Monday, February 4, 2013

Cheap Date Ideas! [Guest Post: Denise from Gratefully Inspired]

Today I'm happily turning my blog over to Denise, of Gratefully Inspired, a sweet blog friend of mine.  Denise is sharing cheap (and fun!) date ideas just in time for Valentine's Day!

Hello lovely readers of A Peony for Your Thoughts!  I’m Denise, the gal behind Gratefully Inspired and I am honored that Kate let me take over her blog for the day.  Don’t ya just love that girl?  A Peony for your Thoughts has quickly become one of my favorite daily reads and Kate is as good as gold!  With Valentine’s Day coming up and all, I’ve got some fun and CHEAP date ideas below.  All are fun.  All are cheap.  And none involve technology!  So put down your smart phones and take your sweetie on a date he’ll remember!
that's me and my sweetie. credit: furnished photography
 1.  First off, I think it’s important to remember that great dates don’t always have to be at night!  One of Matt and I’s favorite date ideas is a picnic – in the park, on the beach, outside on our back porch.  Bring a bottle of wine to make it feel special, spread out a blanket and look at the sky.  Listen to the birds and listen to each other.  These are my favorite date memories.  Pack a PB&J, some chocolate chip cookies, cheese and crackers and some fruit and Viola!  Cost: $10-15  (depends what kind of wine and food you buy, but we stick with cheap wine – think Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes – and the food won’t cost ya a bundle either). 
2.  Putt-putt.  This is one of my favorite dates ever.  Mainly because I’m so dag on good.  Not to brag on anything but I generally average 1-2 hole-in-ones per round.  Can y’all tell I like a little competition?  Just sayin…  Our local putt-putt course costs 6 bucks a round.  We usually only play one round (mainly because I can’t beat my husband twice in one day) and there ya go!  An afternoon spent talking and laughing at each other.  Cost: $12-15

3.  Fiesta date night.  I love Mexican food.  Love it.  And cooking together at home is one of the most romantic date nights in my opinion.  And why not add a fun spin on it?  Matt and I prepare our favorite enchilada dish from Yummy Mummy, make some homemade guacamole, pineapple salsa and margaritas!  Usually I’ll put on some festive Spanish music while we cook and the night always ends with cha-cha-ing around the kitchen.  Sometimes we’ll invite our friends and make it a double-date!  Cost: $20-30 depending on your use of tequila or not J
4.  Bike rides and ice cream.  We looooove our bikes.  We got them at the end of last summer so were only able to use them for a few months before it got too cold.  We are lucky to live near a yummy yogurt place so we love to ride our bikes there, stop for some ice cream, and then head home while we work off our newly fattened tummies.  But really you can add bike rides on the end of anything!  Live near a park?  Ride your bike to the park for your picnic!  Live in a neighborhood, not near much?  Ride your bike around for a little while and garden shop (that’s what I call admiring everyone’s flowers and gardens in the spring).  Throw your bikes in the car and head to a trail if you like!  Cost: $10 for the amount of yogurt I eat, but hey could be a lot less pricey :)
5.  Live music.  We are lucky because in our little beach town from the end of April until late September there are a string of options for free, outdoor live music.  And most options let you BYOB!  So check in your city and see what they have to offer.  If not live music, many cities will do free movies in the park or museums!  Cost: $0
6.  Fancy date night.  Want to get dressed up every once in a while without breaking the bank but feel silly putting on those stilettos at home?  Dress up for dessert!  Or drinks!  Or appetizers!  If I’m feeling the need to get out and want to go to a nicer restaurant but don’t really want to pay $40 for a steak, we will get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant for appetizers.  Then come home and drink our own wine and eat our own meal, if we’re still hungry.  That way you still get the feel of going out of the town but don’t have to divulge in that 4 course meal.  Sometimes we’ll eat at home and go out a bit later for dessert instead!  And even others we’ll do happy hour (where most restaurants have specials on drinks and appetizers!).  Cost: $20

7.  Golf.  I know I already said putt-putt up there, but golf is different.  And this may not be for everyone, but don’t skip over this one just yet.  Let me first say that I do not like playing golf.  I think it’s boring and frustrating.  But, my husband loves it.  He loves being out on the golf course.  So one way we spend cool afternoons or warm mornings is on the golf course together.  He plays his 18 holes while I drive the cart, photograph our experience and occasionally take a swing as hard as I can at a cheap golf ball.  I usually pack a cooler with some yummy snacks, maybe a few beers and I dress in my cutest golf attire. And let me tell you friends, this date has become an acquired one because golf takes forever.  But isn’t that the beauty of it?  You’ve got 4+ hours with your sweetie to talk, laugh and get some frustration out (on the golf balls of course) with no one around.  So any of you ladies out there have a man who loves golf, consider offering to go with him one day.  Trust me, it will mean the world to him and you just might like it yourself!  Cost: $30 but depends on the course.  We usually go to cheap ones!
8.  Pizza and Redbox.  This one is a no-brainer for most but I felt I must put it on my list because we do this ALL the time.  We usually make a pizza at home and rent a Redbox movie we’ve been wanting to see. Easy.  Cheap.  And lots of time for cuddles.  Cost: $10
9.  Volunteer together.  This is something Matt and I are hoping to do more of in 2013.  Our church has tons of mission opportunities in our back yard.  So find somewhere you can help – call Habitat for Humanity and help build a home, volunteer at your local soup kitchen or help out at an animal shelter.  There is no cost in giving back, but you gain so much.  This one you’ll probably have to plan more in advance and some organizations make you fill out paperwork and get a background check so do your research so when you show up to volunteer you are ready to go! Cost: $0
credit: furnished photography
10.  Walk.  Just walk.  Anywhere.  Anytime.  This can be added on to any of the above dates or used as its only mini-date idea.  I love walking with my husband.  Hand in hand, outside.  We walk our neighborhood. We walk at the beach.  We walk for exercise together.  We walk around the park.  We walk around and window-shop downtown.  We just walk and talk.  Cost: $0

Thanks again for reading my list!  I hope you'll come over to Gratefully Inspired and say hello!  I'd love to meet ya!



  1. These are such cute photos and great ideas! I love the bike and ice cream idea! I may have to try that out now that I have new bike :) and the weather allows for it, so why not?

  2. I always love more date ideas!! I read this blog a lot because it has some great ideas too:

  3. These are great date ideas. We're always looking for cheap ideas to have fun dates. It's much harder in the winter when everything is covered in snow!

  4. Thank you so much Kate for letting me blog over here :) It's an honor to be here and I can't wait to share you on my blog very soon!!! xoxox

  5. Such good ideas!! We do Redbox and pizza a lot and keep talking about going to get apps somewhere but haven't done it yet!

  6. So many of our favorite kinds of dates are here! Day dates are the best to me - or pizza and movie night!

  7. love this, i'm always looking for cheap date ideas!

  8. These are great date ideas-- I'm doing to add all of them to do on my search for Mr. Right this spring and summer! Between these romantic date ideas I'll be sure to win over the hearts of a few gentlemen!


  9. Loving these ideas! It's hard not to get stuck in a rut sometimes.

    xox Jamie