How to Prioritize Date Night Without Breaking the Bank

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If you’re like me, you get super wrapped up in the mundane responsibilities of being a mom, and your relationship with your significant other begins to take a backseat. Between work, kids, pets, chores, errands, bills, the house… sometimes we’re doing good just to shower, let alone make a little time for each other. Also? Date nights are expensive! 

My husband and I have a pretty unconventional schedule, thanks to our jobs. We don’t see each other really at all for four days, then we have four days off together. So, we try to make the most of our time together! We made a goal of having a real, grown-up date night at least twice a month. At first, that consisted of a lot of sitting around saying “What do you want to do?” and “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” followed by going back to the trusty old “dinner and a movie”. So we decided to change it up a bit. We agreed to take turns planning date night – I get one a month and he gets one a month. Some months we can only do once a month or maybe even not at all, but we do our best to get as many in as possible.

This is a list of some of *my* personal favorite, non “dinner and a movie” date night ideas (though if you want dinner and a movie, check out this OKC Guide). All of these have been personally tested by yours truly. The best part is that most of these can be done on a tight budget. Date night doesn’t have to break the bank!

  • Pizza by the lake: I am a sucker for anything involving water. Park me in front of a lake, ocean, pond, fountain, waterfall, pool, slip n slide… you name it, and I am in heaven. So one of my all-time favorite date nights was picking up a pizza from our favorite pizza place (Empire Slice House), and taking it to the lake. We enjoyed delicious pizza and a beautiful view while having great conversation, and all it cost was a whopping $24.
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors Date: The idea of this date is to mix up the mundane dinner date. At the beginning of the evening, you play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with your date. Winner gets to choose wherever they want to go for appetizers. Then, you play again. Winner of that round chooses dinner. Next round, dessert. For example: I won the first round, so we went to Sonic for mozzarella sticks. My husband won the second and third rounds, so he chose Chili’s for dinner and Capitol’s Ice Cream for dessert. You can add in as many categories as you want. The idea is to keep it fun and interesting, so put your own spin on it! 
  • Target Date: This one was one of the most fun dates we’ve done so far! We drove to Target and each of us had a budget of $25. Once we arrived at Target, we split up. We had one hour and $25 to buy things for the other person based on categories we decided in the car before going in. Our categories were: favorite snack, favorite drink, something comfortable for them to wear and something that makes me think of them. We each made our purchases and met back at the front of the store. Then, we took our purchases home and exchanged items. The great thing about this date is you can adjust your budget to fit you, and you can add or change as many of the categories as you like.
  • Scavenger Hunt: I love going on long drives and just talking and seeing the sights. One great way to do that is to create a scavenger hunt. Challenge your partner to see who can spot the most Hondas or who can find a dinosaur first. If you’re like us, it can get a little cut-throat after a while. You can also play this game when you’re apart. I challenged my husband to find me a unicorn or a llama or whatever came to mind when he was on shift at work. He would send me a photo of whatever he found – a stuffed unicorn at the gas station or someone wearing a t-shirt with a unicorn on it. Be creative!
  • Geocaching: This makes a great date because it gets you moving and thinking and costs absolutely nothing. We downloaded a Geocache app on our phones and spent an entire day driving around, finding hidden treasures. You’d be amazed at how many you drive past every day and have no idea are there! The great thing is, you can go as far or as close to home as you like. We found treasures in our very own neighborhood!
  • Take in a baseball game: Baseball is my favorite sport, so I’m always up for a date night at the Bricktown Ballpark. Lawn seats are usually pretty inexpensive, and they even do fireworks shows after some of the games!
  • Head to the water: Again, I LOVE the water. Take a canoe and go fishing, relax and float down the Illinois river on a tube/raft, head to your nearest swimming hole, or go white water rafting if you’re looking for something with a little faster pace. For a more controlled white water rafting experience, check out Riversport OKC! 
  • Comedy Club: Hit up the comedy club to see a comedy show and have some laughs. This is especially great for double dates! The Loony Bin offers inexpensive shows with local talent, while Bricktown Comedy Club hosts bigger names like Tik Tok star Jason Banks or Aries Spears. 
  • Take a cooking class: I love to cook, but my husband isn’t quite as gifted in the kitchen. A cooking date night was a great idea for us. We were able to prepare and enjoy a delicious gourmet meal together. The best part is we didn’t make a mess in our own kitchen!
  • Food trucks: Hit up a food truck night at the local park. This allows you to try lots of different cuisines and local vendors all in one place! Who says you can’t have burgers, Cajun, tacos and sno-cones all in one night? Take a blanket and enjoy your meal under the stars with your date!

You don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy an evening out with your honey. What do YOU do for date night that doesn’t bust your budget?!

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Hi, my name is Jordan and I am the only girl in a house full of boys! I live with my husband, son, and part-time, my two bonus sons. We also have two dogs and a hedgehog to balance out the craziness. I love my loud and crazy household, for there is never a dull moment. My husband and I have been married for two years, so we are slowly learning to navigate the wonderful world of blended family life. I work full time outside of the home, and in what little spare time I have, I try to spend as much time with my family as I can. I also love to write, take bubble baths and binge watch true crime tv shows. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that my guilty pleasure show is Married at First Sight, but I’m obsessed! I love to cook (and most say I’m pretty good at it), and like any true Southern woman, I will show you my love by feeding you. I use humor in almost any situation, probably often times when I shouldn’t, but it’s how I get through my crazy life. I try to never take myself too seriously and I will be the first to laugh and poke fun at my own misfortune.

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