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After being in a relationship for seven years and now a wife, I know I sometimes find it challenging to carve out the time and money—and to dream up new ideas—for date nights. As most of us know, setting aside time for just the two of you is crucial to your relationship. With all life’s chaos, it can seem easier to just keep putting it off for another day, but don’t wait until tomorrow to spend time together! Here are a few ideas that keep it simple and won’t break the bank.

  1. Go fly a kite: Next time you spot a kite at the store, grab one on your way out for a breezy day. The simpler ones tend to only cost about $5, and getting out in the open air together to test your skills will make you feel like kids again.

  2. Pack a picnic: Pick up a cheap bottle of wine and tuck it into a tote bag with a blanket, some wine glasses, and an opener if you need one. Drive to the nearest lookout point, sip slowly, and take in the view.

  3. Bake a cake: Or brownies or cookies or whatever your sweet tooth desires! Nothing is more fun than licking the batter off spatulas and then enjoying the fruits of your labor.

  4. Shop at a farmer’s market: We love our local farmer’s markets! Take in all the fresh produce, learn what’s in season, try delicious samples, and get inspired to make your own menu. Find fruits and veggies you’ve never seen before and Google recipes when you get home. Be adventurous! You never know what new delight’s you’ll discover.

  5. Check out $2 taco night: Many restaurants and bars offer $2 Tuesday specials. Here in San Francisco, one of the popular spots is Nick’s Crispy Tacos in the Russian Hill neighborhood.

  6. Have a slumber party: Sure, you spend every night together, but grab all the fluffy pillows and blankets in the house and make a giant, comfy bed in the living room. Play board games and video games, or rent a scary movie. Have a playful pillow fight for lots of laughs.

  7. Take a hike: Pack some snacks and a bottle of bubbles to enjoy when you take a little rest. An inexpensive champagne we like is Korbel Brut, which typically runs just under $10 a bottle.

  8. Laugh your butt off: Believe it or not, you’ll find many free comedy shows in the city. We’ve found free tickets to the Punch Line Comedy Club on GoldStar and websites like Fun Cheap SF have a bunch of ideas! 

  9. Scope out local events: In a city like San Francisco, there’s always something going on. Whether it’s a seasonal event like a neighborhood Oktoberfest, a Carnival parade in the Mission, or just a local art festival, you’re sure to find a cheap weekend activity. Check out an area news source, like SFGate’s Things to Do page, for calendars. (Fun Cheap is another great source for this!)

  10. Have an old-fashioned Nerf war!: Yes, I said it—I love this idea! Brian and I occasionally get in little wars with soft things like balled-up socks while we’re folding laundry. It always ends with us laughing hysterically, running around the apartment hiding from each other and planning our next attacks. Talk about feeling like kids

Remember: Love might come easy, but it takes hard work—and that doesn’t mean it has to be extravagant. Do you have your own ideas for a $10 Date Night? Share them with me!

 
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