The Dating Divas: Date Night on the Cheap

Tara Carson, Kari Elordi, and Kiirsten Jeppsen with “The Dating Divas” blog share some

We all know how life gets once you get passed the “honeymoon” stage. We’ve all been there. It seems that life can take over pretty quickly and get in the way of the most important relationship of all… your marriage! Between careers, kids, church responsibilities, family and friends, home projects and everything else that seems to get in the way, it is hard to take the time to really DATE your spouse. Our goal is to make sure that we always keep our relationship with our spouses a top priority. With the help of The Dating Divas, we hope to get couples back on the right track to keeping the romance alive in their relationships. Here are six great date ideas that can get you started!

The “Funky Town” Date

This date is a great one to do with other couples who are OK with letting loose a little. We started off by meeting at one of the couple’s homes where we had a potluck. It all started out pretty normal, right?!? After sitting down to eat, the men noticed that there weren’t any utensils on the table. We then brought out a bag which was filled with kitchen utensils (unusual ones such as a whisk, tongs, a ladle) and everyone had to choose one without looking. The guys about died! It was pretty funny watching everyone try to eat with their crazy utensil.

We then headed to a local thrift store and handed each husband a ten-dollar bill and instructed them to pick out an outfit for their wife. Each of the wives also had a ten-dollar bill and we did the same. This was probably the highlight of the whole date. There was a lot of uncontrollable laughter going on in that store! As you can see from the pictures, we looked ridiculous all dressed up in those outfits but it was so worth it! (We headed back to the house to change and then we were right back out again…)

Our next stop was in public! (This is why it is highly recommended to do this as a group date…more support from your friends!) We proceeded to go bowling….with a “funky” twist. Each person was handed a card on which you predicted your final bowling score. On the back, you wrote the prize/reward that your spouse would receive if they beat your score. We put them all in a safe place so no peeking would occur. We then bowled “M&M” style – each person would choose an M&M before bowling and the color determined how you would bowl. Example – blue means you would bowl backwards between your legs. We then finished up the night with ice cream sundaes back at home and enjoying each other’s company.

The “Bookstore” Date

This date is more of a laid-back one that you can do at any age! It’s relaxing, fun, creative, and it doesn’t cost a penny! The date started out by me handing a card to my husband with a silly little poem on it letting him know that our date would take place in a bookstore. When we got to the store, I handed my husband a card with three tasks on it that we would each need to complete in the time allotted and then meet back in a specified location in the store. The first three tasks were: #1 – find a recipe you would like to make for your spouse, #2 – find a quiz in a magazine that you can take together, and #3 – find one of your favorite children’s books. We actually ended up gathering the three items together. We then went back to our spot and shared our “findings” with each other.

Afterwards, I handed him a copy of the second sheet of tasks: #1 – find a joke to share with your spouse, #2 – find a picture of information on a place you would like to vacation someday, and #3 – find a poem that describes how you feel about your spouse. This time we were able to find a spot on some cozy armchairs tucked in the corner and we shared our “finds” with each other again. We actually ended up doing this over a period of two days because we had SO much fun sharing things we found with each other. We spent forever just reading funny jokes to each other. I would highly suggest planning on taking an afternoon and just spending it at a bookstore. You would find plenty to do!

We had just eaten before each of our trips to the store, but if you are hungry, you can grab a hot cocoa and a pastry at the little eatery they have in the bookstores. One more thing, even if you don’t like to read, this date is a blast! My husband is not a fan of reading and he loved this date. In fact, after it was over, he suggested going to a library and doing another variation of the date.


This date is a super fun, military-themed date that can be done as a group or just as a couple. The guys had 5 mission cards to complete throughout the date. Each mission card lined out each activity throughout the night. We gave our boys their first mission card attached to a camouflaged toy car over breakfast. This mission card gave them strict instructions to report to duty at their bunk at 1600 hours (4:00pm civilian time). Once they arrived for duty they were given a “carrier” or gift bag with “Special Forces Training Gear” written on the outside and their second mission card attached to it. The second mission card gave them instructions to put on their assigned “gear”- which consisted of an A-Team t-shirt that we made with vinyl lettering, camo shorts and a personalized dog tag. Once we were all dressed in our “gear” it was time to report for “Combat Training” at Wahooz. It was a kick! We trained in go-carts, batting cages, the Max Flight simulator, and the arcade.

