As you know being a Millennial means being smart about our finances most of the time. Who am I kidding, all of the time! In light of Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d share my top six date night ideas! Just because we live on a budget does not mean we have to sacrifice going out with the significant other to celebrate cupid shooting us in the bum. Also, any reason to consume chocolate is good to me. Which leads me to my first date idea…
Get A Treat
Take your person and get some dessert. We all love a treat… cupcakes, ice cream, cinnamon buns… Can you guess my favorites? Anything you or your significant other love, treat yourself. Take a stroll if it’s warm enough (here’s looking at you California!) or if it’s Minnesota cold where you live, consider taking your treat home or having it delivered. Grab a glass of wine, crank up the thermostat, and dig in. My partner and I love going to Salt and Straw, a chain ice cream shop that sells original flavors that change each month. Sorry East Coast friends, this is currently only available on your visits to see the Pacific!
Grab A Bite
Now, this probably comes as no surprise. Food! It’s always a win. Just because you are going out to eat does not mean you have to spend a ton of precious cash. Most people try to pick fancy places but if you aren’t into that don’t bother. Go to your favorite dive bar. Or happy hour. If your area has food cart or food trucks they are a great place to have dinner and still walk away with a few bucks in your pocket. Andrew (my partner) and I love to eat so we have a lot of favorite places. If you really want to go somewhere nice but money is tight, check happy hour times. Happy hour can save you a couple of bucks per item! Trust me. Worth it. Same food, better price.
Catch A Flick
Go see a movie together! When you are tired of streaming service options, grab your date and get out the house. Here in Portland we have independent theaters that still get the big flicks. It’s only $4 dollars per person, has couch seating and you can drink beer and eat pizza while you watch your movie. Some major theaters have a night each week that are only a few bucks too, so check out your local theater or find a smaller one. It could end up being a new adventure for you both and you get to see something brand new for less that $10! Date night win!
Read A Book
Find a second hand bookstore. They’ll have a random collection of books and you will definitely find something to at least make you laugh if not intrigue you. Also, shout out to my Portlanders, Powell’s City of Books is a lot of fun to explore and stumble upon new items. You can also buy one another a copy of your favorite book, or a book that made you think of your partner. It’s always nice sharing your love for the written word. If this is a new date you can learn a lot about them through their favorite book. And bookstores often will have a coffee shop in or nearby so you can always discuss your picks over a cup of something hot!
Play A Game
If you can handle some friendly rivalry, games can be fun. I know some people who are very competitive. There are so many options. You can play pool or go bowling or find a nickel arcade! There are also bars that have games too. Board games included. Andrew and I love going to play games especially pool. I’m not very good, but I put up a good fight though. We always have a good time and laugh. A lot, mainly at how horrible I am. If you are laughing, that’s a good date. Last but certainly not least…
Take your date on a fun adventure, go on a scavenger hunt! If you check Groupon, you can find hunts for as little as $10 dollars per person, which is not bad for a few hours of entertainment. If that is out of your budget, then make one yourself! Draw on some note cards and make some clever rhymes to take a trip down memory lane, or to a place you’ve always wanted to try. Local shows are also fun even if they are bad, or take a class together. You can cook, yoga, or craft. Check Groupon, they have lots of great ideas and you can set the price range you are looking for.
So go forth my dear awkwards and let your mind rather than your budget be the limit. Just because we have to budget does not mean you have to sacrifice fun. Spending time with your loved one or even a new catch, can make a world of difference. It won’t matter what is going on, it will warm your heart in the dead of winter. Have fun with your date and be safe! Depending on where you are, stay warm too.
Happy Date Night!