Regardless of what point you’re at in your relationship, going on dates can get pretty expensive. If you’re like most couples, you tend to fall into a routine of frequently doing the same types of dates. This means you and your partner are probably doing the same thing over and over and you may also be spending more money than you’d probably like. Trying out some of the following money saving date ideas won’t just keep your wallet full, it will keep your relationship happy by allowing you and your significant other to try new things together!

Go Out — But Not for Dinner

Most restaurants have different menus for different times of the day. One option lots of people like to take advantage of is to go during happy hour. But, that can lead to extra spending if you stay longer than the designated time or order anything not on the happy hour menu.

A better option is to skip dinner and go on a breakfast or lunch date. Lots of restaurants have lunch specials or smaller portions of their dinner options at a lower price. Additionally, restaurants tend to be less crowded at breakfast and lunch, so you don’t have to worry about waiting to get a table.

Another option is to go on a coffee date instead of going to a bar. This is especially great if you have a favorite coffee house with comfy seating. You and your date can sit by one another on a couch, rather than being stuck across a dinner table from one another. Cozying up with your date is always a bonus!

Pack a Picnic

Sure, sure, you’ve heard the suggestion to go on a picnic many times, but have you ever actually done it? It’s way more fun and much less work than you would think. The cheapest way to do it is to see what food you already have at home, so you don’t have to buy anything. The great thing about picnics is you don’t have to pack an entire meal. Lots of little snack and drink options are totally fine, and they don’t even have to go together. And you don’t need to have some fancy wine and cheese pairing. Something as simple as apple slices, cheese sticks, pretzels and almonds along with a bottle or can of your favorite beverage works great!

Stay In

Just because you don’t go anywhere doesn’t mean it can’t be date night! The most important part about staying in for a date is to really commit to it. Clear away any distractions and get your mind into a “date night” mentality.

The possibilities are endless. Cook a meal together, put a puzzle together, play a board game, watch a movie or countless other options. If you’ve already watched all the movies you own and played all your board games, swap with friends rather than buying or renting something new.

Find any free museums in your city

Have you ever taken the time to look into what kind of free museums and entertainment your city offers? Most cities have a wide array of free things to do, especially when it comes to things like museums, zoos, and botanical gardens. You may even find museums that you didn’t even know were in your city. Some museums have a day of the week where admission is free thanks to generous donations. Other times you can get deeply discounted admission by going at times when the museum isn’t as busy. The best part about museums is once you leave, the date doesn’t have to end. You and your date can go somewhere together and discuss what you learned and the different exhibits you saw. This is great for newer couples who’d like to get to know one another better, or for couples who have been together a long time and take communicating with each other for granted.

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