Dates on a Budget - Best Cheap Date Ideas You'll Actually Want to Try

If your dates are not all Clicquot and Louboutins, then you will love these creative ideas for dates on a budget. These are cheap date ideas you’ll actually want to try. Find your next budget date idea and share your cheap romantic date ideas in the comments!

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Budget Dates

Long ago are the dates that began at the fanciest restaurant in town and ended with a balcony seat at the opera.

As society becomes more budget-minded and people struggle to get out of debt from credit cards, mortgages, and school loans, there is a need for frugal alternatives to romantic dates.

Short of forcing your date to eat your leftover pizza from last night and watching a re-run of a sitcom, what other date on a budget options are out there?

You will see, my frugal friend…let’s go!

Related reading: Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas: Fun Valentine’s Dates and Gift Ideas

Dates on a Budget for Coastal Romances

If you live near a beach, lucky you!

Pack a light dinner, some cheese, and an inexpensive bottle of wine in a picnic basket (or a picnic backpack!). Without letting your date or spouse in on this, suggest a drive. Drive your date to the beach and surprise them with your packed picnic.

Lay a blanket on the beach, watch the sunset, and stick around for the stars to come out. Who knows? You may be around for the sunrise, as well.

Related reading: 10 Easy & Quick Canned Chicken Recipes (Perfect for Picnics!)

Dates on a Budget for Office Romances

One of the best deals around is the much-adored Happy Hour.

Happy Hour is when a restaurant or bar offers reduced prices on their liquor and beer selections and their appetizers and, sometimes, dinner entrees.

You can easily wine and dine with your spouse or date without putting a dent in your wallet. Make sure, however, that you drink responsibly so that you get your and your date home safely.

Related reading: Money Saving Meal Plan to Slash Your Grocery Budget

Dates on a Budget for Campus Romances

You are in college and thus, by definition, have little to no money to your name.

You could sacrifice your laundry money and splurge on a date, but you really don’t need to do this.

College campuses understand your pain. They offer free or cheap date alternatives if you just take the time to do a little digging.

In college, I was able to see operas, musicals, comedy performances, and newly released movies for free or at a greatly reduced price.

Check your campus newspaper or your school’s website for students’ calendars. You should be able to find listings of events being held on and around campus.

Related reading: Struggling Financially? 15 Tips From People Who Are Never Broke

Dates on a Budget for Physically Active Romances

What better way to get to know each other than on a hike?

Pack up some bottled water, homemade granola, and energy bars and head out to the nearest park or hiking trails.

Why not take your bikes to the local hike and bike trail or feed ducks at the community pond?

If you enjoy jogging, enter yourselves into a 5k for a small registration fee and jog the race side-by-side.

Related reading: Camping Checklist: The Best Things to Take (and 3 Things to Leave At Home)

Dates on a Budget for Food-Loving Romances

If you and your significant other love to cook, here’s a fun cheap date idea at home.

Go through recipe books and write on different slips of paper entrees you would like to cook. Do the same for side dishes and desserts, putting the different courses into separate piles.

Pick one slip of paper for the main course, two slips of paper for the side dishes, and one slip of paper for the dessert.

You will have fun cooking the mismatched meal together that both of you had a say in.

Make the night more romantic by setting the table with your finest dishes and candles.

Some budget-minded couples love going out to eat at fine restaurants but don’t want to end up paying over $100 for drinks, appetizers, a main course, and dessert.

Another foodie date on a budget option is to make part of the meal at home, and buy part at a restaurant. Why not whip up dinner at home and go to your favorite restaurant for dessert and coffee?

Related reading: How To Eat Keto On A Budget + 22 Cheap Keto Recipes You’ll Love

Other Cheap Romantic Date Ideas

1. Waterfall gazing.

Get online and research your area for waterfalls.

This creative date on a budget can be done at any time of year.

Bring along a thermos with your favorite beverage. Better yet, pack a bottle of wine, two fancy glasses, and a blanket.

You can even go waterfall gazing towards evening. Just make sure to bring a flashlight or two. Headlamps are even better because then your hands are free (hint, hint).

Don’t forget your camera, and you are all set for a romantic date on a budget.

2. Fly a kite.

Make it a surprise date! Just let them know a time and a place and turn up with a kite.

It’s not for everyone, but most people will enjoy reliving their childhood, at least for a little while.

Bringing a bottle of wine to relax with after you’ve had enough of kite flying might be a good idea.

Being physically active and laughing together can help strengthen relationships ( reference).

3. Catch a meteor shower.

One of my personal favorite dates on a budget is watching a meteor shower.

These occur almost monthly throughout the year.

Research online the best time to get out there and in what direction you should be looking. It’s as simple as that.

Bring a blanket and some warm beverages and settle down for a truly romantic show.

If you’re lucky enough to have a telescope, bring that along as well!

4. Cheap date idea at home: indoor picnic.

Whether it is warm and sunny out (the air filled with bugs and humidity) or cold and damp out (shivering and wet conditions), an indoor picnic is a great way to spend a romantic afternoon with that special someone.

No TV allowed! Turn on some romantic music, lay out a soft, comfy blanket and delicious snacks, and voila.

You have a perfectly romantic setting to relax and enjoy each other’s company, no matter the weather.

Related reading: Easy Camping Recipes That Will Make You Want to Get Your Campfire Lit

5. Romantic date on a budget: spa day.

Set aside a day for just the two of you.

Turn off cell phones, computers, and televisions. Light scented candles, have soft music playing in the background, and treat each other to a long slow full-body massage.

Cool drinks and comfort foods are great additions to your romantic spa day.

This is my favorite scent for massage oil – it’s so relaxing and refreshing at the same time.

6. Creative date on a budget: visit your old neighborhoods.

Take your date to the street you grew up on.

Visit the parks you played in and the schoolyard you ran around in during recess.

Don’t forget to turn the tables and visit your date’s childhood haunts.

Reminiscing about your childhood will make you two feel closer and is very romantic.

Related reading: 15 Best Budgeting Books You NEED to Read Now

7. Visit a local museum.

Most towns have a small museum that features town-specific displays and memoirs. These museums are usually very quaint and romantic.

An inexpensive lunch at the local diner will add flavor, fill your belly, and complete this romantic adventure.

For bonus budget date points, many museums offer a free day per month. Find out when that is and save even more money on this cheap date idea.

Related reading: 6 Easy Ways to Save Money Every Month Without Feeling Deprived

The Final Word on Dates on a Budget

Cheap romantic ideas for dates are easy to put together.

Simply think of something that sounds like fun, will afford you the opportunity of closeness and laughter, and get out there, or stay at home and do it. You will remember the romantic time, not breaking the bank!

There are so many ideas for dates on a budget out there for the frugal-minded romantic if you are just a little creative!

Related reading: 15 Cheap and Fun Things to Do When Bored at Home

What other ideas do you have for dates on a budget?

Suchot - The Curious Frugal
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