Inexpensive Date Night: A soon-to-be staple with couples all over the world. What happens when you get married and spend all your money on the wedding and honeymoon? Statistics say the first year of marriage is the HARDEST! I believe this is because if you haven’t already been living with your spouse (and even if you have) this is big period of adjustment. You start to notice things about your spouse that you may have missed before.
An inexpensive date night becomes more important as the relationship blossoms because other things start to take priority and that’s ok.
One of the biggest discoveries is finances and how you both manage them. Many couples choose to get joint accounts after getting married and combine bills and debt. Finances can be daunting and can put a serious strain on the relationship. Especially when you can’t come to an agreeance about how money should be spent.
Its easy to get swept up in money talk and lose track of why you both decided to get married in the first place. Spoiler: It’s not just about the money and merging of incomes.
Marriage is about getting to know and growing with your partner and that is why Date Night is so important. People tend to lose sight of the importance of date night when money gets involved because they automatically see it as an expense.
Date Night Shouldn’t Be Looked At As An Expense but as a Necessity
I can see how Date Night can end up at the bottom of the list of priorities when you live in a place that has a very high cost of living such as Southern California. Millennials in Southern California already have to worry about keeping a roof over their heads with how expensive rent and the housing market is. When you add in a spouse and kids, it can become rather difficult to make time to continue courting your mate. As a three year implant in San Diego, I’ve mastered Inexpensive Date Night with my Fiance’ whom I’ve been dating for two years right here in San Diego. Fact: San Diego is expensive.
If you’ve already read my posts Date Night: A solution for Couples and my post 3 Reasons Why Date Night is Important in Your Marriage, then look at this as a part three in the Date Night Series.
Solution: You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. At most, time will be a factor in this slow-moving beach town but what better way to get to know each other than through quality time. Here’s a list of my top inexpensive date night suggestions in and around San Diego.
Top Inexpensive Date Night Ideas in San Diego
If you’re a foodie like my fiance’ and I, then you like going out to different restaurants to try different types of foods. Food dates can become so expensive after ordering appetizers, entrees, and alcoholic drinks. Here are a few hacks to save money when wanting to go out to a nice dinner.
Pre-game before you leave the house.
Have a glass of (inexpensive) wine before leaving the house or your drink of choice. I think we’ve all discovered that it’s cheaper to drink at home. If you must, do not order appetizers unless its happy hour. The same goes for drinks. You’ll get the best deals when you order drinks or apps during happy hour.
Sometimes, ordering a few appetizers during happy hour is all you need to satisfy your hunger. You don’t have to order an entree. I’ll elaborate on this in a future post but I have this down to a science.Choose restaurants that feature daily specials so you can have a nice dinner without breaking the bank. Click To Tweet
My favorite San Diego Restaurant (and hidden gem) crushes daily specials including weekend brunch. The price is always right at Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar. My fiance’ was just telling me how he wanted to go back on a Thursday. Long-story-short, Harley Gray does a special on Thursday where you can get a whole lobster dinner for $13.99 and its pretty filling. I love the Decor and I love the vibes ! I highly recommend this place if you have expensive taste but don’t to break the bank or just want to show your spouse that you know how to save money too (LOL).
Ice Cream or Dessert Dates
Are almost always under $10. My fiance’ and I both have a sweet tooth. We love Dessert dates that help us to get out of the house for a few hours. Our first Dessert date was at CREAM. CREAM is known for making premium Ice Cream Sandwiches (ok now I’m getting hungry) and is located in the College Area.
It’s Free. You just have to find parking. while this can be a hassle depending on what time of the day you go, bring your patience, Jesus and a mustard seed of faith. It works like a charm for me. You’re probably wondering what all can you do at the beach outside of just watching the waves crash against the shore?
There’s tons to do at the beach! I have lots of suggestions but for the sake of this post, I’ll just mention a few. San Diego is known for its beaches. Every beach community has its own feel. So depending on what you’d like to do, that’ll determine which beach to hit.
