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Nailing Date Night on a Budget

If you’re keen to put on an extravagant date night but aren’t so keen on the pricey restaurants and expensive groceries – and you’re certainly not alone, with inflation sending the cost of food through the roof – we have a solution. Here’s our guide to putting on a cheap, quick and delicious date-night dinner that will knock the socks off even the biggest foodies.

With the cost of groceries – including meat, fruit and veggies – jumping up 10%, many of us are skipping out on our old favourite meals and struggling to simply afford our weekly shop, let alone on whipping out those classic, indulgent date-night foods. We’re here to show you how you make the evening successful and affordable, without skimping out on good food.

The options are limitless – you could whip these recipes up together for a fun bonding activity or even preprepare them to pack for a romantic picnic at the park, beach or a scenic reserve.

With the 8-Week Program’s extensive recipe collection and mapped-out meal plans, you’ll have access to countless tasty dishes on a budget. Here’s a sample date-night menu that will only set you back a few dollars per serve, while impressing your date with hearty, wholesome and mouth-watering meals.

  1. Sweet Pumpkin Bruschetta

A delicious entrée is essential for making a good impression – but that doesn’t mean you have to blow cash on expensive ingredients to get results! This tasty sweet pumpkin bruschetta is made up of affordable ingredients and makes use of leftovers, keeping the cost low and the taste high. Check out the full recipe HERE.



  • 200 grams leftover roast pumpkin, reheated
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 50 grams feta cheese
  • 20 grams pine nuts or cashews, toasted
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to season


  1. Toss reheated pumpkin pieces in cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Once you’ve toasted your bread, spread half of the feta on each piece, top with rocket leaves, cinnamon, pumpkin and pine nuts or cashews. Sprinkle with remaining feta and with black pepper to serve.

Love all things pumpkin? Check out our Thanksgiving eBook for everything from pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin pie and cheesecake – we’ve got the lot!

  1. Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Is there a more romantic dish than pasta? For many of us, that Lady and the Trampmeatball-sharing scene springs to mind; evidently the Italians do it best. Here’s our sugar-free, flavour-packed rendition of a classic ricotta pasta that will make any date night memorable. Check out the full recipe HERE.


  • 250 grams gluten-free or regular pasta
  • 4 cups spinach or silverbeet
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice from ½ lemon
  • ½ cup full-fat ricotta
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • 1 large handful fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 cups steamed greens, to serve


  1. Cook pasta according to packet direction. Set aside.
  2. In a medium fry pan heat coconut oil. Add onion and garlic, cook until softened.
  3. Add cooked pasta to the fry pan. Stir through ricotta, lemon juice and zest, basil, spinach or silverbeet, salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
  1. Ganache-Filled Brownie Bites

Win your date over with these indulgent brownie bites, they’re loaded with rich chocolate bursting with antioxidants and magnesium, and have a velvety texture – we promise you won’t be able to stop at just one! The best part? They're quick, cheap and easy to make.



  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 egg


  • 60g dark (85% cacao) chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream, at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Place all wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Take teaspoonful amounts and roll into balls in the palm of your hand. Place on baking paper and gently press flat (about 3mm thick) with the back of a large spoon. You should get 16–18 biscuits. Bake for 10 minutes or until just firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. To make Ganache: gently melt chocolate over a double boiler in a ceramic heat-proof bowl. Watch carefully and remove from the heat to ensure the mixture doesn’t seize (split). Allow to cool for 1–2 minutes before adding coconut cream. Stir using a plastic spatula until mixture is thick and turns into a silky ganache.
  5. Spoon teaspoons of the Ganache between two biscuits and press gently together. Sprinkle with extra cacao, if you like. Serve.

Check out the full recipe HERE. Interested in more indulgent, healthy chocolate recipes? Our Ultimate Chocolate Recipe eBook has all the recipes to please the most devoted of chocoholics.

Keen for more health and nutrition tips on a budget? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.

So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to JOIN NOW!

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