Relationships shouldn’t be taken for granted—especially in marriages. Date nights can help keep a relationship strong, and they don’t have to be expensive overnight stays at a hotel with champagne, dancing and a fancy dinner.
A report by the Marriage Foundation on how date nights can strengthen marriages found that married couples who went out monthly were significantly less likely to split up.
Cost and lack of ideas are some reasons why couples don’t go on many date nights. Here are some ways to overcome that, at $20 or less per date:
Go Out on a Weeknight
Some movie theaters sell cheaper tickets on weeknights, such as Tuesday or Wednesday nights when business is often slow. Look around in your area for restaurants, theaters and other venues that offer discounts on weeknights. You may not be able to get popcorn at the theater for a discount, but with a little planning, a couple could get into a weeknight movie for $20 or less.
Instead of a 7 p.m. dinner, search for happy hours at bars where drinks and appetizers can be half off. Anywhere from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. is possible, allowing a couple to spend less on drinks and make a meal of appetizers. Lunches are also less expensive than dinners, so make your date night a “date day” and enjoy lunch together.
Museums, zoos, theaters and other attractions often have reduced-price days to attract customers on slow days. They might also offer free-admission days either monthly or weekly, so call ahead and ask.
Remember going to the drive-in when you were younger? Recapture that fun with a date night at a drive-in theater. The prices are usually much less than at regular theaters, and you can bring your own snacks to save more. Plus, you might get to see two movies in one night.
Bowling or Mini Golf
Search for a coupon online for your local bowling alley or mini golf course, and a date night could cost you less than $20. Some bowling alleys have gone upscale with craft beers, restaurants and other amenities, but you should still be able to bowl a few games at cheap prices.
Minor League Baseball
Major League Baseball tickets can be expensive, and the high price doesn’t account for hot dogs, beers and parking. Some MLB stadiums are cheaper than others, but you’ll most likely have a hard time finding a date night for $20 or less.
Minor League Baseball, however, can be a lot less costly. General admission tickets won’t break the bank, and food is cheaper than it is at big-league stadiums. Check if you can bring your own food and drink, and bring a blanket or two for a night game.