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7 Wildly romantic yet affordable date night ideas

Deborah Cruz is a SheKnows parenting expert and blogger at The TRUTH About Motherhood, which she calls a place of "humor, support, honesty and integrity." Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Try these seven ideas for sizzling, budget-minded romance.

couple having romantic picnic

Photo credit: AAGAMIA/Photodisc/Getty Images

Do you love romance but lack the finances to have extravagant romantic date nights? No worries. There are plenty of wildly romantic date nights that you can share with your honey that will be sure to knock his or her socks off without breaking the bank. These were some of our favorites during college, but I have found that they work just as well after you have kids and a mortgage.

Outdoor movie and a picnic of wine and cheese

I prefer an outdoor movie in the park (if weather allows) but the drive-in works just as well, as does an indoor picnic and movie room. They are all very romantic with the right somebody, but outdoors is magical. There is just something about being outside in nature, hearing all the sounds of the night serenade you, as you lean into one another and catch glimpses of the person you love laughing or being moved to tears by the cinema.

A moonlit stroll on the beach or a long nature walk during the day

Is there anything more romantic than a long walk on the beach at night? Especially one that culminates in a moonlit serenade and maybe some wild, passionate lovemaking? I think not, but a close second is a long hand-holding stroll through nature.

Carriage ride around town snuggling with hot cocoa

I don’t know about where you live, but right now the people here are ice pops! Still, what gets you hotter than a romantic ride around town in a carriage, snuggled under a warm blanket, holding hands and sipping hot cocoa? If that’s a little tame for you, swap out the cocoa for hot toddies and a make-out session under the stars.

Leisurely walk and talk in your city at night

What is it about the night sky that just gets us all lovey-dovey? I don’t know if it’s the twinkling lights of the city, the stars or just the sexy guy holding your hand and the "you against the world" feeling you get when you are strolling in a big city. Either way, it’s very sexy and spontaneous. Who knows where the night might take you?

Cook dinner together and enjoy by candlelight, followed by some slow dancing to soft music

I also call this date the baby maker. This is the go-to every couple in the world can afford. We all have to buy groceries and eat anyway, so why not cook with your honey? There is just something sexy about a man who cooks. Enjoy that meal with some wine and after-dinner dancing and you’ll have trouble keeping your hands off one another.

Stargaze from your rooftop and talk about everything and nothing all night long

The first night I met my husband of 15 years, I was supposed to be at my apartment studying for an astronomy exam, not at a party. He walked me home and we ended up sitting in a soccer field stargazing and talking for hours. I flunked the exam but I fell head-over-heels in love.

Take a surprise day trip

This date is wildly sexy and can be quite affordable with a little careful planning. Every woman dreams of being whisked away to some fabulous place; with sites like airfarewatchdog.com, Orbitz.com and Priceline.com you can find all kinds of amazing deals and run off for a very romantic date night… or two.

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