Thursday, August 20, 2009

10 inexpensive things to do as a couple

Let’s face it--the economy hasn’t been very favorable for expensive dates or romantic getaways. But togetherness really doesn’t have to cost anything to be worth the effort. Here are ten suggestions for spending some inexpensive quality time with your sweetheart:
  1. The popcorn/drink special at Target. For only a buck fifty or so, you get a bag of popcorn and medium soft drink--can’t beat that anywhere! My sweetie and I like to find a spot in the back where we can enjoy each other’s company as we people-watch. It’s relaxing, fun, and oh-so-cheap!
  2. Window-shop at the mall. Okay, this one may be a little dangerous for your pocketbook if you happen to spy something you just can’t live without. But walking the mall is good exercise. It can also be a pleasant time of exchanging ideas and dreaming together about your future.
  3. Bargain matinee at the movies. Even better, maybe you have a discount theater in your neighborhood. The movies may not be the most recent releases, but what’s more romantic than holding hands and stealing kisses in a darkened theater?
  4. Walking the dogs at the park. Just as fun if you don’t have pets. Like the mall, good exercise. And there’s something about the forward momentum of a quiet walk to encourage pleasant conversation.
  5. Act like kids again. Find a park or schoolyard with a playground and take turns pushing each other on a swing or going down a slide. Brave the merry-go-round only if you think your tummy can take it!
  6. Read to each other. Try a series of books like The Chronicles of Narnia. Have fun with accents and dramatic voice inflections. My sweetie and I tried this one year, and it became one of our most treasured couple memories.
  7. Stargaze. Just Google “sky map” for a list of sites where you can learn what’s visible in your area and how to identify what you find. If you have a telescope, so much the better.
  8. Play a board game. It helps if you’re not too competitive, but games like Yahtzee and Scrabble are great two-person games and a fun way to stay connected.
  9. Garden together. If you have a green thumb--or even if you don’t--tending a garden or even just a few potted plants can become a shared activity and pleasant escape from the daily grind.
  10. Become birdwatchers. For a few dollars you can purchase a guidebook about birds in your area. Then spend a little money on seed and a feeder and have fun keeping track together of how many different kinds of birds visit your backyard.
That’s my list. What other ideas can you come up with? Everyone who leaves a comment on this post will have a chance to win a copy of my debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, about a couple who must find their way back to each other after tragedy drives them apart. Contest ends midnight Sunday, August 23, and the winner will be contacted by e-mail, so be sure to log in with a valid e-mail address.


  1. Myra, one thing that we do is get a footlong $5 sandwich at Subway (we split it) and a half-priced drink during Sonic's "Happy Hour". We then head to one of many local parks and have a picnic and gaze at the water. If it's during school hours and the parks are empty, we take our dogs so they can run around and play, causing cute little squirrels to scamper up trees to make us smile.

  2. Oh, we love Sonic's happy hour! Our favorite is diet cherry limeades. Great ideas, Gloria! We don't take our dogs to the park nearly often enough. Maybe now that it's not quite so hot (although is this really August???).

  3. A cheap lunch is available to members of Sam's Club. You can get a large hot dog that tastes more like a polish sausage and a large drink for $1.50. They even have free garnishes, including sauerkraut if you'd like to make it a kraut dog.

    Luby's has been running some good specials lately, too.

  4. I love CHEAP! We've had a run of coupons for Ruby Tuesday restaurant (<1 mile from our house) that are Buy one, get one free. Nice for an evening out, esp. if you order water for the drink.

    And we have become cuckoo about bird watching. Hummingbirds and just this week, these bright yellow finches with black wings that are pecking the devil out of the coneflowers.

    Very clever post, Myra. Thanks!

  5. Vickie, I'd forgotten about the Sam's snack bar. They do have good stuff. We used to get root beer floats there regularly. Another great people watching spot!

    Oh, and we've taken advantage of several of those Ruby Tuesday coupons, too, Carla! I need to watch for some more!

  6. Just popping in to announce that Gloria is the winner in the drawing for a copy of my book. Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping in and sharing your comments!

  7. Fantastic! I can hardly wait to read it, Myra. I wish it was cooler weather so I could snuggle up in my favorite blanket and read. Guess I'll "settle" for your good book. I can tell it's going to be a book to remember. Thank you!

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