Date Night on a Budget

Saving more and spending less does not require lowering expectations on date night.  Dinner, wine and a movie can be had for less than $30.00.  “How?” you might ask.  Well, let me tell you!

Pull out the linens and fine china (or at least pretty stoneware) from your dining room hutch.  Find a vase while you are in there and head to the yard with some scissors to cut pretty blooms for the vase.  Set the table with style (and candles – you know they are in that hutch somewhere).

Shop the sales at your local grocery store.  Here is a menu based on the Kroger sale this week as I write:

  • 1 pound of shrimp (grills nicely in 5 or 10 minutes)                     $6.99
  • 1 bag of salad                                                                                    $1.99
  • 1 bottle of Kroger dressing                                                                $1.29
  • 1 pound of strawberries                                                                    $1.88
  • 4 pack of sponge cake                                                                      $0.99
  • Some sugar from the pantry                                                            basically free
  • 5 pounds of potatoes (bake 2 for dinner)                                        $3.99
  • 1 bottle of wine                                                                                 $10.99
  • Rent a movie from Red Box on your way out the door                 $1.00
  • Grand Total                                                                                        $29.12 plus tax

(plus you have all those potatoes for later)

Yes it takes a little more effort than heading to the local restaurant and theater.  But compare the cost for that convenience:

  • Dinner for Two at Applebee’s                                                    $20.00
  • Two glasses of wine                                                                   $12.00
  • No dessert (who wants to pay $6 for a brownie?)                   $0.00
  • Tip the waitress                                                                          $7.00
  • Two movie tickets                                                                      $18.00
  • Grand Total                                                                                $57.00

You won’t be eating on fine china with nice linens and candles.  You will have to talk very loud to be heard over the crowd rather than whispering sweet nothings.  Plus, that arm rest at the theater really cuts into the cuddle time that would be much more comfortable on the couch.  And you have to drive through weekend traffic before getting that good night kiss – road rage could kill the mood before you even get there.  Come on, admit it!  It will be worth the extra effort and the savings.  Plus the food will probably taste better and be better for your health.

If you have some great ideas for date night on a budget, leave a comment below or drop me a line at


About boyonabudget

Did you graduate from high school or college and wonder why you never took a class on balancing your checkbook, building a household budget or stretching your paycheck from one week to the next? I bet most of us asked ourselves that at some point soon after getting out in the real world on our own. Well we can’t go back and ask for a do-over. But we can help our kids avoid that question. Let’s teach them now while they are still living at home and have the Mom and/or Dad safety net to catch them when they fall. I have eighteen years of marketing (print, web and broker) experience with the number one health insurer in America. That is how I pay the bills. Being a mom, writing a book and blogging is how I feed my creativity. I’m writing a guide for teaching kids to manage money wisely. If the adults learn a thing or two along the way, that’s all the better. Join me on a journey to financial freedom!
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One Response to Date Night on a Budget

  1. We live in a college town with a beautiful campus (Indiana University). My husband & I like to grab a couple cups of coffee, and stroll around campus holding hands, looking at the architecture, and admiring all the landscapes there. We both went to school at IU, and miss being on campus every day. The date costs us about $4, we get some exercise, and we really enjoy each other’s company!

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