Planning unique and interesting dates is a great way to get to know someone and show off your unique personality.
However, while some date ideas are fun, they aren’t realistic if you’re on a tight budget. In this post, Rachel Jimenez from Money Hacking Mama shares some of her favorite cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank.
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In this article, you’ll find a curated list of the best cheap date ideas, arranged into 3 categories.
- Cheap Date Night Ideas
- Fun & Cheap Date Ideas
- Cheap Date Ideas at Home
Cheap Date Night Ideas
Most people like to go out at night, but dinner can get expensive, and frankly, it can get boring and routine after a while. So mix it up with some of these cheap date night ideas.
1. Free dance lessons
Many dance studios offer free lessons to new prospective clients. Look for a local dance studio and see if they have a special offer you can use. If not, you may be able to find a discounted dance class on Groupon.
Another great option is to look for free dance classes at nightclubs. For example, nightclubs that focus on line, swing, or salsa dancing usually offer free dance lessons in the evening before the club gets busy.
2. Test drive a car
Just because you test drive a car doesn’t mean you’ll buy it. So have some fun, and take your date to a few car dealerships. You can try to pick out your dream cars and even test drive a few of them.
3. Go out for dessert
A 5-course meal will set your budget back, but what about just going out for dessert? Eat something simple at home so you’re not starving, and then go out for dessert.
You can visit a restaurant with great desserts or a local ice cream shop. If you want to be creative, you can go to the grocery store, buy your favorite ice cream and candy, and make sundaes at home.
4. Go to Costco
If you have a Costco membership, you can go to Costco and eat the samples. When you’re done, if you’re still hungry, you can get a hot dog, a slice of pizza, or a churro at the food court.
As you explore the aisles, talk about what products you’d buy if you had unlimited funds and which ones you wouldn’t buy even if you had all the money in the world.
5. Go to a free event
Many cities offer free movies or concerts in the park during the summer. Go on Eventbrite or check your local cities’ social media accounts to see if they offer any free summer evening events. Once you find one, you can make the date special by packing a picnic and your favorite drinks.
» Related: Check out 41 Fun & Romantic Date Ideas (& Why You Will Love Them).
Fun & Cheap Date Ideas
All dates should be fun, but these cheap date ideas add a unique flair to make them extra fun and memorable.
6. Go for a drive making only left turns
Get in the car and go for a drive. Every time you get an opportunity to make a turn, turn left. Keep doing this until you find something interesting to explore. Another spin on this is to get a roll of dice, turn right when you roll an even number, and turn left when you roll an odd number.
7. Go ice blocking
They sell ice blocks for a few dollars at most grocery stores. Grab an ice block and then take that and a towel to a local park that has a small hill.
Take turns riding down the hill on the ice block. Take photos and videos of each other so you can laugh about it later.
8. Go for a walk in your favorite neighborhood
Go to one of your favorite neighborhoods and take a walk. Pick out your favorite homes and share what you love about each home. Discuss your dream homes while you’re on your walk.
9. Volunteer together at a local non-profit.
Spending money can feel good, but doing something for someone else can make us feel positive emotions even longer. So pick a non-profit you’re both passionate about and offer to volunteer for a few hours.
10. Play at the park
When was the last time you played? Most adults forget to have fun and remember to play. Go to a park and throw a frisbee or football around. You can even run around on the jungle gym and go down the slide.
If you want to make it a group experience, invite additional friends for a game of soccer, softball, tennis, or volleyball.
11. Photo walk
Go on a walk with your camera in hand. Try to look for beautiful or interesting things you haven’t noticed before, and take pictures of them.
12. Go for a hike
Go on All Trails and look for a local hike that’s not too long or challenging, then go on that hike together.
Make sure you pack water and snacks and wear the appropriate clothes and shoes to avoid dehydration and injuries.
13. Fly a kite
Go to a dollar store and buy a kite for $1-$2. Then, take the kite to a local park or open area on a breezy day and see who’s better at flying a kite.
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Cheap Date Ideas at Home
Just because you stay at home doesn’t mean it can’t be a unique and fun experience. Have a blast on a budget with these cheap date ideas that you can do at home.
14. Hot Sauce Challenge
Take some inspiration from YouTube, and ask each other challenging questions while you taste escalating levels of hot sauce. You can put the hot sauce on hot wings or use tortilla chips. Make sure you have a glass of milk around to help cool your mouth.
15. Play truth or dare
Who said that truth or dare only has to be for teenagers? Add some excitement to your life by playing this game with each other in the comfort of your own home. It won’t cost anything, and it will make for a memorable experience.
16. Make your own charcuterie board
Charcuterie boards at a restaurant can get expensive, but with a quick trip to the grocery store, you can make one on your own for a lot less.
You can buy the ingredients and make one together or make it a competition and see who makes the prettiest charcuterie board.
17. At home wine tasting
Buy a few bottles of inexpensive wine. Then, cover the labels, and taste them together. Try to describe each wine, guess the wine type, and guess which one is the most expensive. When you’re done, take the cover off the labels and see who has the more refined pallet.
» Readers’ Favorite: Check out 10 Proven Techniques for Approaching & Meeting Women.
18. Play “hide and seek”
As we get older, there are fewer opportunities to be surprised in life. Add excitement to your date by playing hide and seek in your home. Take turns being the hider or the seeker. Have the hider try to scare the seeker by hiding in unusual and surprising places.
19. Learn a TikTok dance together
See how well you work as a team and problem-solve together by learning a TikTok dance. Spend a few minutes scrolling TikTok, and then find a new dance craze you both think you can master.
If you need help, check out some YouTube videos for more in-depth video tutorials.
20. Create a bucket list together
If you’re bored at home, consider creating a bucket list together. First, take turns writing down places you want to go and things you want to do and see in your life. Then, make sure you share your lists with each other. This can double as a great resource for future date and gift ideas.
21. Draw or paint a portrait of your partner
Whether you’re an artist or not, it can be a fun activity to draw or paint a portrait of each other. If you have art supplies, use those; if not, just use a pen or pencil and some scratch paper. You’ll either be impressed by the person’s art skills or laugh hysterically at how ridiculous your portrait looks. Either way, it’ll be a good time.
» Related: You might like this article on How to Flirt with a Girl Over Text.
22. Watch a recording of a stand-up comedian
What better emotion to conjure than humor if you’re looking for a good time? Look for some stand-up comedy on Netflix, Prime Video or YouTube. If you want to recreate a comedy club, make some mixed drinks and nachos to eat while you watch the show.
23. Play poker
Test how well you can read your partner and how competitive they are by playing poker together. All you need is a deck of cards.
Then, you can play for money, clothes, or chips- whatever your date is up for.
24. Watch Dirty Dancing together
The end of Dirty Dancing is infamous, and most girls would love to feel like Baby in the final dance scene. Watch the movie together, and then recreate the famous ending dance scene. Make sure you’re in a safe space, so you don’t break anything.
25. Make pasta from scratch
Pasta is delicious and surprisingly simple to make; all you need is flour and eggs. Try making your own pasta and marinara sauce together. Extra points if you work to plate it beautifully and post your final result to Instagram.
There you have it, 25 cheap date ideas so you can have a great time on a tight budget. Interested in saving even more money? Check out Rachel’s post, 75 Money Hacks that will Save You a Fortune.
Rachel Jimenez is a mom, wife, business owner, and most importantly a time and money hacker. Her goal in life is to help people optimize their lives for success and happiness based on the science of positive psychology. For more tips and tricks for optimizing your life check out her blog at here or follow her on Instagram @moneyhackingmama.
Which of these date ideas are you going to do next?
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Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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