Dating can be really expensive! Whether you’re searching for the one and going on a ton of first dates, or have been married for years but still like to keep the spark alive, if you are on a budget you need cheap date ideas.
But just because something’s cheap that doesn’t mean rubbish!
Because I’m strongly on the early retirement road and have just started my own blogging business I’ve created a list of over 50 cheap date ideas that I would actually enjoy and won’t ruin my financial plans.
Ready? Let’s find your perfect frugal date!
53 CHEAP DATE IDEAS (THAT YOU WILL ACTUALLY WANT TO DO!):
1) Turn your kitchen into a pizzeria and make homemade pizza together
You can make the dough from scratch or just buy a base from the supermarket and add your own toppings. This is a super fun activity that makes pizza even more special!
Bowling is a classic! It’s cheap and so fun, although the shoes will certainly not enhance your carefully chosen outfit…
3) Create cocktails at home
Love fancy cocktails? Then get all dressed up but instead of heading out, head to your kitchen and start mixing your own. You could follow recipes from the web or make up creative concoctions. All you need is some fruit juice, different pop and some alcohol! Or you could even do not alcoholic ones!
This is especially good if you seem to end up with loads of half empty bottles from parties or get togethers.
4) Create at home spa experience and give each other a massages
Who doesn’t love a massage right?
This is a very romantic, free date idea perfect for couples who have been together for a while.
Whether you love nature, animals or the elderly there’s a volunteering opportunity that’s right for you. Sure it may not seem like the most conventional date, but what’s not to love about helping others and giving back to the community, especially when you’re doing it with someone you love!
6) Star gazing
Romantic and completely free, you can even do this in your own backyard!
7) Go fruit picking
This is such a fun idea for the warmer seasons. There are special farms set up where you can go and pick your own strawberries, apples and many other fruits.
Or go a little bit wild and see what edible goodies you can find in hedgerows.
Plus think of the second date where you can cook up what you found!
8) Hiking or just a lovely walk
There is nothing like going for a walk with the person you love. It’s quality one on one time in the beautiful scenery.
(Why not combine it with number 18!)
9) Cook their favorite meal
This is such a lovely idea and one they are sure to appreciate.
For my boyfriend’s birthday, I made a massive platter of sushi. This was brilliant because sushi can be quite expensive so we wouldn’t normally get to eat so much of it in a restaurant, but on that night we could eat so much more because making your own is so much cheaper!
10) Beach day
Everyone loves a beach day and who better to spend it with than your other half!
11) Games night
Whether you like cards, monopoly, cluedo or chess, set up a games night. You could even create a tournament and play a few different games and see who comes out the ultimate winner.
12) Work out together
I know this may sound like an odd one but working out can be a really fun way to spend time together and improve your health at the same time.
13) Go to the cinema on a cheap night, or create movie night at home
The cinema can be uber expensive, but most of them have a certain night super cheap. So arrange to catch the latest movie then and save yourself loads of dollars.
Or create your own movie night at home. With the wonders of Netflix you have literally hundreds of movie available to watch. Just make sure you get in plenty of popcorn and soda to make the night authentic!
If you’re an outdoorsy couple camping could be the perfect date holiday. The equipment is cheap a to buy, but it’s likely someone you know already has a tent and sleeping bags you can borrow.
15) Go to your local cheap pub or bar
Sure, it looks kind of scummy but the drinks are mega cheap and there are all sorts of characters inside. Perfect for a night drinking your favorite tipple and people watching with your partner.
16) Go to an antique store
Check out all the beautiful, old objects they have there and make up stories about where they came from. That vase, a present from a Queen to her secret love. I’m sure you can make up something better than that…
Swimming is fun, great exercise and cheap, sometime even free if you head to the beach or a local lake!
I love a picnic and it makes the perfect cheap date idea. Grab your favorite finger foods and head out with a blanket to enjoy the sun.
19) Test drive a dream car
If you and your partner have any acting skills then pretend that you’re in the market for a new car and test drive your dream, sporty convertible.
Sometimes it’s nice to get all dolled up and spend some time taking some quality photos of you and your other half.
I think because we always have our phones on us we often forget to take proper photos. You know those ones that you could hang on your wall and send to Grandma. So make an effort and take some lovely photos together, a smart phone will do!
21) Make a scrapbook or time capsule
This is especially a great idea if you’ve just hit a relationship milestone. Maybe you’ve just hit your five-year anniversary, create a scrapbook of the pervious five years to remember the memories.
Or perhaps you’re about the get married or have a baby, create a time capsule that you can open after a certain amount of time has gone by. Two dates in one, creating and then opening!
22) Free museum or art gallery
There are so many free museums and art galleries and these make the perfect date to soak up some culture.
23) Plan your future and hopes and dreams
Another great one for if you’ve just hit a relationship milestone. Plan out your hopes and dreams for the future. Get on the same page and create an action plan to help you achieve them!
24) Bake a cake or cookies
Not only will this date be delicious but it’s also super fun and cheap!
25) Breakfast in bed
It feels so decadent and luxurious. So why not create a breakfast in bed date and cook up something special? Pancakes sounds great to me!
