This post is sponsored by Grocery Outlet, but the content & opinions expressed here are my own.

Never underestimate the power of a date. Fred & I hop all over the place at any given time, so we rely on dates to have that one-on-one time. It allows us to spend some quality time together to cook, chat, laugh, sip on some wine, & just be together. If you're looking for an affordable date idea, take a look at how Fred & I spent our Saturday.

1. Pick a Day

The first step to a successful date is to pick a day that works for the both of you. No business, no other friends, no distractions. Dedicate this time to each other. Pick a day, schedule it in your calendar, & make time for the date.

2. Plan Your Meal

We grabbed everything needed for our date at Grocery Outlet. We visit the store at least once a week, scouring everything aisle by aisle. No joke. Grocery Outlet is one of my favorite grocery stores because I can save money & still eat healthy. Their NOSH section (stands for Natural, Organic, Specialty, Healthy) has so many great options like honey roasted chickpeas, mushroom pasta, & organic, fair trade chocolate!

3. Pick Your Wine 

Fred & I normally lean toward beer, but when it comes to date night we always opt for wine. It simply sets the mood. Thanks to the grocery bargains at Grocery Outlet, we bought wine to last for at least a couple date nights. Pull Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, Indigo Eyes Cab, & Villa Marchesi Prosecco cost $21. Last time we went out for date night our wine cost $7 per glass per person. We only had one bottle of wine for our date, which cost $5.99. Score!

4. Time to Cook

Honestly, half the fun of date night is the meal preparation & cooking. We put the mushroom pasta on to boil. Fred handled the asparagus while I cooked the vegetarian-friendly steak. We talked about our Paris to do lists. We strategized about what movie to watch later in the evening. We compared cooking methods. Date night allows us to catch up, laugh, put on a podcast, & bond over food.

5. Enjoy Each Other's Company

We basked in the sun as we sipped our wine, grateful for spring's longer days. The birds chirped happily as we chomped on our delicious food. I loved the subtle mushroom flavor in the pasta. Paris is just a matter of weeks away, so we really appreciate discount grocery options like Grocery Outlet to help us save money but not skimp on quality. We had the perfect date, but as always it took half an hour to pick what movie to watch!

What's your ideal date night? Check out your local Grocery Outlet ad for $3 off! :]

* Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Grocery Outlet. As always, all opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure. :]