Summer is just around the corner! That means it is almost time to take some mini-breaks from work and have some fun. We always look forward to fun date nights, without the kids, but not the cost.
We have found that planning our summer date nights earlier can help us save some serious money, which only makes them that much more enjoyable.
One of my favorite things to do is scour Groupon a few months ahead of time (such as NOW!). This is due to the fact that Groupon runs sales on a fairly regular basis and I like to get in on the deals.
The Groupon rates are usually anywhere between 40 – 60% off the regular price already. But whenever they add in a sale for an extra 20% off or $10 off local deals, that’s even better!
A great example of something we have already purchased for the summer is a Distillery Tour for two. We get to try all of their gins and we each get a souvenir shot glass. The class lasts approximately an hour and was originally priced at $30. Groupon had it reduced by 40%, which brought it down to $18.
But, I waited until they were running a 20% off deal at the same time. That then brought the price down to $14.40, which is pretty darn good. But just wait, because I was able to get it even cheaper than that in the end!
If I really want to get some bang for my buck, I make sure to have my Ebates extension running when I am shopping online or on my phone. Ebates is one of my favorite savings tools because they give you money back just for shopping on certain websites.
The deals depend on the day because the percentages change regularly. This is especially true when shopping on Amazon. I don’t shop there for summer date nights, but I do for other things. Some days the book category may be offering 5% back, but the next day it’s nothing. So, when using Ebates with Amazon, you have to check every single day to see which categories have the biggest rewards.
But, I haven’t run across any day that Ebates wasn’t giving some sort of percentage back on Groupon. Today it just happens to be 6%, which is pretty awesome! But, the day I was shopping for our Distillery Tour date night, it just happened to be 10s. Which is crazy!
That means that I got an additional $1.44 off of our Groupon, bringing the grand total to $12.96. I don’t know how you feel about this, but I was doing the happy dance in my kitchen because that is a pretty darn cheap date night for us!
Plus, it was something that we really wanted to try. So this coupling of Groupon, when they have extra sales and the Ebates extension, really work out well for us.
I had never heard of this part of Airbnb before until a friend enlightened me. Once I checked it out, I realized just how awesome it was!
In fact, we started running our own Airbnb Experience and really enjoyed it.
The gist of the Experiences portion is that local people can offer to host experiences that they are experts at. In our case, we offered a culinary cooking class with craft cocktail pairing. We both have expert experience in the two things offered, so we got approved to be hosts.
In the case of searching for summer date nights, this is just another tool in our tool belt. There aren’t a ton of experiences offered yet, and every city varies. But, this is another great place to find things to do that aren’t as widely offered and are more intimate usually.
Some of the great experiences we have found include:
- Private Chocolate Tasting Party (1 hour) – $15 per person
- Sunset Kayak Tour (1.5 hours) – $32 per person
- Mixology Class w/drinks & snacks (1.5 hours) – $15 per person
- Meditation & Vegetarian Lunch and drinks (2 hours) – $64 per person
- Raleigh’s Beer Scene w/food (2 hours) – $45 per person
Obviously, these rates are more expensive than what we paid for the Distillery Tour, but they are still pretty good. Plus, if you are new to Airbnb Experiences, they typically give you a $20 credit to try your first experience. So that’s a bonus just to check it out!
Not every city has the Get Offline app yet, which is very sad, but it is one of my other favorite tools for summer date nights. This app, or the website, are fabulous tools for finding cool stuff going on around you. A lot of times they are free, which is a huge bonus in my book!
More often than not, the site will show you:
- Farmers markets
- Pop up markets
- Food truck rodeos
- Art shows
- Music or comedy shows
- Other interesting things that you otherwise wouldn’t know about
- Tea tasting classes
- Wine/Beer tastings
- Distillery Tastings
- Cheese making classes
- Beekeeping classes
- Foraging classes
- Mushroom classes
We have really enjoyed finding new things through this app, and since most of them are free, that really helps our luxury budget.
I go on about once a week just to check out what is new and add it to our calendar, if we have the availability.
Date Nights on the Cheap
As you can see, we have found a lot of ways to find new, cool things to do for date nights. And we are still able to get away with not spending a lot of money.
In fact, we have a tendency to find things to do that most of our friends haven’t even heard about. So we get to pass the new information along and share the date night wealth.
We love it. Our friends love it and our wallet certainly loves it!
What are some of the best ways you have found to plan summer date nights that have saved you a lot of money?