15 Cheap Date Ideas That Don’t Skimp on Fun

couple listening to music while going on a run

 Javier Pardina/Stocksy

When you're trying to impress your date, it can be hard to keep within your budget. Dating can be rather expensive, even the classic “dinner and a movie” can cost you a lot more than you bargained for in every respect. But spending some quality time with your date doesn’t have to involve spending a large quantity of money, we promise.

With this in mind, here are 15 date ideas that can help you to capture your date’s heart without having to spend an arm and a leg.

01 of 15

Hit Up Happy Hours

couple at bar

Getty Images/gradyreese

If you’re looking to have a ton of fun without spending a ton, taking advantage of happy hours can be a great way to save money while you and your partner can stay in high spirits in every sense. For instance, attending a Martini Monday, Taco Tuesday, or simply meeting your date on the earlier side so that the two of you can order off of a happy hour menu can save you cash without skimping on excitement.

02 of 15

Use Discount Apps

spa day

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

When you’re trying to find inexpensive date activities in your area, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of offers through discount apps. And while you may think that pricier ideas such as having a couple’s massage, spending the day together at a spa, or having dinner at a trendy restaurant is out of reach, these apps put the best dating deals right at your fingertips.

03 of 15

Volunteer

volunteer

Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash 

Another inexpensive date idea that’s priceless in every sense is to volunteer. For instance, you and your date can go to an animal shelter, food bank, or local garden and spend your time lending a hand to those in need. In fact, helping others will actually enable you to learn a lot about your date and connect with him or her in a new way.

04 of 15

Go Hiking

couple hiking

 Getty Images/DaniloAndjus

When you’re looking for a date idea that’ll have you burning calories instead of burning through money, going on a hike combines the best of both worlds. Not only will you get to spend quality time with your date as you embark on a trail together, but you’ll also be able to see just how compatible you are in terms of teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation.

05 of 15

Dog Sit

couple with dog

 Getty Images/Cavan Images

Another cheap date idea that’ll help you determine if you and your partner have more than just puppy love is to make your date dog-friendly. And whether you have your own dog or your friend or relative lets you borrow his or her pup, you and your partner can take the dog (or dogs) out on a walk or to a local dog park for a date that won’t take a bite out of your paycheck.

06 of 15

Host a Game Night

party games for adults

@waityouneedthis

If you’re looking for a date idea that’s full of laughs and keeps your wallet full as well, invite your partner over for a game night at your place. And whether you play new board games, classic games from your childhood or simply bust out a deck of cards, a fun night is definitely in the cards for you and your date.

07 of 15

Go to Local Events

couple at flea market

 Getty Images/Westend61

Another enjoyable date idea that falls into the inexpensive category is to find free local events. For example, whether you go to a farmers market, hit up a flea market, enjoy a movie night in the park, or attend an art show, you and your date will be able to get to know each other better while enjoying a taste of local culture as well.

08 of 15

Get Sporty

basketball

Photo by tommy boudreau on Unsplash

If you want to get your heart pumping when you’re with your date, take advantage of the different sport courts in your area. You and your partner can shoot hoops at a local park, kick a soccer ball around, or even reserve a tennis court at a very low cost. And if you’re more of a spectator, nosebleed seats can also provide a great date option where you don’t have to pay through the roof for tickets.

09 of 15

Choose Bites Over Meals

coffeehouse

Photo by Nafinia Putra on Unsplash

 

Another way to save money is to meet your date at a coffeehouse, ice cream parlor, or smoothie shop. After all, there’s no reason that your time together has to be spent in a setting that requires you to spend a lot of money on food. So rather than going to a pricey restaurant for a giant meal, select a snack or dessert-centered venue that’ll enable you to have a sweet time without leaving a hole in your wallet and a sour taste in your mouth.

10 of 15

Watch the Sunset

couple watching sunset

Getty Images/Marco Bottigelli

Cuddle up close and watch the sunset at your favorite lookout spot. The beauty of nature is free, after all. Take this time to reflect with your date and simply enjoy each other's company. If you're with a keeper, you won't need all the bells and whistles.

11 of 15

Visit a Museum

museum

Photo by Deanna J on Unsplash

Museums are often free or have reduced rate days. So waste away the day looking at art with your date. Compare your favorite pieces and enjoy spending time together while learning about art history.

12 of 15

Take a Dip in the Lake

couple in lake

 Getty Images/Westend61

Something that's totally free and totally romantic is taking a dip in the lake. Or, if you don't have a lake nearby, the pool. Spend some precious alone time taking in nature together on this date.

13 of 15

Have an At-Home Spa Day

at home spa

Hello Glow

Going to the spa is pricey, sure, but having a spa day at home is not. Make your own cucumber water to drink and face masks to slather on, and then give each other massages. It's probably more romantic this way, anyway.

14 of 15

Cook Dinner Together

cook dinner together

College Housewife

The more economical alternative to going out for an expensive meal is to cook one together. Whether you're cooking steaks or a vegetarian lasagna, this gives you ample opportunity to spend time together with a delicious product at the end.

15 of 15

Have a Romantic Picnic

his and hers cheeseboard

College Housewife

 

Picture this: Your date and you all alone in a picturesque field, sipping on wine and snacking on grapes and cheese. It's pretty romantic—and affordable, too. Even better? Create "his and hers" boards with each of your favorite cheeses, snacks, and wine for an extra special day.

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