26) Create a scavenger hunt for each other
A really good idea is to create a scavenger hunt for each other, you could have clues about your relationship and the end prize could be a love letter or note.
27) Binge-watch a TV series together
Netflix and chill time is perfect for a cheap date idea, and who doesn’t love getting engrossed in an amazing series. Just make sure you’ve got popcorn stocked!
28) Create your bucket lists and share them with each other
It’s always fun to find out what’s on other peoples bucket lists, especially your partners. You could also create a couple’s year bucket list where you write smaller things you want to do together in the next 12 months.
29) Create a playlist together of both your favorite songs
Completely free as you can create a playlist on Youtube or the free version of Spotify. Then get listening and dancing!
A summer classic, there really is nothing like BBQ food especially when you cook it with someone you love.
31) Ride some interesting public transport
Think public transport just from getting you from a to b? Think again!
Some public transport can be really cool just to take a ride on and enjoy the scenery, like ferries, or steam trains.
If you’re both bookworms then the library is the perfect place for a date. Make a challenge to find a book each other will adore, and then give marks out of ten once you’ve read it!
33) Bike ride
You’re combining a fun, free and healthy activity, bike riding, with a person you love. Surely that’s the definition of a perfect date.
34) Visit the local carnival or fair
Every town has a carnival or fair once a year. Make the most of it and enjoy everything it has to offer!
35) Visit a garden or get gardening in your own backyard
Walking round and enjoying a beautiful garden with your companion is a very serene way to spend some time. And that might inspire you to go home and make your own back garden into something beautiful together.
36) Farmers market
I love going to our local farmers market and it makes a great Saturday morning date. Sometimes we grab something yummy to eat or other times we just browse the crafts and other things on offer.
37) Go on a drive
Going for a drive is so underrated. But if you can afford the fuel it be make the perfect way to hang out and see your local area.
38) Watch a sunset (or a sunrise if you wake up early enough)
Okay it might be a bit cliché, but it is very romantic! Plus being outside together is always fun.
39) House-sit or house swap for a free date-vacation (or should I say detection)
There is nothing better than a mini break for an extended date, but they can get pricy very quickly.
Instead, try housesitting or house swapping in an area you’ve always wanted to visit!
40) Road trip
The excitement of a road trip, there is nothing like it! Whether you’re going on holiday or just down visit your parents, make the road trip a special and cheap date by preparing well.
Grab that playlist you made of your favorite tunes, make sure you have plenty of delicious snacks and schedule a pit stop or two at some cool places along the way.
41) Do a puzzle, crossword or Sudoku together
Completing something as a duo, even something silly like a puzzle or a crossword can really bring a couple together. So this makes a great date night in!
42) Reminisce about old times together
Reminisce about old times, perhaps how you meet and what you both first thought of each other over a home cooked meal and a bottle of wine. How romantic!
43) Grab a coffee and a cake
A popular and classic date, but how can you resist, it’s yummy and cheap!
44) Window shop
Budget not currently allowing the shopping spree of your dreams? Well take yourself and your partner window-shopping instead. Pick one item out of every shop window you would buy if you had the money, or one item that’s awful and you can’t understand why anyone would buy it…
45) Play on a playground
Playgrounds aren’t just for kids, they can be fun for any age and a great date idea.
46) Attend free events in your local area
Fairs, talks, festivals, the list goes on! Instead of writing them off as lame, go and make the most of them, they may be way more fun than you anticipated. But whether they are or not, you will still be spending time with your love.
47) People watch and make up crazy stories about their lives
Obviously don’t let anyone know your talking about them because that isn’t nice. But people-watching can be great fun, especially when you start getting creative with their backstories and where they are currently off to!
48) Check out free talks at your local library or college
You might learn something new together, or just have a giggle after about how bored you were.
49) Go along to open house days and pretend you’re in the market for your dream pad
I adore looking round other people’s houses, there’s nothing like it. Except for pretending you’re in the market for a new home and deciding where you are going to put that sofa you both loved from Ikea.
50) Fly a kite
Such a fun activity and perfect for two people (one flies while the other picks it up when it falls). Plus as you need a nice open space you are normally flying kites amongst lovely scenery, the perfect backdrop to a perfect date.
51) Bird watching
Everyone thinks bird watching is boring but with just a little bit of effort it can be serious fun. Make a chart of the birds your likely to see and assign points to each bird, depending on how rare it is. Then you can see who the bird spotting winner is!
52) Fondue time
Fondue is the perfect date food. It’s yummy and quite romantic.
You don’t actually need a fancy fondue station, instead just melt the cheese or chocolate in a saucepan and serve in a nice bowl.
53) Draw each other
Whether you’re good or bad at drawing this is still a great date activity requiring no money at all! In fact it can get super funny if you’re a particularly bad drawer!
IN REALITY, ANY ACTIVITY CAN BE A FUN DATE, IT’S MORE TO DO WITH YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MAKING THE MOST OF IT AND ACTUALLY TREATING IT LIKE A DATE.
So whether you’re doing the most mundane activity in the world or that thing that’s top of your bucket list, make an effort with each other.
That’s the key here.
And the more effort you put in, in all areas of your life, the more your life will feel like a whirlwind romance movie without having to spend thousands on expensive dates or presents.