Maple Alps

date night

Creative Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Date Night

MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps2 Comments

Frugal is a word we like to use in our home. It extends from using up everything in our pantry before a long trip all the way to using our socks until they have holes in them. We make sure to get the best deal on everything. We haven't starved yet, and our toes are still warm, so we count ourselves blessed.

Not wanting a penny to go to waste is a priority for us. Trying to pay off student loans and being good stewards are both important things in this house. It doesn't stop us from having fun though, so I thought we could discuss some ways to have fun without spending a lot of money.

 

Really creative ideas for a budget-friendly date night! | www.maplealps.com

Enjoy a Staycation // Stay in Your Own Hotel

If you have one, convert your guest room into a luxury hotel room by making the bed fancy and using all the best sheets that only your visitors get to use. Add some candles and snacks and a mini "bar," and you will feel like you're on a fun getaway, without even leaving your house!

 

Cook Together // Cook Off

In an attempt to lower grocery costs or avoid eating out, make a fun dinner with things you already have - try an iron chef challenge, and use one ingredient in several creative ways. Or, just choose to work together to make whatever happens to be on the meal plan for that night. It will be fun either way.

 

Movie Night // Blanket Palace

Pick a movie you already have or rent from iTunes - which is much cheaper than going out to the theatre. Unlike the theatre, however, you will get to wear your sweatpants and bring your own water. Win! Make up some snacks or set up a blanket fort. The possibilities and creativity are endless!

 

Board Games // Trivia Night

How fun to pull out some of those dusty board games and challenge each other to win! You could spice up the night by adding house rules or adding stakes like extra chores for the loser - or just play as it's supposed to. Whatever you like. For a fun twist, make your own game!

 

Find a Hot tub to Soak in

Fantastic for you if you have a hot tub of your own. The YMCA or your public pool might have inexpensive options if you don't. In the worst case, you could also ask a friend! 

 

Go to a State Park

State parks are wonderful places! We buy an annual pass for our license plate registration that costs us a mere $11/year and it is so worth it! See what kinds of things your State offers. Getting out in nature and seeing some beautiful parks is something that is good for the soul. Try visiting different parks each time!

 

Use Groupon

We have had some crazy fun date nights by using Groupon. It's fun to find some local things that you would have never even thought about doing! One highlight was definitely going rollerskating at a roller rink one night - what a blast - and really inexpensive!

 


How are some of the ways you have fun on date nights on a budget?I would love to hear your ideas!


 

 

Fun Things to do on a Budget

MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps27 Comments

Have you ever experienced one of those months where it seemed that everyone and their dog needed a payment from you? This month has been one of those months. Car registration was due on top of accountant fees and insurance renewal. Our car also needed some fixing - and all of this on top of our regular expenses. Since we only live on one income, it was a tad hurtful. Thankfully we knew it was coming, and God provides!

Since we are trying to save money (maybe to retire...but maybe because we haven't gone on a honeymoon yet...), we put ourselves on a more strict budget this month. 

Because we were long distance for so long, J and I often joke that we got married in order to go on dates. Part of our strict budget was completely nixing going out, so we had to be creative when planning extra activities to do together (I say extra because even though we see each other so much, it's not focused on us). I thought I'd share a few of these extras with you today. They're nothing new, but could spark other creative ideas!

Having Fun on a Budget

Cook Together 

Try a new recipe or teach each other a specialty (preferably with ingredients you already have - remember we like saving money!). Bonus points if you clean the kitchen afterwards too! I usually cook alone, so it's nice to have a partner every once in a while. The other night, we made fresh spring rolls and peanut sauce - they were terribly ugly, but tasted delicious. More importantly, we had a blast!

Go For a Walk

Kill two birds with one stone: get in some exercise and connect with each other. We live along a river, so this is something we do often! If you have bikes, a bike ride could be fun too.

Window Shopping at the Mall

This may not work for everyone, but it could if you left all of your money at home. It also helps to have an accountability partner. I'm personally great at window shopping - even at Target - and I like to do it on rainy days.

Movie Night

Pick a movie you already have, or rent one from iTunes. It is much cheaper than going to the theatre - plus you get to wear your sweatpants and don't have to smuggle in a water bottle. Win!

Bowl on a Week Night

It's generally cheaper and less crowded too! Bonus: If there are just two of you, an hour goes a long way. You can also check if your local alley has a discount night and take advantage of it. 

Do A Shared Hobby

If you don't have a shared one, why not explore a new one?

Dress Up for a Night In

Cook a candlelit dinner of....spaghetti (hello, frugal!) and eat it off of your best plates in your best outfits. Optional Awesomeness: Play some music in the background and reenact the famous Lady & the Tramp scene

Play a Game

Pull a board game off the shelf and have some fun! If you truly want to test your relationship, start a game of Monopoly. We personally enjoy Monopoly Deal - all the fun of Monopoly in a fourth of the time. You could always make up a game or call some friends over for a round of Scattergories.

Speaking of Friends...

Organize a get-together. You were going to cook anyway. Tell everyone to bring a dish and feast all together.

Picnic

This just reminded me that we have a beautiful picnic basket that needs to be used! Who doesn't love to picnic? If it's too cold to outside, set up on the living room floor. You could even make a blanket fort or teepee to sit in :) 

Enjoy a Get-Away....In!

Sometimes all you need is a change in surroundings. Camp out in the living room (that blanket fort could definitely be an option), or convert your guest room into a five star hotel room. Why not?

Check Groupon

Seriously. Sometimes there are some really worthwhile activities or restaurant coupons on Groupon! This wouldn't work for us this month because we decided to spend zero, but maybe next month?

 

Who said you had to spend a lot to have fun? We also enjoy volunteering, and honestly, an evening relaxing on the couch (even if we're both doing different things) is fun enough to us! 

What are some ways you have fun on a budget?