A series of date night ideas costing $40 or less, published weekly. Although my dates are done in Memphis, TN I aim to share strategies with readers that could be done anywhere and I'm also sharing the monthly Date Box service which is available nationwide.
$40 Date Ideas and Posts:
Take a Picnic to the Drive In Movies (Guest Post on History & Pearls)
How It Began
Flashback to fall 2013: I had a really rough couple of weeks at work and wasn't getting a lot of time to spend with the guy I had then been dating for a few months (who is now my husband). To celebrate getting past the rough hump and show appreciation for him putting up with my long hours I was looking for a romantic Friday night date. We got dressed up (not super fancy but nicer than jeans or work clothes) and headed to one of downtown Memphis's "nicer restaurant". The lighting was awful and made me uncomfortable, there was a noisy delivery truck out front the entire time, the food was rushed and mediocre at best. Despite ordering three courses we were in and out in an hour, so much for a nice romantic dinner. The worst part was I was now $120 poorer. I didn't have anything else planned for the night and quite frankly the money for another activity, I was crushed at the date's failure.
The more I thought about it the more upset I became. What if this has been a first date and some guy had taken me there? If the date was over in an hour I would have presumed the guy didn't like me and we would have never seen each other again. What if we had been parents looking for a night out and went through the trouble and expense of getting a sitter just to have a rushed mediocre meal? This is Memphis , Tennessee gosh darn it, while we have many problems the availability of good food and affordable living costs are not on that list. Maybe this unnamed place was having an off night but there are just too many amazing places in this city to be offering out 2nd chances- but the mistake of making such an investment in a 1st chance was mine, and I vowed not to do it again.
As the guy and I continued to date I whined about how it seemed that a couple had to either go to and expensive restaurant or go to a family friendly chain. I just wanted a nice date without crying babies and I didn't want us going broke in the process. But then I remembered a different restaurant downtown: The Majestic Grill, and all of their reasonable price lovely ambiance glory. While sitting there enjoying my flat bread I realized when it came to date planning I was being lazy and defaulting to high price places for romance, but with a little bit of creativity dating didn't have to be so expensive or boring and thus my quest to find $40 dates began.
I share these dates here because I know I'm not the only one,. I share these dates for the couple starting out, for the young and not making so much, for the couple saving for a wedding / house/ baby/ other life achievement, for the parents paying the babysitter, for couple closing in on retirement, for the fiscally conservative, and for any one looking to go outside the box. I'm not saying never go to fine dining establishments, trust me I do, but to borrow a phrase from my dad "going out to eat shouldn't involve taking out a mortgage".
Coming soon . . .Outdoor Concert Picnic
Farmer's Market Fun
Shooting Range Adventures
Please feel free contact me if you have a date night idea or your own $40 date night you'd like to guest post about.