Soon my wife and I will be coming up on nine years of marriage. And, I'm finding that we don't always have to be going somewhere or spending a lot of money to enjoy each others company. In fact, some of the best times I've had with her haven't involved doing anything extravagant. I'm sure you've found this too in your own relationships.
Although we had to pay for gas – one day my wife and I went and visited her grandma and grandpa's old farm where she spent some memorable parts of her childhood at. Fortunately enough – the current resident was game for the idea and gave us a grand tour of the house and property. It was a memorable time and one that didn't cost much.
I want to offer a few other fun, unconventional and often free ways to spend with your significant other. Because – when it all gets down to it – isn't life about the experiences and time we have with our loved ones? (and not so much the money?)
Read your childhood books together
On the weekends, my wife and I do a fair amount of reading together. I mainly read to her (probably because she loves my deep voice so much – ha!) – but we get a lot of free books that I check out through the library via my Kindle. One of the things I've been meaning to do is to read a few of our favorite children books together. Two of my favorite books include, “Here Comes the Strikeout” and “The Little Engine that Could“. While my wife is a fan of the Dr. Seuss books.
Go through old pictures
I'm sure many of your parents saved a bunch of photos from years past and threw 'em in an album or large box. My mother did this – and it's great to go back to them now and then. This is especially something fun to do with a spouse (not to mention your children). If you wanted to make some work out of it – try scanning them in and digitizing / organizing them (okay, maybe I carried that one a little too far).
Paint a picture together
Okay – so this will likely cost the price of a canvas and some paints – but a fun activity to do together is to do a painting together. Even if you aren't artists – it is neat to see what you both come up and and can help you explore your creative side.
Drive to a nearby town/city or park, then go for a walk
I'm a bit of an explorer at heart – so I always enjoy a good car ride and a chance to see some different scenery. One thing you can do is to check out a nearby town/city and then just go for a walk there. Perhaps you can walk through the downtown or nearby park?
Find the cheapest item
This is a fun way to add some excitement to your grocery shopping trips. When you are there – split up for about 5 or 10 minutes. The person who finds the cheapest item in the grocery store and then brings it back to a designated location after the time limit is up – gets immunity from doing the dishes that night (or whatever your least favorite chore may be).
Count all of the jobs you've had. Or roommates you've had. Or..
This is kind of a fun conversational thing to do together. One afternoon my wife and I did this – and it took us awhile to list all of the jobs we'd had. It can also be a way to learn more about each other.
Do a little ancestry “research”
Our library offers free access to HertiageQuest.com – a great online resource to look up your ancestors – as you can page through old census logs and other genealogy records. When you find the old handwritten census log of your great grandparents or other relatives – they are often high enough resolution that you can print them out and frame 'em (but that's another activity for a later time).
Organize a treasure hunt
Guys – this is a good one for you to do for your lady. She'll love it – but it will take some time and planning. You can write-up a set of clues to particular locations in your neighborhood (or in the city) and then plant different items at each locale. Then one afternoon, see if your wife can “solve” the treasure hunt. Preferably she finds a little something – like flowers or what have you – at the last location.
Read a devotional together
In lieu of some days we can't make it to church – my wife and I have been going through a bible study together. It isn't anything too intimidating – but it connects us with the Lord and centers our life on the “main thing”.
Create a video
With Windows MovieMaker and your own smartphone or digital camera – you can create videos pretty easily today. While I wouldn't be as game to do this one – maybe you want to create your own music video or a montage of old photos when you were younger. Put music to it – and viola!
There are lots of creative and unique ways to spend with your loved one! I'd love to know some of the thrifty ways you've found to spend with your significant other!