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Renewing Passion with Your Partner: 15 Dates On A Budget

Nowadays, it seems everyone is tight on money. However, if you don’t feel like spending $100 on one dinner, these 10 Valentine’s Day worthy dates won’t make a major dent in your pocket. 

Staying In

1. Baking Cookies

Cooking and baking together are two activities I find extremely romantic. Throughout my life, I have found it is the little moments in which I get the most fulfillment. This date can be completed with under fifteen dollars. A heart-shaped cookie cutter from Wal-Mart is just under $1. Sugar cookie cut-out recipes usually include basic ingredients that aren’t too costly.

2. Separate Surprises

Each partner can decorate and set-up a room for the other person to enjoy. Then, the rooms can be enjoyed separately, since alone time can be a rare commodity these days, or together. Technically, this doesn’t need to involve any money. However, if you want to buy your significant others’ favorite candies or snacks, it will cost a little extra.

3. Q&A Night

If your Love Language is Quality Time, this date idea is perfect for you. This one is especially good for couples who are experiencing their first Valentine’s Day together. On this date, you can either both come up with a list of questions (silly or serious) for the other person or you can buy a game to get to know one another. On Amazon, “Let’s Get Deep” is just under $20, “66: Uncover to Discover” is about $25, and “So…” is about $16.

4. Themed Dinner

Themed dinners are so much fun because it is different from the usual weekday meal. Disney-inspired meals are fun to cook and eat while watching the corresponding movie. Easy sandwiches and veggies are great for an indoor picnic. And aphrodisiacs may turn a fun evening into a physically intimate night.

5. Vintage Night

This is another great date for people whose Love Language is Quality Time. It consists of pretending the electricity is out. This means no Wi-Fi, cellphones, television, or music. The entertainment comes directly from the person in front of you. This can include candlelit dinners, snuggling by the fireplace and talking, or playing board games.

6. Spa Date

Fantastic peel-off masks and sheet masks can be purchased at Target for under $5. The Dollar Tree also has some cheap options if you are on a strict budget. Make sure you test products on a safe area, such as an arm or hand, before placing directly onto your face. If you want to get a little more intimate, you can exchange massages or take a bath together.

7. Plan a Dream Trip

On the surface level, this date may seem boring. However, if you take the time to go through every detail, including creating an itinerary, you may be surprised to learn more about your partner. Who knows? Maybe one day the two of you will be able to carry out this fantasy.

8. Literary Night

If you are a book lover or simply love your significant other’s voice, this is a great idea for you. Each of you can pick out a short story or collectively pick out a book. Then you can take turns reading. By the end of the night, you may even begin laughing—or crying—together.

9. Love Letters

This date may be a continuation of the last date idea, or it may be a date activity completely on its own. If you want a heartfelt activity, write a love letter to your significant other. Then give the letter to the recipient and read them aloud. For example, my partner and I can write letters, switch them (so I have the letter from him), and we will read them off (so I read the letter from him aloud).

10. Relationship Bucket List

While I think every serious couple should already have this, many do not. Valentine’s Day night would be the perfect opportunity to share each person’s life goals and create a long-term goal list or bucket list.

11. Get Physical

Nerf gun wars, water balloon fights, and pillow fights are all safe and fun ways to get out aggression and show affection.

12. Movie Night

The two of you can binge your favorite movie series or you can watch each of your favorites. HBO Max has the entire Harry Potter series. Netflix has the To All the Boy I Loved Before and After series. And there are always the options of a personal DVD library and numerous other streaming services to choose from. Can’t decide on a movie? Netflix has a cool new feature where it will choose one for you.

Going Out

1. Ditch the Judgment

Who cares what other people think? It is your night. Get dressed up extremely fancy with whatever is available in your closet, and go to your nearest fast food restaurant. Heck, you can even order off the dollar menu if you want. The most important element of a date night is having fun with your partner, so do just that.

2. Stroll Around Town

Some small towns are peaceful and eerily quiet after 9pm. Meanwhile, big cities are beautifully lit and bustling. There are beauties in each setting, but they are waiting on you to discover them. To add a twist to this date night, each person can create a scavenger hunt to find the other. While this twist means spending time apart, maybe your scavenger hunt will end at a cute and cheap ice cream shop together. 

3. Car Ride

Grab your significant other, and hop in the car. Just drive and lose yourselves in conversation. I find the deepest talks are on long car rides. To add a fun element, pull out a six-sided die. If you roll an even number, your next turn will be a right. Depending on what that number is, you will take the turn that many exits/turns away. For example, if I (the passenger) rolled a four, then in four exits/turns, my partner (the driver) will take a right. If I roll a one, then the next exit/turn, my partner will take a left.

The most important part about a date night, whether it is on Valentine’s Day or any other day, is spending time with a significant other. Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy day-to-day lives that we forget to take time out of our day for the ones we care about the most. When we are living paycheck to paycheck, it can sometimes feel impossible to accomplish a successful date. In the end, however, the only thing that matters is the quality time spent together and the memories gained from the little moments. And always remember, a few simple words like “I appreciate you” can mean the world to your partner.

Cheyenne Halberg is a student at Winona State University with a major in Communication Arts and Literature Teaching. She is from the outskirts of St. Cloud, MN. Cheyenne enjoys writing to express herself and empowering others to do what they love. Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, watching football, spending time outdoors, crafting and writing. Her life goal is to leave an impression on the next generations that allows them to embrace their unique qualities.
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