Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

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With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought it might be an opportune time to talk about something I’ve become quite passionate about…dating your spouse.

The Importance of Dating in Marriage

For many, many years, my husband and I did not go on dates regularly. We went out just the two of us usually on our Anniversary and sometimes on our birthdays. I guess we figured that since we were already married, we didn’t need to date anymore. We were so wrong. With the pressures of our life as parents, we needed to date each other more than ever.

If you think of a marriage relationship as being like a car, consider regular dating like doing maintenance, changing the oil, getting tune-ups. If you don’t do maintenance, you could be heading towards a breakdown.

Regular dating creates shared experiences, improves communication, helps you to grow together and feel like a team. It also sends powerful messages to your children about the importance of your spouse and putting work into your relationship. This will help your kids to have more successful marriages themselves. We have discovered many times how much it means to our kids for us to date each other.

Dating Without Breaking the Bank

There was a point in our marriage when the lack of maintenance caught up to us and stressful life circumstances took a toll. One of the things we decided to do to salvage our relationship was to implement date night. At that point, given the circumstances, we began dating at least once a week. Obviously, if all of those dates were dinner and a movie, we would have run out of money quickly, so we got creative!

Creative Date Night ideas for couples. These are fun suggestions and most are inexpensive or free.Sometimes the dates that are the most memorable are the ones that cost nothing or very little. I am including a printable list of over 60 Date Night Ideas.

I would encourage you to give some a try. You could even cut the ideas into strips of paper and pull one out next date night for a real adventure!

Create a Rich History

When your dates are things that create a shared experience, you have more to draw on as a couple in hard times. You feel like a team, have inside jokes, have more to talk about, and get to know each other in a different way.

We found that once we started dating again, we laughed more and got along better. Some of our more creative dates have included doing olive oil and vinegar tasting at Evoolution, walking around the beautiful Legislature grounds in summer, eating from food trucks while listening to live music in the city square, going to the Italian market, touring Showhomes to look at wall colours and bathroom designs, and going indoor rock climbing which was not only a shared experience, but also a good trust building exercise.









What are your most memorable date nights with your spouse?

Read our Date Night Rules and how dating each other has saved our marriage.

The Date Night RulesIf you are looking for more fun date night ideas both for going out or staying in, here are 175 more ideas.



  1. Great ideas and I agree it’s so important to date your spouse. It can be easy to forget why we fell in love in the first place with the busyness of life.

    • It’s easier to remember what first attracted us to the other when we actually spend time together, something that seems obvious but that we missed out on for so many years.

  2. Great post Sharla! I love it:))
    As you know I’m pretty passionate about dates as well..Sometimes my “date night with Handsome” has been literally a lifeline for me as raising our four babies all day and looking after everyone else’ s needs can be completely draining. A date night would refresh me and give me a chance to talk freely and not be interrupted. As the kids are getting older its a time to talk about our parenting challenges and not have all four sets of ears listening. To have my husbands 100% attention made me feel loved, valued and important. Dating has kept the romance alive just because we both felt that we were priority number one instead of priority number 2…3…4…or…5. Dating through almost 18 years of marriage has kept us from growing apart and forces us to remember why we fell in Love in the first place. My favorite cheap date was cooking mussels from Costco drinking a bottle of red wine in front of the open fire and kids had their dinner in front of the tv in the basement and they were not to interrupt us for 1 hour…unless there was blood or someone was dying…lol….our kids all know that we love to have our “alone” time and their giggles and efforts to stay away makes me smile and tells me how important this time is for them too.
    LOVE..LOVE…This post xo

    • Our kids love to see us spend time together too. You and “Handsome” have always had such a commitment to spending time together which I’m sure has had a lot to do with your 18 years of marriage so far! Keep up the date nights!

  3. That is totally true, Sharla – you have to make time for each other. Jason and I are very sporatic with this – somtimes we remember to have dates and we get the benefit of it – other times, we forget and then “miss” each other. So actually, I’m going to get off the computer now and see what he is up to upstairs!! lol

  4. Love all the ideas and that they are printable! Thanks, Sharla!

  5. I finally took the time to read this post….SO good! I have to keep it close at hand. Hope I can use some of the ideas sooner than later!!!

  6. Just wanted you to know that you were featured in our ULTIMATE Date Idea Round-up today! http://www.thedatingdivas.com/romantic-rendezvous/101-date-idea-round-ups-the-ultimate-date-night-list/ Thanks for sharing your date ideas! XOXO, The Dating Divas

  7. Great post! I want to fit in more date nights with my husband this year – you’ve given me some great ideas!

  8. I forget how important it is to our kids! Thanks for the reminder. Pinned. 🙂


  9. Finally, I found a couple of inexpensive yet fun things to do on a date night 😉

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