Cheap date night ideas - $20 dollar date night

Cheap date night ideas! Join Christy Pessemier, and her willing guinea pig husband – as they scour King & Snohomish Counties in the Seattle area to prove you can go out as a couple and have a great time for under 20 Dollars.

Central Market Mill Creek, Grocery Store Date #3

If you’re close to Seattle, many of you have shopped at Central Market.

But have you been on a date night there yet?

As of last, week, we had not.

Since we’re on a grocery store date kick, how could we resist trying it out for date night?

So,  last week, we took the plunge and headed to Central Market’s Mill Creek location.

Unlike Whole Foods and PCC, most of Central Market’s prepared foods are refrigerated, rather than held in steaming hot serving trays.

Though Central Market had a decent variety of choices for vegetarians and carnivores, vegans/low-fat eaters would have to work a little harder to find options here. Since we’re steering clear of butter, cream and cheese, we found ourselves walking past a few items we would have tried otherwise.

Sandwiches in the deli case looked luscious on ciabatta bread, and a nice variety of Greek, Indian and good old American fried chicken beckoned drooling shoppers.

Bonus: Central Market offers little cups to sample their soups. Nice touch.

We helped ourselves to fragrant yellow Indian basmati rice, and Dal, garlic naan bread, and roasted vegetables. Then, I saw the beets ( major beet cravings going on lately) and dolmas. So, I snagged a few of those too. And Hubby saw the samosas and had to get one.

“Do you guys heat up the food?” Hubby asked someone behind the deli case.

“We have a microwave for you to heat your food up over there,” a woman in an apron pointed to the far right of the store.

So, after paying, we gathered our food and nuked it. Then, we looked around for seating.

A window peeked out at a large patio, as rain poured down onto stacked green resin chairs.

“Wish the weather was nicer,” Hubby said “cause that would be a great place to eat our food.”

We settled for a little section near the entrance with a few small tables and chairs. It felt a bit crammed, but at least they had seating.

The dal was melt-in-your-mouth amazing. Perfect spices! Rice was fluffy and filling. Hubby wolfed down the samosa.

I wasn’t thrilled with the amount of oil in and all over the dolmas, as well as the roasted vegetables. After rolling them around in my napkin to blot the oil, I eventually gave up and ate them. Other than how greasy they were, the flavor was good.  I didn’t have much luck with the roasted vegetables. Just too drenched.

“Wish I would have noticed that before I heaped them on my plate,” I told Hubby.

“See, you don’t like a lot of oil. But a lot of people do,” Hubby reasoned. “So, if they made it the way you liked it people would complain that it didn’t have enough oil.”

For dessert, we grabbed a dark chocolate bar from the chocolate aisle (my happy place). I thought Hubby was going to share with me, but he didn’t want any.

So, when we got home, I did something really stupid.

I gave the rest of the (85%) dark chocolate to my kids. And they couldn’t sleep for some reason that night.


Oh well, lesson learned.

Overall, it was not a bad date night. Nothing spectacular. But it was a pleasant night.

Atmosphere (romantic appeal: 3. Central Market is a fun store for couples to browse in. Their produce, seafood section ( live crabs and lobster!), imported cheese, and Asian foods section are outstanding. Since the seating area is pretty small, we recommend coming here on a sunny day and sitting outside. Or grab your food and eat it at home by candlelight.

Budget friendly: 5. Our total came to $19.40. We couldn’t believe how close we were to our $20 budget by just eyeballing the amount of food we got.

Food: 4. Extra points for the dal. Would love to see more vegan options for hot dishes, sandwiches and wraps though. Still, it was worlds better than your standard grocery store at being plant-eater friendly.

Fun and unique: 4. To boost the fun factor, allow extra time to walk around the store and grab exotic items to add to your meal. Hint: keep your fingers out of the crab tank.

Memorable: 3. We had a nice pleasant time, and we’re glad we gave Central Market a try. It would be fun to check out some of their other locations too.


Central Market

Have you been to the Mill Creek Central Market location’s deli? What’s your favorite food dish?