16 Unique Stay at Home Date Ideas on a Budget

Need stay at home date ideas to enjoy time with your significant other without spending a fortune? Here are some of the best home dates!

Babysitters are expensive.  I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to unwind and enjoy a night out with my husband when I’m constantly thinking about the $60 we’re going to have to give the babysitter when we get home.  It’s kind of a mood killer. 

So what do we do?  We take advantage of alone time after we tuck our kids in bed with these unique stay at home date ideas on a budget.

Unique stay at home date ideas on a budget

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First, let me say, while we do love going out, most of the time when the hubby and I get a night alone, we actually choose to just stay home.  Why?  Because a restaurant dinner is nice, but the bill… not so much.  Full disclosure, my hubby is an A-MAZ-ING cook and he can prepare meals that are just as good, if not better, than what you would get at a restaurant.

So, we have lots of at-home date nights.

But how do you keep date night special without going out and dropping a hundred bucks on dinner and a movie?  Steal one of these fun and unique stay at home date ideas on a budget:

Game Night, Sexy Style 

Okay, maybe we’re dorks, but when we first got married, Hubby and I played a lot of board games.  Yes, just the two of us.  Scrabble and Monopoly were two of our favorites.  Want to mix it up a bit?

Strip Scrabble.

Yes, it’s a thing.  For each round, the loser loses a piece of clothing.  Who says spelling can’t be fun? 🙂

Homemade Chocolate Fondue

If you’ve never had this delicious treat, you’re missing out.  We love the original chocolate fondue from The Melting Pot so much that we used to go there a few times a month and just order dessert.  Before we had two kids, a mortgage, a business loan payment, etc., etc.

Now, we make our own chocolate fondue at home!  No fondue pot or fondue forks necessary.  Just melt milk chocolate chips, add a splash of heavy cream and a scoop of chunky peanut butter, and dig in with your favorite dippers.

Cheap stay at home date ideas that aren't Netflix and Chill!

Play 20 (or 100) Questions

Hide your cell phones.  Turn off the TV.  Make some food, and just talk!  Shocking, I know.  But if you really think about it, how much do you actually just talk to your husband? 

I’m not talking about discussing the plans for the weekend, or how your work day went.  Talk about crazy, out-of-the-blue things.  Like what?  Get some ideas of questions to ask each other at these posts:

100 Questions to Ask Your Spouse to Reconnect

90 Meaningful Conversation Starters for Couples to Connect

woman's hand holding 2 conversation cards

Or, you can also check out my printable conversation cards for couples here!

Cook a Fancy Meal Together 

We love tag-teaming in the kitchen to whip up a feast.  Pick a decadent new recipe that you’ve never tried before to make it special.  Homemade sushi or osso buco, anyone?

Or, make it a weekly date night at home and commit to trying a new recipe each week… My husband and I LOVE watching cooking shows together, and we recently picked a bunch of recipes to try from our favorite show.

Wine and Unwind

Crack open a bottle of your favorite wine and just chill.  Soaking in the bathtub, snuggling on the couch, or rocking on the front porch… Some of the best times that I have with my husband are when we take time to just relax together and do nothing.

Create a Playlist of Your Wedding Songs and Dance Around the Living Room

Yes, this may seem silly.  But, trust me, it’s so nice to take a spin around the house and just be near each other with no TV or phone distractions.

*Side Note – If you love listening to music around the house, you need this!  Create your own playlist from over 2 million song choices, then just say “Alexa, play My Wedding Songs playlist”.  The kids and I use ours to rock out to T. Swift every morning!

Eat Dessert in Bed

I am a dessert fiend.  And I have two personal dessert mantras:

#1 – Fruit is not a dessert… Nope, in my book a bowl of strawberries with whipped cream does not constitute dessert.

#2 – Dessert should be eaten in bed… Always.

Whip up a yummy dessert and share it under the sheets.  Thank me later.

Make Up Your Own Scavenger Hunt

Think of some clever clues and hide sexy notes or romantic items around the house. You can go here for an awesome printable scavenger hunt for date nights at home!

Make Your Own Pizza Date Night

We love making our own pizzas!  And with store-bought pizza dough (we love the dough from the Publix deli section), it couldn’t be easier.

Make your own pizza for fun stay at home date night ideas

On a low-carb diet (or just trying to save room for dessert)?  Try my yummy Low Carb Tortilla Pizzas!

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

Pull out the old photos and reminisce about your own love story. Take turns discussing some of your favorite memories of your relationship.

Order a Replica of the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake

And then eat it while you’re looking at your wedding photos.  Or, for an even crazier idea, you could try to replicate the top tier of your cake yourselves! Buy the ingredients at the grocery store and do a mini bake-off, or work together as you pretend to be wedding cake decorators!

This is actually something that I did recently as a surprise for my husband on our anniversary.  We never got to eat the top layer of our wedding cake on our first anniversary because we accidentally left it at our reception venue.  Oops!  So, I tracked down our cake baker (twelve years later) and had her make a mini cake in the same flavor, sans all the expensive decorative details.  Silly pet name optional.

Cheap stay at home date ideas.

To this day, this is one of my husband’s favorite gifts I’ve ever given him, and it only cost me $20.

Have a DIY Spa Night

Search Google for DIY face masks, and give each other pedicures complete with foot rubs.  Light candles, serve champagne, and give each other massages for the ultimate spa experience!

Create Something Special Together

Spend time together making a special piece of art.  Think of a quote, song lyrics, or bible verse that has a special meaning to you both and follow my tutorial for making your own wood signs without a stencil.

Cheap stay at home date ideas!

Or scour Pinterest for a different DIY.

Shower Charades

Yup, we play charades in the shower together.  No, I’m not kidding.

This actually started because we both like to brush our teeth in the shower.  (No hygiene comments, please!).  And one of us would ask the other a question mid-mouthwash.  So, we would try to act out what we were trying to say with a mouthful of rinse.  Thus, the invention of shower charades.  🙂

Take Turns Expressing Your Love

Write a list of the reasons why you love each other and take turns sharing one reason at a time. And get creative with it… Like “I love you because you bring me surprise Caramel Macchiatos, even though you think it’s ridiculous to spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee.”

woman writing a love letter for husband

You can go here for 31 awesome reasons why I love my husband, and get tips to make your own list!

Borrow your Kids’ Toys

Grab your kids’ nerf guns and glow sticks and have a Glow-in-the-Dark nerf fight in the backyard. Or, relive your childhood days together and do a Lego build-off to see who can create the best Lego masterpiece.

Chopped Cooking Competition

Each of you grab 3 random ingredients from the fridge or pantry.  Then, see who makes the best dish with those 6 ingredients.

If you cringe at the thought of paying a babysitter a gazillion dollars, don’t just ditch date night altogether.  Instead, try one of these unique stay at home date ideas on a budget!  Date night doesn’t have to mean the same old dinner and movie for a few hours and a hundred bucks.  Get creative!  And have fun together!

What are your favorite stay at home date ideas?  How do you do date night at home without spending a fortune?  I’d love to hear about your favorite fun date ideas!  Drop ’em in the comments below!

Now off to get the Scrabble board out! 🙂

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