Happy Love Day everyone! In the spirit of love and frugality, Kayla and I have found that the best way to save money on eating out while still having a great time is to have date nights in! Now, some may think that that’s just another night at home cooking dinner, but there are many ways to change it up. Here is the story of a date night in that we enjoyed this past summer.

It had been a while since the last time that we had gone out on a date, but I wanted to be a bit creative as I had this particular Friday off from work. So, I went shopping for pizza (Kayla’s favorite food of all time) ingredients, squirt guns, a six pack and movie theater sized candy. Grand total for all of this was ~$43.

I got home, cleaned the majority of the house. Then I headed to the backyard. I set up our bocce set, filled the squirt guns with water and strategically placed one by the tool shed and one just inside the garage.

Once Kayla arrived home, I gave her a drink and took her out to the backyard for a game of bocce. We played a few rounds and then as she was distracted with the dog, I slowly made my way over toward the tool shed, grabbing my hidden squirt. I ducked around the shed, shot her in the stomach and yelled “You have 3 seconds to get to the garage.” She quickly got what I meant, ran over, grabbed her squirt gun and it was on!

Kayla ran out of water first (I claim that it’s because I’m a better shot, but I’m sure she’ll disagree) and put her hands up in surrender. Being a fair person, I agreed, put my gun down to go pick up the bocce balls and head inside to start the pizza. Little did I know that my wife’s Slytherin side was showing and she grabbed my squirt gun and shot me in the back…Sneaky…

Fast forward to both of us changing into dry clothes. I make the pizza and put it in the oven to bake. While we wait, we set up a fort in the living that basically just takes over the living room so that we have the TV inside as well.

Not the fort from this particular date night, but you get the gist.

We finished the evening off with a delicious, fresh pizza and a movie inside of our very cozy fort, followed by a walk in the park nearby with the pup. In every way, it was a perfect evening.

Now, I don’t know what your normal evening is like, but we don’t usually play lawn games, have a water gun fight and watch a movie in a blanket fort on our normal nights. So, to us it was a breath of fresh air into a Friday night with absolutely 0 commute time. We didn’t have to rush to catch the movie from dinner or feel rushed to come home and take the dog out. We were just already right where we needed and wanted to be.

To top it all off, if we had gone out for dinner, even just pizza and beers, that could have been $43 right there, let alone a movie and candy as well. Plus, now we have squirt guns to play with because we’re adults and that’s how we roll.

Now, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to date nights in, but there are other ways to make them special. For example, making a special meal, getting dressed up using the good china and candles to set the mood. It’ll be a fraction of the cost of going out and still be a lovely way of spending quality time with your significant other. Oh, and one more thing: no phones. We try to make sure that date nights of any kind don’t include any phone time at all. Spend the time together and focused on each other.

Have you done creative date nights in? What have you done? Let me know or leave me a picture of your idea in the comments below!