30 Last Minute Date Night Ideas for Couples on a Budget
Because dinner and a movie are only as creative as the next plate of spaghetti and that horror film you wanted to watch last week.
1. Go on a refurbish hunt.
Visit a thrift store, antiques shop, or even a local garage sale and find something you would like to restore. You could choose to restore something together, or perhaps something for one another.
2. Make your own wine.
Here's a great little recipe to help kickstart your own personal batch of brew.
3. Play Street Bingo.
Write down a Bingo board of things you might see on the street (a couple kissing, someone in rain boots, a puppy in a purse), trade boards and hit the streets with your camera phones. First person to finish (or achieve the most successful photos) chooses the next Netflix movie.
4. Make something new for dinner.
Go to your local farmer's market or grocery store or a place that might offer free samples. Try a few, then choose an ingredient you have never heard of or would like to try for the first time. Make dinner using that ingredient.
5. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
Furry animals are a great way to encourage closeness, and volunteering is also a good way to give back and spend time together.
6. Plan your dream vacation.
You might not have the money to go anywhere just yet, but doing the research and picking up travel guides and building itineraries might inspire you to start saving for said trip.
7. Have a 90s night.
Hit up your favorite corner store or local gas station and load up on all your favorite treats you used to love when you were a kid (read: giant multi-colored slurpees, peanut M&M's and cola bottle chewies!) then pick a classic 90's movie like Pulp Fiction or Fight Club to watch for the night.
8. Indoor Camping
Pop up the tent in the living room, roast hot dogs and marshmallows on the stove, and enjoy smokies and s'mores while you read ghost stories or watch a horror movie.
9. Make a sh*t ton of cookies.
Bake them together, then package them in nice little batches and share them with neighbors or colleagues at work. Add a little note for extra flavor.
10. Go to amateur comedy night.
Most comedy clubs host free or by-donation admission for amateur nights, not to mention laughter is a great aphrodisiac.
11. Do a fun-atholon.
Pick three things to do that both of you enjoy and do them. Ideas could include: ice skating-foosball-poutine eating, billiards-bowling-onion ring tower...you get the idea.
12. Have a board game night.
Some bars even host board games and beers, so if you aren't equip with the right stuff, your local bar just might be. Friends are optional.
13. Trivia Night
This is another really fun bar-scene event to traverse if you enjoy useless facts.
14. Check out some live jazz.
Most jazz lounges are free with purchase of a drink, so enjoy a night out listening to some great music like they do in La La Land.
15. Check out a community sports game.
The local sports teams will love to have you in the crowd, and it'll get you out of the house for the price of a hotdog and large drink.
16. Open Mic Night or Improv Night
These are often either free or by donation, so there is no excuse not to get in a few songs or a few good laughs.
17. Make a time capsule.
Share a few trinkets with one another (memorable jewelry, notes, photos etc.) that you can put in a container or jar for when you decide to open it again in the future.
18. Spend the day checking out open houses.
No one said you had to buy anything, but it certainly doesn't hurt to look. Change your names and explore new houses as if you were intending on purchasing one.
19. Browse new music.
Hit up the local record/music store and browse the shelves for new artists you've never heard of before. If they let you listen to these tracks, go for it! Also available at home through online streaming sites.
20. Hit up Karaoke night.
Friends are also optional here, and you can't go wrong with singing along to classic hits just about anywhere!
21. Conduct a taste test.
Go to a handful of local bakeries and order a chocolate chip cookie. Take them home and try them all before ranking your favorites. Finish off with some hot chocolate and marshmallows and a snuggle-movie.
22. Go on a coupons-only date.
Grab dinner with a buy-one-get-one, or only choose ingredients for making dinner using grocery store coupons. Coupons for movies and other outings around your city are also acceptable.
23. Play a round of Google Roulette.
This is a great way to go someplace new for date night for days to come!
24. Have a 'Top Chef'-inspired cook off.
Go to the grocery store and pick one or two ingredients for your partner that they must include in their dish for dinner and have them do the same for you. To make it extra budget-friendly: choose all your ingredients from the items in your fridge and pantry only.
25. Try your hand at DIY pizza.
Pizza dough can be purchased at your local supermarket for relatively cheap, and most ingredients can be found in your own home, garden, or in said grocery store. A fun, easy way to spice up your night.
26. Foreign Movie Night, but With a Twist
Choose a film in another language, but keep the subtitles off. Try making it through the movie by figuring out what is happening as the scenes roll through.
27. Go for a hike.
Pretty straight forward: take in the local sights and get your exercise on all at the same time!
28. Have a disposable camera day.
Arm yourselves each with a disposable camera and spend the day creating memories. Print your photos and scrapbook them, frame them, or gift them in an album so that you can look back and smile at that day.
29. Host a photo shoot to find your next profile picture.
What better way than to spend the night playing dress up in your own closet with your significant other as the photographer? Try well-lit corners of your home, or experiment with the lights that are available to you, or even candles. Be creative with this one! If you're brave enough, maybe even consider trying a sexy bedroom shoot.
Find a high point in your neighborhood away from the cities to catch a glimpse of the night sky. Choose from picnic blanket bliss, back-of-the-truck cuddles or consider finding out if there is a star conservatory or local parks that offer night tours.