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20 Fun Date Ideas For Couples Without Spending Much

20 Fun Date Ideas For Couples Without Spending Much

In the beginning finding cool things to do on a date and making time was easy. You may have even spent way more than you were comfortable with, because you were smitten and it was worth every penny. But things have changed. It’s not that you and your significant other care less, but life happens. Grown up things like children, jobs, mortgages. You spend a lot of time, money and energy creating a good life for your family. But don’t forget about your life as a couple. It’s important to stay connected and dates are a wonderful way to do just that. The great thing is that awesome dates don’t have to cost a lot in order to be a lot of fun. For great cheap date ideas consider the following list of twenty below.

1. Sometimes You Just Need to Wine.

Wine Tasting - One of Many Cheap Date Ideas

    The ultimate in adult activities, “wining” can be an awesomely fun and inexpensive date. If you like wine (or like the idea of trying new wine) wine tasting is the perfect date. Many places offer free tastings, or charge a nominal fee like $5-$7 per person. For that price you’ll typically receive five or six one ounce tastes. That’s like a glass of wine. They’ll also sell wine by the glass and/or the bottle for you to enjoy on site. One bonus is that wineries that are located within a vineyard may offer astounding views which you’ll want to savor, so pack a lunch of fruit, cheese and crackers and enjoy.

    2. Attend a Music Festival.

    Music Festival as a cheap date

      If you love live music, music festivals can be a wonderful way to spend some time together. They happen all over the country and while some may cost a significant amount of money, many are free or charge a nominal fee. Some of the many pleasures of attending a music festival include multiple stages, multiple artists and the ability to attend early in the day through late at night. Another plus is that many festivals are annual events so you can plan in advance to attend as they last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Don’t have any music fests near you? Do a search for local community music concerts and you may be rewarded with awesome music for free. Either way grab a chair at the venue, bring a blanket, pack a meal if allowed, and enjoy the performances.

      3. Take a Cooking Class Together.

      Cooking Class
        Photo Credit: jwalsh via Compfight cc

        Wait. What? You cook every night. Why would you ever want to take a class?  Because it can be lots of fun. Really. From cakes to pies, pizza to sushi, you’ll be with a small group of people who are out to learn new techniques, laugh and make mistakes in a relaxed environment, end up with something yummy (hopefully) that you’ll be able to taste on the spot, and generally have a great time. Classes in every price range are available like Williams-Sonoma’s free technique classes. Prefer to stay in? That’s cool too. Take a free online cooking class together. Many websites offer them.

        4. Enjoy a Movie that’s not on Netflix.

        Movie Date NIght

          Don’t sit at home watching Netflix. Definitely don’t pay $50 for a movie for two with popcorn and drinks. Try these cheap date movie ideas instead.

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          • Drive-In: If you’re lucky enough to live near a Drive-in theatre you’re in for a treat. For about $20 the two of you can enjoy a movie (many offer double features for that price), a large freshly popped popcorn – with real butter, beverage and a great night under the stars. Some allow you to bring your own food, so pack a dinner and enjoy this version of dinner and a movie.
          • Second Run Movie Theatre:  Remember when movies used to cost $3.50-$5.00? Well you can still pay that price if you can wait a little. There are theatres all over the country, many in wonderfully old, historic buildings that offer discount prices for movies after they’ve left the major theatre chains. They often serve fresh popcorn and you can actually afford to buy candy. Let’s face it, there’s something about buying it there (rather than sneaking it in) that makes it more fun.
          • Movies in the Park: Many communities offer free movies, you just have to search your community activities online. It’s typically going to be a family fare, and the picture and sound quality may not be the greatest, but it’s hard to beat free. Bring a blanket or chairs, pack a picnic and just relax. Speaking of picnics…

          5. Have a Picnic with a Twist.

          Picnic Date

            Yeah. Yeah. A picnic at the park. It’s nice. It’s sweet. Zzzzzz. Hold on. It’s a classic for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t punch it up a bit. How about:

            • A picnic and flying a kite. Kites can be had very inexpensively.
            • Hike (or drive) to a scenic overlook and have a picnic with an amazing view. Search for scenic spots in your neck of the woods and go.
            • Picnic at the beach.
            • Picnic near the railroad tracks and watch the trains go by.
            • Picnic near a private airfield. Often, there’s a grassy area outside of the private airports. Watch the planes take off and land and dream about your next adventure.
            • Picnic while watching a fireworks display.
            • Of course, have a picnic during your winery or drive in movie date.

            6. Take a Ride on a Ferris Wheel.

            Carnival

              Sometimes the best dates are those that remind you of when you were a kid. Carnivals can do just that. The lights, the sounds, the rides and the food. Many carnivals offer free entry or charge only a small fee or a fee for parking. Stroll hand in hand, eat a candy apple and enjoy.

              7. Test Drive Your Dream Car.

              Dream Car

                It’s one of the stranger cheap date ideas, but it can get your engines revved up. Have a dream car in mind? Go to a lot and look at your car, pick up a promotional package and test drive it. It’s a nice break from reality that can leave both of you smiling for the rest of the day.

                8. Enjoy a Happy Hour Dinner at a Fancy Restaurant.

                Happy Hour

                  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a high end restaurant. Many offer happy hour specials at reasonable prices, so linger over a couple of drinks and nosh on a few fancy bar food items in style.

