Summer is finally here – I can say it. It was a long winter for us here in Minnesota so I’m ready to spend as much time outside and out of the house for the next three months. Jake and I have already been spending our weekends in the garden and our evenings taking walks, and I’m soaking it all.
Along with enjoying summer, we’re also being careful with our money. In a previous post, I shared that one our goals for 2018 was to be as close to debt-free as possible by the end of the year. With that, we are being particular about the social activities we’re participating in, including our date nights. We want to be sure that we’re still enjoying life, while also getting the most bang for the small bucks we’re spending.
I’m one that really enjoys taking at least a few hours from our week to have a date night (or day), so I’m trying to be creative with our options. You can definitely be on a budget and still enjoy the little things in life.
So here’s some affordable date ideas for the summer months that I think you’ll enjoy!
Picnic at the Lake
Trying to stay on track with your diet? Wanna go out on a date? Bring your own food to the lake for a picnic. We’ll bring dinner, lounge on the beach, then walk the lake after we’re done.
Picnic at the Park
Don’t have a lake or beach near you? Try a park instead. Sometimes we alternate between going to the lake and a local park. Parks usually have outdoor sports options too, like frisby golf, volleyball or a swing set (because we’re all kids at heart).
Reading this blog post in the middle of winter? Set up picnic in your living room and pop in a movie.
Make Dinner Together
Pick a recipe that you both want to try and make it at home. During the summer months, trying barbecuing something that you wouldn’t normally make on the stove or in the oven. Again, if you’re someone who is trying to stay on track with your diet, you can easily pick a recipe that is healthy and you know exactly what ingredients are in it.
Recently, we made homemade enchiladas and they were delicious! I didn’t weigh all of the ingredients, but I knew exactly what was used so I just eyeballed it in MyFitnessPal. That’s the beauty of following flexible dieting and weighing your food for a while – you get used to portion sizes and get better at estimating.
Discount Movie Theaters
Some metro areas have discount movie theaters where you can see movies for $2 or $3. The movies are usually a few weeks out from their original release date or are cult classics. For me, there’s something nostalgic about going on a movie date night and sharing snacks. If you live in the Twin Cities area, check out Riverview Theater or the Hopkins Mann Theater.
Try doing a quick search on Yelp for discount theaters in your area. Alternatively, if you have drive-ins in your area try one those – you usually get three movies for the price of one.
Park Movie Nights
A lot of the cities offer free movies in the park during the summer months. Bring some popcorn and a lawn chair or a blanket, and enjoy an evening in the park.
Walk the Mall, Grab an Ice Cream
During the winter this is one of my favorite dates. We go to the mall, window shop, and grab an ice cream. Lately my favorite ice cream treat has been a small vanilla cone dipped in sprinkles from Dairy Queen. This is a great date night idea for a rainy summer day so keep it in mind.
Go to an Art Museum
Again, the Twin Cities area has an abundance of art museums to visit, with many of them offering discount tickets on certain nights of the week or to those with student IDs. Life hack, if you didn’t know, you can you use your college ID for many years after graduating, so hold onto it. Some museums even have free entry, with donuts encouraged of course. Locally, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design has free entry with great exhibits, including some from the student body. We also like to visit the Minneapolis Museum of Russian Art for their annual Christmas exhibit – this is where the student ID comes in handy.
Give a few of these date ideas a try, even if you’re not a budget. Happy Memorial Day weekend!