Ten Cheap Dates with Your Wife

Romance doesn't have to be expensive, and the economic turndown should not necessarily cancel date nights with your wife. If you're looking for a fun but low-cost (or no cost) way to celebrate your relationship, check out the ideas below. Then use them to spark your own creative ideas.

1. Plan a picnic. If the weather is cold, spread a blanket on the living room floor. Add flair to the occasion with some wine, a rose, and mood music.

2. “Tech-free” night. Turn off your cell phones, computer, TV, and lights. See what’s left to do without electricity. Sing old songs, recount stories of how you met, plan for the future.

3. Be a tourist. Pretend you’re a tourist in your own town. Visit a museum, a scenic overlook, or a quaint neighborhood. Discover something new together!

4. Midnight bowling. It’s more than just bowling! Some places have special music, lighting and gimmicks. Even without these, it can be a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

5. Down memory lane. Look through old photos and tell each other stories of your childhood and families. If you feel really energetic, begin to put those lose photos in albums or on a disc. Your children will appreciate it one day.

6. “Evening at the Ritz.” Dress up and go to the lobby of an elegant hotel. Sit in the lounge and order a drink or snack. Check out the expensive shops and resist the urge to buy.

7. Home spa. Create a home spa for the evening. Put on soothing music, light some scented candles, give each other a massage.

8. Cheap gift challenge. Head to your local department store and challenge each other to come up with the most romantic gift possible. Two requirements: It can't cost more than $20, and it must be used that night.

9. Shall we dance? Visit the local music store and pick up the latest hot dance CD (maybe your kids can help you choose). Buy a few snacks and plan your own party later that evening.

10. Find-My-Heart treasure hunt. Cut out some paper hearts and hide them around your home. On each heart write an endearing statement about your spouse plus a clue to the next heart. At the end enjoy a heartfelt treat together.

Reprinted with permission from the For Your Marriage website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.