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                  9. Take a Stroll on the Beach at Night.

                  Stroll on the Beach

                    The beach takes on a whole different vibe at night. Stroll hand in hand at the water’s edge. Bring a blanket, star gaze and enjoy the sound of the surf. If it has a lively boardwalk find a seat and people watch. Bonus? Beach fees, if there are any, are typically waived after a certain time.

                    10. Visit Open Houses in Your Dream Neighborhood.

                    Open House

                      Open houses can be inspiring and motivational. You can get design ideas for your current residence and it’s fun to dream about your future together.

                      11. Cheer on a Local Sports Team.

                      Cheer on a Team

                        Check to see if you have a minor league sports team in your area. Fans are fiercely loyal and you can get caught up in the energy and excitement. Minor league baseball tickets for instance, are inexpensive so you can splurge on a beer. Another option is cheering on your local college sports teams. Unless they are in Division I, you’ll probably get to watch for free. Since the games are student centric, concession prices will probably be more reasonable too.

                        12. Visit an Arcade.

                        Video Arcade is a Great Cheap Date Idea

                          Remember the video arcade games you loved as a kid? What about air hockey, skeeball, and miniature bowling? Find a local arcade house, buy a round of tokens for $10-$20 and make a date of playing your old favorites and new classics. Many have discount days so you save even more. Some even have on site restaurants where you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine while you play. Larger chain arcades like Dave and Busters tend to be a little more expensive, but they offer discounts too which makes it a great option for cheap date ideas.

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                          13. Pick Your Own.

                          Apple Picking

                            Have a date at a pick your own fruit and vegetable farm and you’ll enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, and prices that are better than at your local supermarket. Best of all, because you pick it, you know it’s fresh. Bring it home and whip up something delicious using a technique you learned during your free cooking class date and enjoy with a glass of wine you purchased on your date at the winery.

                            14. Take a Leisurely Ride in a Pedal Boat.

                            Pedal Boat

                              Find a local park with a lake and take a pedal boat ride if it is available. It’s a tiny slice of romantic when done on a beautiful day.

                              15. Dance Like No One is Watching.

                              Dance Class

                                You might not go to the club, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for dancing. Classes like tango, ballroom, even hip hop, can be intimate experiences where knowing your partner will enable you to truly enjoy it. You may find free or low cost dance lessons in your local community events section. Sites like Groupon and Living Social are also a great way to obtain low cost dance lessons. So set a date and take a spin on the dance floor.

                                16. Bring Out Your Inner Artist.

                                Bring Out Your Inner Artist

                                  Bring out your inner artist and have a few laughs. All this cheap date requires is a visit to the dollar store to purchase two drawing pads and some colored pencils. Go to your favorite hang out, find a spot to set up and get to sketching. Maybe you’ll draw each other. Stick figures are acceptable. In the mood to be a little messy? Get some fingerpaints. Enjoy great conversation and have a few laughs. Even if your sketches aren’t great, put them away to find another day. You’ll have fun reliving it when you do,

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                                  17. Linger Over a Cup of Coffee.

                                  Coffee Date

                                    While on the run you may grab a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop, but how often do you do it with your partner? How often do you sit, relax, talk and linger over that cup? Maybe it’s time you did. Add a pastry, find a comfy chair and just soak it in. Find one that offers live music or poetry slams for an additional perk. Get it? “Coffee?” “Perk?” Anyway…

                                    18. Go Tubing.

                                    River Tubing

                                      Tubing is great because it’s a multi-seasonal cheap date idea, especially if you have your own tubes. In the warmer months find a river, pack a floating cooler and have a lazy day on the water. In the winter find your favorite hilly park and race down the hills for hours, followed by a hot cocoa.

                                      19. Visit a Museum.

                                      Visit a Museum

                                        Many people forget about this tried and true classic. There’s something peaceful and meditative about sitting in front of a piece of art and contemplating its beauty and uniqueness. It’s also a fun and economical date because depending on your location there are so many types to choose from. How about a museum devoted to cars, stamps, hair, dolls, canal boats, different cultures and countless other topics? Exploring them means a lof of potentially affordable dates.

                                        20. Check Your Local Calendar of Events.

                                        Calendar of Events

                                          The local community events calendar is probably one of the most underutilized resources available for free and low cost things to do. Everything from free swim, to tasting events, concerts in the park, historic home tours, parades and more can be found. The variety will keep you in unique dates all year long.

                                          These are some of my favorite cheap date ideas. What about you? Let me know below..

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                                          Last Updated on June 20, 2019

                                          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                                          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                                          Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

                                          1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
                                          2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
                                          3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
                                          4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
                                          5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
                                          6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
                                          7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
                                          8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
                                          9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
                                          10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
                                          11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
                                          12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
                                          13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
                                          14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
                                          15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
                                          16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
                                          17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
                                          18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
                                          19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
                                          20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
                                          21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
                                          22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
                                          23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
                                          24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
                                          25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
                                          26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
                                          27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
                                          28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
                                          29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
                                          30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
                                          31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
                                          32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
                                          33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
                                          34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
                                          35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
                                          36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
                                          37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
                                          38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
                                          39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
                                          40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
                                          41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
                                          42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
                                          43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
                                          44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
                                          45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
                                          46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
                                          47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
                                          48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
                                          49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
                                          50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

                                          There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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