The No Spend Challenge – Day 24: Have Another Free Date Night!

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

This is the Twenty Fourth day of The No Spend Challenge. To read all posts in order start with Day One. Read a summary of the challenge and view all 31 days in a list format here.  

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Welcome to day 24! Today our assignment is to once again plan a free date night (or day) for our significant other.

Time for a another break! A night out as a couple can easily cost $100 or more between the babysitter, dinner, movie tickets, and gifts. Yet having time along with your spouse or significant other is critical for a happy, healthy marriage.

Hopefully were able to barter for free babysitting earlier this month. Once again, here’s 30 creative date ideas for you to get your creative juices flowing.

I. At Home: 

  1. Play a Board Game Together – Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, and Chess are classics. If you are into more niche games, grow your game selection by trying Settlers of CatanDominionCastles of BurgendyPuerto Rico, or Acquire. If you want a fun game that takes less time and can be played with up to 7 or 8 players try one of our personal favorites Bohnanza.
  2. Dinner and Dancing at Home – Cook together and then spend the evening dancing. Check out these 20 stay-at home date night ideasfrom Happy Wives Club.
  3. Have a Movie Marathon – Lord of the Rings, Bourne, Star Wars, or chick flicks. Here’s an IMDB list of top 100 greatest movies of all time. Or here’s a Rotten Tomatoes list of top 100 kid and family movies.

Picnic at home

  1. Home Picnic – If the weather doesn’t cooperate have your spread on the living room floor! Check out these indoor picnic ideas on Pinterest.
  2. Work on a Puzzle Together – 100, 500, or 1000+ pieces. Good fun that can take hours (literally).
  3. Breakfast/Brunch at Home – Enjoy each other’s company and have a relaxing morning together. Check out these breakfast and brunch recipes on Pinterest to get the creative juices flowing.
  4. Cook or Bake Together –If breakfast isn’t your thing bring out the cook book for lunch or dinner ideas! When was the last time you cooked together? Or perhaps baking is more your cup of tea. Bake some bread from scratch. Or maybe make some cookies together. If you’re more inclined for a challenge prepare a gourmet meal together. Rachel Ray has some great ideas for date night recipes here. Also check out these delicious recipes from Inspired Taste. Have a sweet tooth? Check out these romantic dessert ideas from Real Simple.
  5. Color or Draw – Make or color pictures together. Abstract, cartoonish or more realistic. What’s your style? Check out these drawing and coloring ideas on Pinterest.
  6. Make a Time Capsule – Write down what you’re doing today and open it all up in 10 years. Howcast has great instructions and a videoon how to make your very own time capsule!

II. Outside: 

  1. Go on a Picnic – Sandwich makings, some fruit, juice, and a little dessert make a great outing! Check out these portable picnic ideas from Southern Living.
  2. Go for A Moonlight Walk – Romantic, fun, and costs nothing.
  3. Go Hiking or Rock Climbing– active way to enjoy the great outdoors. For hiking, I’ve found EveryTrail to be very helpful. This website is one of the best resources I’ve found on rock climbing.
  4. Go for A Bike Ride – For those more physically inclined who love the outdoors but would rather ride something. Miles of fun! Another resource I like is Trail Link for bike riding ideas.
  5. Fly a Kite– Make it the first time. Then enjoy those windy days! Check out this video on how to make your own homemade kite.
  6. Play a Sport Together – Basketball, Racquetball, Tennis, or Golf are always fun. Check your local community center or local parks through Kaboom.

Couple Walking Botanical Gardens

  1. Live Music – Some talented little known bands perform live at restaurants and/or bars.
  2. Botanical Gardens – Enjoy nature in your local city.
  3. Go to a Park and Throw a Frisbee –Frisbee golf is also an option if you have more than one Frisbee. Again try Kaboom to find a local park near you.
  4. Walk the Dog – Take your pup to a park and have a blast!
  5. People Watching – At a local park or even the mall (I know that’s not outside but…)
  6. Pool Time –Go to the pool in your local neighborhood or workout facility.

Couple Washing Car

  1. Wash the Car Together –Soapy water and a nice clean car! What’s not to love about this idea? This can be relationship building and also helps check this task off the to-do list.
  2. Go for a Drive –Sometimes it’s just good to get away for a couple of hours. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic drive particularly in the lively spring or colorful fall. In the winter, maybe this could be taking a tour of the neighborhoods that are known for their Christmas lights or displays.
  3. Volunteer Together – Help a local charity, tutor some kids, visit a nursing home, volunteer at a local church or community center. Try your local community center, church, or check out the website Volunteer Match.
  4. Art Exhibit or Museum – What is going on downtown? Find local art galleries near you! Find local museums near you!
  5. Go to the Local Library – Bring you’re checked out books with you to coffee shops or the park and enjoy escaping in the story. Great for movie rentals too. If the library doesn’t have what you want, order it and pick it up in a few days. Find a local public library near you!

Couple House Shopping and Dreaming

III. Shop But Don’t Buy: 

  1. Test Drive Vehicles– It’s great to dream and even drive various vehicles. Just don’t get suckered into a deal.
  2. Go House Shopping – Once again it’s great to dream. Just don’t get suckered into a deal. Zillow is one of my favorite resources for this.
  3. Antique Shops – Never know what treasures might be waiting. Don’t have the cash budgeted into your mini-budget? No problem! Just window shop and don’t buy anything. Just enjoy browsing your local antique stores or shops.
  4. Visit a Touristy Town – Is there a town or city nearby that you’ve never visited simply because it’s a “touristy hangout”? Take a mini vacation in your own backyard. Once we went for a day trip to see the original sugar cane Dublin, TX Dr. Pepper plant.

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What are your favorite free or inexpensive date ideas? Which of the 30 suggestions on this list is your favorite idea?

{Click to go to day 25 here

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.


    • Thanks for the comment Caroline! Yes, shopping but not buying is hard. The temptation very great. But it’s a great discipline. What else could you do instead that’s free or inexpensive?

  1. My husband would love a board game date. It’s been ages since we’ve played Puerto Rico together, though my current favorite is Ticket to Ride.

  2. Jonathan,
    Great ideas. What I also like about these ideas is they require real engagement between the couple for the activities to be enjoyed. Not to mention these things are free. Thanks for challenging us to be creative.

    • Thanks Mary for stopping by! Yes, truly engaging the other person is a good idea. And being free is icing on the cake. Which ones do you think you’d enjoy doing with your significant other?

    • Mama that sounds like fun! Perhaps time to start new traditions? What can you guys do once the kids are down? Or perhaps time to find a way to barter for babysitting for a night out?

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