve had a guitar for about five years and still have yet to learn it… so G is supposed to teach me.
40. Visit ice sculptures.
Where we live, there are two places entirely dedicated to ice sculptures. I can’t wait to visit them!
41. Bake together.
42. Picnic date.
43. Watch the sunrise & have breakfast.
Staying up late or getting up early and doing something simple like this is always a lot of fun and can be really nice for bonding even among friends.
44. Harry Potter movie marathon.
Had to be included, of course!
45. Home spa night.
Massaging included, but there’s lots more you can do besides massages… *wink wink*
46. Wander a bookstore.
47. Go to the art gallery.
Find out if your art gallery does a cheap night, and go then!
48. Wine tasting.
We made this with the intention of going out, but you can always do it at home as well.
49. Make a bucket list.
Or cross things off!
50. Portable drive-in movie.
Take your laptop with you and find a spot to watch in the car!
51. Board game cafe date.
Another one that G and I have recently started doing at least once a month.
52. Visit a candy store.
See how long you can last until you buy something!
53. See improv together.
As a drama nerd, this is one of my favourites. But it’s really just a good laugh for anyone!
54. Camping in the living room.
Indoor smores? Can do!
55. Watch a documentary together.
56. Tour a brewery.
As G would say, drink the beers!
57. Hang out night with your lovable animal.
Just have a chill night with your pet. But really, truly spend time with them — don’t get stuck on your computer or watching TV!
58. Go to the Telus World of Science.
They have lots of exhibits and other things you do without having to pay extra, so take advantage of it and see EVERYTHING.
59. Play Expert on X-Com: The Board Game.
You can guess that Grady came up with this one. That game is pretty challenging because it runs on a timer and there is a lot to keep track of on Easy. I can’t even imagine what it’s like on Expert!
60. Make a time capsule of our past year.
This would be HILARIOUS with friends!
That’s it! Let me know if you try this — I’d love to see pictures, so tweet me @FlightScarlet if you make your own jar!