Our third mission was for our soldiers to treat their S-2 Commanding Officers to dinner at the local Canteen. This was their reward for passing Combat Training. We let them take us to a Bistro downtown that is very loud and alive. (Just the place that a group of trained Special Forces soldiers might hang out.) Now that we put our boys to work earning their Green Berets rights it was time to give them a break and let them enjoy someone else doing the work. Mission #4 ordered us to tactical intelligence training and video surveillance duty at the movie theater. This is where all of their hard work gets to be paid off. We settled in and relaxed watching the new A-Team movie. Their fifth mission card was a congratulations for completing their training to become a Special Forces Green Berets. They were also given permission to celebrate with their commanding officers {WINK**WINK}. “I love it when a plan comes together!” -Hannibal (A-Team)

“Patio Prom” Date

Theme: The STARS Burn Bright For You My Love

This is the perfect date if you’re looking for something inexpensive, intimate, and no babysitter involved. I wanted to create a romantic and fun “prom” experience for us since we didn’t get to go to our high school proms together. I started by asking my hubby to prom in a super fun and super corny way. (We all remember how high school works – haha!) So I decorated his car while he was at work with confetti, balloons, crepe paper, and a big poster board that said “Will you go to PROM with ME?”. I slapped some lipstick on my lips and went to town with kissy marks all over the poster board. Once he was home from work, we were both dressed to the hilt and the kids were in bed our official prom date began. A friend of mine stopped over to take our prom pictures [because prom just isn’t complete without the pictures!]. Then we headed out onto our back patio for dinner. I had the patio decorated with lights, a large poster with our theme and stars, our dinner table, candles and music. It looked as close to prom as a patio could get!

Our dinner consisted of a variety of hors d’oeuvre items, fresh fruit and desserts. I used what I could out of my own fridge without cooking and picked up the rest from a local deli so I wouldn’t have to cook. I made personalized bowls and plates for the occasion that also served as our prom souvenirs. We had a very romantic dinner over candlelight overlooking the city (We have a fabulous view!). Then I had a Prom playlist that incorporated music from our wedding reception and songs that I love now. We danced under the stars with a gorgeous view of the city lights. I couldn’t have been more romantic! Once our prom came to an end and the clean up was finished there was only one thing left to make our night complete. What is that might you ask? Parking. That’s right! We got in the backseat of our car that was parked in our garage and had our prom night make-out session. Our night couldn’t have been more perfect.

“Just For Da’ Funnavit” Date

This date is a great excuse to laugh together ’til your cheeks hurt! I started the morning of our date by switching the bags inside his favorite two breakfast cereal choices. I had also slipped a simple invitation for a date inside each box for him to find when he filled his bowl. Then all day long I pulled silly and harmless pranks on him like handing him a glass of invisible kool-aid when he expected ice water. The possibilities for pranks are literally endless! Pretty soon he was wary of anything to do with me! When we left for dinner, we even put an empty cup on top of the car with magnets as if I’d forgotten it there as I climbed into the car. We enjoyed watching for people to react at stoplights and such. Once at dinner, our server was surprised when we ordered dessert first. Why not? Over dinner we talked about funny things that have happened and times we nearly died laughing about something or other… Afterward, we went to a comedy show, which was hilarious! Laughing together is truly priceless!

“The Amazing Race” Date

Our Amazing Race consisted of a host couple and four competing couples at one of the happiest places on earth – the mall! We all met in the food court to begin the night with dinner together. At the signal of our host couple, we each ran off to buy our dinners at the restaurant of our choice and then enjoyed dinner and conversation together by pushing 4 tables into one big table. At the end of the meal, we handed each couple a packet containing four clues and tasks. We also handed out the one extra thing we each provided for the date as well such as a water bottle for each participant, a granola bar, and a “power pellet” candy band. With that, we were off! Each couple’s clues were in a different order, so we all headed in opposite directions. Once you figured out and reached the destination from the clue, you also had to complete a task at each stop. The stops were Build-a-Bear Workshop where we had to tell or read “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” story to someone, Barnes and Nobles where we needed to find a book written by an author with our same first name, the Apple store where we snapped pictures of us with the new iPhone, and the movie theater where we were supposed to sing each other a love song! The last destination was to all meet at the mall fountain and run up and down the stairs holding hands. There was also a twist on how to get to each destination. One stop required you to link pinkies all the way there, another to skip at least part way, etc. We actually all reached the end at different times, and the winners’ prize was good ol’ fashioned bragging rights! To end the night we all enjoyed ice cream together!

The Dating Divas is a 12-member blogging team consisting of a group of fun-loving friends. We love to date our husbands and have a lot of fun coming up with original, inexpensive, and fun dating ideas to do just that. We post a brand new fun, creative, and budget-friendly date idea each week. We also post marriage tips, creative gift tutorials, ideas for holidays, beauty tips, reviews on websites or books, fun family ideas, quick & easy romance ideas, and anything else that we feel has enhanced our own marriages. We enjoy dating our husbands so much that we want to share our ideas with YOU!!

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