For the fun couple that likes to ride rollercoasters, eat carnival food and bask in tourism. You can rollerblade on the boardwalk or just walk and enjoy each other’s company
is in San Diego’s North County and is one of San Diego’s many affluent communities. There’s tends to be less traffic there, so it tends to be cleaner, safer and family-friendly. There are lots of cute boutique shops to pop in and out of. Take your mate for an early stroll on the beach while you sip both coffee, spot some surfers and bask in the quietness.
Other activities to do at ANY Beach
- Have a picnic and watch the sunrise/sunset. If you plan to bring alcoholic beverages, make sure it’s allowed at that beach
- bring the fur babies out for a day of fun
- take photos together and of the breathtaking nature
- take a nap (so rejuvenating!)
- Walk the boardwalk
- grab ice cream and walk the boardwalk
- Feed and/or Pray for the Homeless if you happen to spot a need (they’re there, sometimes bathing, other times sleep or wandering about)
Explore Balboa Park
Balboa Park is so beautiful and free! There are tons of ways to spend money at Balboa park but the cool thing is you absolutely don’t have to. Even parking is free if you can find a good spot nearby. While there’s restaurants, museums (sometimes free for residents depending on what day you go), and vendors at the park, you can simply just sightsee while you’re there.
There’s so much nature and cool architecture to explore on the park grounds. I love to take pictures on my DSLR or my phone when I go. It’s cool to learn about the different vendors and sometimes the vendors will give you free things. I once got a very inexpensive book from a vendor because just wanted to share knowledge. His asking price was just any donation amount.
Take a backpack with some snacks, maybe even a blanket you can rest and picnic on the grass areas and go explore Balboa Park! There’s even night activities going on at the park. Take your pick
Take a Hike Together
Hiking is free and it’s good for you. So long as you’re not overextending yourself fitness-wise. Hiking is a great opportunity to get to know each other while getting in shape. A couple that prioritizes health together, stays together. Here are some of the trails I’ve hiked personally:
- Mission Trails- There are lots of different hikes you can take advantage of at Mission Trails so this is ideal for beginner hikers. Ranked easy to hard depending on which trail you decide to take on
- Cowles Mountain – a three-mile hike on a steady incline and ranked as Moderate. Make sure to eat the right food beforehand because altitude sickness is real
- Iron Mountain Trail- a 5.8-mile hike begins flat and creeps up into the eastern mountains but has beautiful panoramic views at the top. Ranked Moderate too Difficult. I hiked this during my 30th birthday weekend and it was tough on a spiritual, mental and physical level. I’ll have to share my experience in a future post but there are photos on my IG @mimi_got_stories
The Farmer’s Market
San Diego has an abundance of Farmers Markets all year round. In fact, there is a Farmer’s Market for every day of the week. I’m suggesting Farmer’s Markets for an inexpensive Date Night or Day-time Date because this is a great opportunity to learn more about your mate’s interests, buy each other cool gifts (if the price is right) and let’s not forget about all the free samples. You could literally hit all the food vendors and leave the Farmer’s Market food having never spent a single cent.
My favorite Farmer’s Market is the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market which takes place on Sunday from 11-2pm PST
Other Inexpensive San Diego Date Night Ideas
- Visit and Ride Bikes on Coronado Island
- Explore Seaport Village
- Take a Boat Ride on the Hornblower (use a Groupon)
- Get a couples Massage (Groupon)
- Do a Wine Tasting (Groupon)
- Stay in and Netflix and Chill (like actually eat snacks and watch a few movies LOL)
- Go Swimming in the Ocean
- Cook Together
- Visit a Nursery and Learn about Plants together
- Find cheap concert tickets to an upcoming artist in a genre you like and discover them together
- Take a road trip up to LA
- A trip up to North County
- Head to Laguna Beach
- catch a matinee
There’s so many cool things to do in and around San Diego. Many of them being inexpensive or free. The list goes on and on. I’ll definitely be blogging about this topic more in the future because I have personal experience doing so many of these things. I love to get out but I don’t like the crappy feeling you get when you get back in and realize that you spent to much.
My fiance’ and I pride ourselves on coming up with inexpensive date night ideas. Even when we’re feeling a little boujee’, we make sure to stick to a budget. What are some of your favorite inexpensive things to do in and around San Diego?