Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guest Post – Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas

Hey y’all, before I start rambling on about some awesome budget friendly date night ideas I want to take a minute and introduce myself! My name is Jordan and I have my own blog (www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com) and fitness page on Facebook (Fit by Jordan). I have been married for little over a year now to a wonderful man named Casey. I have a 5 year old son, Caleb (or Peter Parker, he answers to both because he swears he is Spider-Man) and I am due in June with another little boy, Dax Marshall.

When I met my husband 3+ years ago, I was a single mom to a 2 year old. I had to find unique, budget friendly date ideas for us to partake in. I would schedule most dates around the weekends that Caleb’s Dad had custody of him… but I would also try and find sitters here and there to squeeze dates in between the every other weekend schedule. It was hard at times but we made it work, I have to admit it did get easier when I finally decided to introduce Caleb and Casey.

Casey and I decided that even though our relationship started off with having a kid first, we would never let stop us from being a couple and enjoying date night. Having time with just your spouse is VERY important and I believe it is key in a great relationship. The happier I am with my husband, the happier mother I am at home. Plus this is setting a great example for Caleb as he grows up.

Now onto my Top 10 fun budget friendly date night ideas we have had over the past 3 years…

1.       Dinner under the stars: One night Casey and I picked up Jason’s Deli (packed it in my cute picnic basket pictured below), drove out to the middle of nowhere with the truck loaded down with tons of blankets and pillows and parked near a lake. We moved the blankets and pillows to the bed of the truck, lite a bug away candle (this is a must) and had a picnic under the stars with our Jason’s Deli. If you are on a tight budget, you can make your own picnic at home… We sat out there for about 2 hours, eating, talking, dreaming, and well you know... making out! I felt like such a teenager!!!

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2.    Drive-In Movies: At the time that we did this date, we didn’t have a local drive in near us, so we ended up driving an hour to see the double feature. You pay by the carload and not the amount of people in the car, so if you want to make this a double date you can save even more money. I would suggest bringing your own food and drinks and even some blankets or lawn chairs. Most drive-in places will do a double feature, where you pay to watch 2 movies.

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3.    Sporting Event: You might be thinking I am crazy for adding this to the budget friendly list, BUT… if you search for tickets (I usually use www.stubhub.com) you can really pull this one off. Granted you might be sitting in the nose bleeds but hey, it is a date with the man/woman you love and you aren’t sitting at the house watching TV and playing on your iphone. I am not a huge fan of baseball, but I have found that is the cheapest sporting event to attend, next is basketball, then hockey and then football. You could even skip the pros and find a local team in your area. We have enjoyed date night to watch a local hockey team for $5 a ticket… 

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4.    Bike Rides: If you live in a populated city, you have probably seen some bikes /bike racks that have been recently installed around downtown. Well, this is a FUN way to get out of the house, get a workout in, see the city you live in and spend time with your love one. We took advantage of the bikes while we were on vacation in San Antonio, Texas. We had no clue where we were going but we just rode around, would stop at parks and talk, then ride again. Don’t forget to take your GPS with you.

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5.    BINGO!: This was a FUN date (besides the smoking smell and yes we were in the smoke free room). We ended up making this a double date and we played for about an hour. We mostly people watched, a bingo hall as some GREAT people watching let me tell ya. Those old ladies are VERY serious about their bingo!!! We came close to winning, but we left losers…

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6.    Local Waterpark: Casey and I spent the day at a local waterpark last year and I have to admit, this was one of my favorite dates we have ever had. I packed a lunch for us (to save money) and found our tickets on a discount website. I have been told that some grocery stores usually have discount tickets for the waterparks near your house… example: Kroger has some for Hawaiian Falls. But if that is still out of your price range, check out the city water park. Some cities (at least here in the metroplex – DFW) have city recreational parks with little water parks or at least a pool. Go and be a kid again, it is a blast!!!

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7.     Hiking: Like I mentioned above, I have a fitness page on Facebook (shameless plug here: www.facebook.com/fitbyjordan) and I have lost over 100 pounds… well you wouldn’t know right now with me being 8 months, but I have. Fitness is a huge part of mine and Casey’s relationship but working opposite schedules, it is hard to find time to head to the gym together and then when we do it is almost like he is just another person at the gym and I am not really spending time with him. SO… we decided to find a park near our house that had some hiking trails. This gives us some great one on one time together to just talk and to just be with each other without the distractions of technology. Best part of this… it is a FREE date!!

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8.    Groupon Date – Archery: If you live in the DFW area you need to check out the Groupon for Archery at Cimarron Ranch… I promise you, you will not be disappointed. If you do not live in this area, check out Groupon for great date night ideas in your area. You might be surprised what you find. When I found this Groupon, I had never shot a bow and arrow before but thought Casey would love to try this out… so we went. It happened to be one of the best dates we have had. We had so many laughs and learned so much about each other while learning how to shoot.

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9.     Gun Range – If you are not pro guns… go ahead and skip this one. We are very much pro guns in our house but I have never owned one until I married Casey, now we have probably 6-8 shot guns, a revolver and an automatic. I told Casey I wanted to learn how to shoot them so we decided to go on a date to the gun range (indoor, hopefully we can do an outdoor one soon).  Again, this can get pricey BUT if you shop on Groupon, you might be surprised at the prices. You can find Groupons that include a gun rental in case you do not own you own. This was a double date with our best friends and even though I suck at shooting, it was a GREAT night. Plus my husband really LOVED being there and after all the “girly” dates he goes on for me (like see Magic Mike at the Drive-In) he deserved to have a “manly” date!!

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10. Game Night: Last but certainty not least… game night!! We have board games in our hall closet that we have not played in ages (not really sure where they even came from to be honest) so we decided to pull them out, invite some friends over for dinner and had game night. It was a blast to stay in, have friends over, team up and get competitive (I love to win, but hey who loves to lose?!)… We would have had just as much fun if it was just us two, but adding a couple (or 2 couples) into the mix made it even more fun!! Group date nights are a blast for sure. Dust off those board games, call some friends and make a night out of it!!! (Sadly we don't have a picture from this night... boo)

Welp, that is all I have for you! I hope that something fun sticks out and you are able to enjoy a wonderful (budget friendly) date with the one you love!!

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