Please welcome my new staff writer, Taylor Milam, to the Cents, Sense & Sensibility team. She’ll be filling in for me this week as I’m moving house and will be keeping us company every Tuesday from next week forward.
It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to impress your honey. In fact, nothing is sexier than a woman (or man) who isn’t afraid to get creative. Next time your stumped for date ideas or feel like everything fun costs copious amounts of cash, remember the old adage: the best things in life are free inexpensive. While other couples fork over hundreds of dollars for romantic dinners in overpriced restaurants, you and your significant other will be enjoying the best kind of romance…the kind that doesn’t leave you broke.
1. Snack Food Picnic
Snack picnics are amazing because they allow you to live out your snack fantasies. Whether it’s the cream puffs in the frozen section or the wasabi flavored chips you’ve been dying to try, now is the time to indulge. Each partner gets a budget of $5-$10 and picks out 2-3 snacks items. After you’re done in the store, grab a blanket from home and head to your favorite picnic spot. If you’re unsure where to go, try finding a park, university campus or body of water. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh grass, sparkling water and pretty buildings. Once you arrive, spread out your goodies and feast.
2. Board Games
Nothing will get your blood flowing like an old fashioned board game. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and most importantly, you’ll have the time of your life. Most people associate board games with huge family get-togethers (aka: the never-ending game of Monopoly that dominated an entire Christmas day). But the truth is that there are tons of games for two players. Mancala, Stratego, Checkers and Bananagrams are all excellent for date night. Grab a beer and buckle down for an evening of fun.
3. Happy Hour
Happy hour is the best thing to ever happen to mankind…and your wallet. For less than $15, you can get two cocktails and a plate of food. For a few hours each day, the world is exactly as it should be: delicious and cheap. If you and your partner are craving a night on the town, happy hour is the way to go. Even the most expensive restaurants have amazing happy hour specials. In fact, my favorite birthday dinner took place at a five star restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The best part? Each glass of wine was only $3.
4. Stay In…Bed
Back in college, roommates were plentiful and space was scarce. As a result, your bed became the central hub of activity—the place you ate, worked and slept. Luckily, college roommates are a thing of the past, but the wonders of your bed live on. Next time you’re looking for the perfect date, look no further than your very own bed. Make some popcorn, light a few candles, put on a movie and snuggle down for a night of bliss.
Vision boards are phenomenal. They allow you to plan your future and map out your dreams. The only thing better than a night of vision boarding is a night of creating one with your partner. Pillage for old magazines, grab a pair of scissors and snag a poster board and go to town. You can each create your own or even create one together. Feel free to get creative with the theme too. Perhaps your boards are only about your dream home or maybe it’s all about travel. Nothing is more exciting than talking about the future with someone you love.
6. Arcade Tournament
Arcade games are making a huge comeback. From large corporations like Dave and Buster’s to small businesses like Coin Op in San Diego, California, arcade games are no longer for kids. Instead of standing around a bar, opt for an arcade tournament instead. Buy a drink and set a limit for how much you’ll spend on tokens. Once the limit is set and the tokens are purchased, play to your heart’s content. From four-person Pac-Man to electric beer pong, your night is guaranteed to be an adventure.
Regardless of what you do for date night, it’s crucial to think of it as an exercise in creativity. The truth is that it’s easy to spend a few hundred dollars on a nice dinner, but planning an adventure and truly thinking outside the box is priceless.