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Picture from June Bug Weddings and Negin Mirsalehi

Dating. It is something that our generation (I am talking to you, millennials;) need to take part in more. It is so important in a relationship to turn the phones off, plan something special, and really get to know your new or old significant other. However, I am no stranger to how much dates can cost. They really can get out of control in price! I have put together a list of my favorite budget friendly date night ideas that you can come to when you can't think of what to do. (and yes, I will definitely be going to this list as well!)

Write letters to open to each other in a year.

Make a dinner and sit down with a notepad and pen. Write a letter about what experiences you want to have with this person, where you want to be, and where your relationship is at right now. Read them to each other now, but then put them in a special place where you can repeat this date night.

Believe me, this one is so fun. I used to write Ben (my boyfriend) a letter every month about what we did the past month, what we have planned, etc. While I haven’t read them to him yet, I have them all in one place and am saving it for a special moment (or if he tries to break up with me I'll guilt him back into the relationship with these hahaha).

Give each other massages.

Go on YouTube and look up how to give massages. They actually have some really good tips (my favorite is this video and this video). Bring out some lotion and pretend to be a masseuse for a little ;).

Binge watch a show together with popcorn and your favorite treats.

Go to the grocery store or gas station and pick up one of your favorite treats (personal favorite- Ben & Jerry's Ice-cream). Go back home, snuggle up in blankets, and put on your favorite show. Eat your ice-cream and start the TV series- it will give you multiple nights of dates if you get into the show!

BTW, Our favorite show right now is Scandal... love it! Really good mix of action and romance.

Watch a Sermon together.

I was introduced to this sermon series called "Single / Dating / Engaged / Married" and I highly recommend it to anyone. It is extremely relatable and can spark some really good conversation. You can find this sermon by downloading an app called "Breakaway Ministries." It's free, BTW. It also has a lot more sermons that I haven't listened to yet but want too, so definitely check it out!

Create a bucket list.

Whether you are married or dating, this one is so fun! List everything you want to. Whether it is something that could be done immediately or can’t be done for a while, it will always give you something to look forward too together!

Put together a care package for someone special.

We all know someone who lives far away and whoever that person is would love/be so surprised to see a package from you and your significant other! It doesn’t need to be big, go to a local Dollar Store and pick up five dollars’ worth of things! Write a special note together, make it exciting!! Your friend will SO appreciate it and it will give you both a night of fun.

Camp out in the backyard.

Set up a tent in one of your backyards and campout! Bring blankets, pillows, a laptop and movie. Then, wake up early and go make breakfast together.

Go to the beach/lake.

I can almost guarantee there is some sort of water location near you. At a lake near me, they rent out paddle boards and kayaks for extremely inexpensive. Pack a lunch for both of you, then spend half the day on the beach and the other half doing water activities!

Set up a picnic dinner.

This is a personal favorite of mine. Go on Pinterest and look up a recipe you will both like. Make it at home and gather plates, spoons, forks, picnic blanket, etc.  Head out to a local park and enjoy!


Set up a blanket outside and cozy up in it. Watch the starts and talk!


There are so many places that would appreciate two helping hands. Find a local shelter or food pantry, and donate a few hours of your time. Not only will you be spending time together, you will be helping people that really need it.

Attend a free outdoor concert.

I love this one! In my town we have a free concert that runs all summer and it really is so much fun. Make some drinks and bring some chairs.

Visit a museum.

Many museums offer days that are free or at a huge discount. Check online for any special promos and if you find one, head downtown! Or wherever your museum is, of course;)

Play chopped with each other.

Put 5 ingredients in a basket. Make sure one of them is a main food like chicken. You each have 45 minutes to make something special. When you are done, try them and decide which one is better. Ready, set, go!

Order pizza and solve a puzzle.

I have to admit; I am not a huge puzzle person. I get bored easily doing them, but with a piece of pizza and time with my favorite person, I could definitely deal with solving a puzzle.

Rent a bike in your city and explore.

In almost all cities I have been too recently, they have a 'rent a bike' program. You can choose how many hours you want and then explore different parts of the cities from the bike!

Set up for a fun run! (mud run, etc.)

I have a hard time putting fun and run in a sentence, but they do have so many cool 5K's nowadays. I have personally done The Color Run and I can just imagine how fun it would be to complete with one of my favorite people!

Go apple picking, go to a cornfield, pick strawberries:

They're many seasonal activities that can be done and usually don't require too much money. It's almost apple picking and cornfield time of the year, and this would really make an awesome date. If you go apple picking, go home and turn the apples into caramel apples!

Create a "relationship" box.

I personally have a relationship box and I love it. I have everything in it from Homecoming flowers, Promposal props (lol), the letters I listed above. While I am saving mine to give to Ben later, it really is so much fun to put together! I can just imagine how fun this would be to put together with your significant other!

Find a cute town and go for a walk.

Go to a town close to where you live and just walk around it! Visit the stores and stop for lunch in one of their cafes.

Go fake house hunting.

Go online and look up houses for sale where you live. Put a list together of homes you both like and go find them!

Local festival.

If you go on Facebook and look up local events, there are so many events shown from Taco Festivals to Strawberry Festivals. Most of which are free (unless you buy something of course!).

Make a cheese board and watch your favorite show.

Cheeseboards are very in right now so hit Pinterest and be inspired of what you want yours to be like. Hit the grocery store, each picking the ingredients you want, and put it together! Turn the TV on to one of your favorite shows and enjoy your Pinterest worthy cheese board!

Go bowling.

Such a cheap and fun activity to do!

Farmers market.

Go to a local farmer’s market and pick up some fresh eats! Plus, grab yourself a bouquet of freshly grown flowers.

Recreate your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant.

I can almost guarantee you and your significant other have a favorite restaurant. Pick your favorite meal from there and then look up dupes for it online. Make it together and compare it to the original restaurant- who knows it could be better!

Have a spa night.

This one might be a little girly but believe me, your guy will like it. Make/buy face masks and give each other massages. I promise it will be fun! This is my favorite face mask that your man will love too.

Go to a high school sporting event.

Check to see when your local high school has their next sporting event. While it might be more fun if you went to the high school of the game you are attending, it will still bring all the feel of high school back! (not sure if you want that or not, but it could be fun!).

Drive through your dream neighborhood.

Pick both of your dream house and pretend you live in the neighborhood!

Turn off your phone and just TALK!

This one is my favorite of them all. I am the first to be guilty of this, but I tend to always be on my phone, even on date nights! Turn those phones off for the night and just really talk. It will change your whole entire date!

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