10 Summer Dates That Cost Zero

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This spring I approached my husband with a some what radical idea for us. I suggested we give up our $20 a week date money that we generally spend on a meal together and instead start walking, biking, hiking, and kayaking together instead.

These are activities we all have the equipment for, but we don’t go out and do as often as we would like.

I suggested these things for two main reasons. Reason number one, we have both reached our 40’s and the over sized portions served in restaurants are starting to show on our frames and we would like to at least slow the process some. Reason number two, the $20 a week we save adds up to $80 a month and we have had some larger than average bills come up lately with fewer than average overtime hours to pay them with.

My husband and I plan to do these “zero price tag” dates as long as the good weather last, which around here will probably mean until late October. We started our  free dates in April so all together that will save us 7 months of dating money at $80 a month that will save us  $560, which is a significant amount of cash for a family on a tight budget.

summer dates that cost zero

Perhaps, you want to do some free dating over the summer too, but you don’t have bikes and kayaks, don’t worry all 10 ideas for summer dates that cost zero that I am giving you today don’t require you to have any fancy equipment, but you might want to brainstorm ways to use what you have, just as we are. These ideas also are not exclusive to summer but can all be done outdoors.

Please note, my husband and I have older children so we don’t need a babysitter to get out any more, but these ideas would work for those of you with younger children, you would just have to put a bit of thought and creativity into when and how. A babysitting swap night with friends worked well for us when our children were little, and we wanted to do something out of the house. For dates we could do at home we made sure to make it a priority to do these things regularly after the children went to bed or before they got up or during nap time on the days my husband was off work.

10 Summer Dates That Cost Zero

1. Walk & Talk

Walking cost nothing, and it is a great time for one on one talking. You don’t have to have a destination, and you don’t have to power walk. Hold each others hands. Talk about your days.

2. Play a Board Games, Free Apps, or Crossword puzzles together on your front porch

My husband and I have developed a habit of passing the iPad back and forth to each other playing word games as we sit side by side on our front porch swing enjoying the evening breeze. If you don’t own a iPad or similar tablet though you can still enjoy playing games together. Drag a table out on your front porch and play a board game, or print out a crossword and figure out the answers together.

3. Watch a Sunset or a Sunrise together from your front or back porch

If you have older children like we do, you are probably going to pick the sunrise option, because the children are still up at sunset.

In the baby and toddler years though, sunsets tend to work best for one on one time because the little ones have you up well before sunrise.

Grab blankets and a mug or glass of whatever you fancy and sit snuggled up together watching God paint the sky.

4. Have a reading date

Books are free for borrowing at the local library. There are free kindle listings all over the internet. Tyndale rewards is a great way to earn free paperback books.

However you get your free books reading together can be great connection time. I know it sounds weird but I love it when my husband and I hold a reading date.

Throw a blanket on the lawn during the children’s nap time and grab your books. You can read to each other, or each read your own book, which is what my husband and I do. Snuggle up, read and enjoy the sunshine, and sneak in a few kisses here and there too.

Dream Big, Fear Less, Say Yes To God

5.  Dreamstorm together

This idea comes from the pages of Rhinestone Jesus. Grab a pen and a pad of paper, sit side by side on the porch swing and list all the things you dream of doing together over the next 10 years or so.

6. Take over A backyard pool

My husband and I had the most relaxing free date ever about 2 summers ago when our friends told us we were more than welcome to use their pool while they were on vacation. We left our children with an easy dinner to prepare (remember I have teenagers) and then left with a picnic basket full of food for our friends house. We ate in peace on our friends backyard patio and then spent hours floating around on big inflatable loungers chatting, dreaming and relaxing.

7. Borrow a movie from the library to watch together inside or outside

Our library has a great collection of movies new and old, but if yours doesn’t you could try grabbing a free red box code (Money Saving Mom lists them often).

Grab pillows and blankets and cuddle upside by side indoors in front of the TV if it is a “got to have air conditioning” sort of evening. Or for fun you could zip two sleeping bags together into one big one, grab your pillows, grab your laptop and head outside to snuggle up together under the stars in your backyard and watch the show (hint trampolines , if you have one, make a great comfy spots for this).

8. Take in a free summer community event

A concert in the park. A classic car show. A street festival. All great free activities to enjoy together for free. Newspaper websites, bulletin boards at coffee houses, and a shout out on Facebook are all great ways to find out about these types of activities in your area.

9. Do outdoor chores together

Chores can make for a great date. Paint the playhouse together. Garden together. Stain the fence together. As long as you are together and the children are not under foot  it counts as a date. I love chore dates as I find my husband tends to open up and talk more during them.

10. Take full advantage of point earning programs

Sometimes you just want to get out of the house alone and eat a good meal enjoyed on the patio of your favorite restaurant  or beat the heat and  take in a movie. With a little bit of creative thinking these activities don’t have to eat into your budget. Point programs are a great way to fund date night; here are a few of my favorites.

Looking for more money saving ideas? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Follow Our Thrift,One Project At A Time, The Mommy Club, Thrifty Thursdays, List It Tuesdays, Titus 2sday, WFMW,

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  1. What a great list! Just being intentional about these things is important. I only have 6 weeks until our first comes, and I want to make sure I take this time to be intentional with my husband. Will have to work on some of these ideas!

  2. Great list! I was just looking for ways that we could have some fun for cheap, and I noticed that we do a lot of these already. We love walks and bike rides especially. And we’re going for a picnic next week!

  3. These are great ideas. I know my husband. And myself enjoy doing projects together. We get to talk and get something crossed off our to do list.

  4. Great ideas! I love the swimming pool one! Wish we had a neighbor with one. That would be fun! Have a great day!

  5. I really like that all of these ideas help bring you closer together! My husband and I are in need of some dates right now so I have been going through old gift cards to see what I can scrape together! But really as long as you can find a free babysitter even just dinner at home is considered a date in my book!

  6. Great tips !! My husband and I have been doing walk and talk also free movie night from library together. We need to do more though. Some of your list might become handy 🙂

  7. I LOVE the idea of taking over a neighbors pool. So clever. Plus a movie date in is always great too. The kids love to pile of bunch of blankets and pillows in the bedroom and watch a movie. My husband and I should some time too. Great list. Lots of inspiration!!

  8. Great ideas. And free (and not requiring a babysitter) makes them even easier to actually do!

  9. If you live in a college town, consider its facilities to be part of your community. Most activities are free or very low cost. And you will be getting out of your comfort zone.


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