Inexpensive Date Ideas: Making the Right Choice

Most people have definitely run out of cute date ideas at some point, turning to Google for various “cheap date ideas near me.” Sometimes you might easily get a good cheap idea, but for the most part, you’ll just find something overpriced or just not fun! Good cheap date ideas aren’t hard to come up with, but they definitely do require a bit of thought. Remember, a good date is one that’s memorable, & even the cheap dates can easily be amazing nights if you go to the right places!

Cheap First Date Ideas

To get some inspiration, let’s go back in time. What are some enjoyable cheap things to do with your girlfriend in high school? You’re probably thinking of typical things like going out to eat or going to the movies, & that’s ok—these are both cheap fun ideas for couples, which definitely makes them perfect for a first date! Let’s take a closer look at these inexpensive date night ideas to make sure it’s not just another meeting but actually a memorable night!

Just because it’s a cheap couple outing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put thought into it. When picking where to go, you’ll want to think about everything you know so far about your date. What kind of humor do they like? Do they like the same movies as you? Are they vegan? These examples are definitely important to evaluate as you don’t want the night to be memorable in the wrong way.

To easily make your first date a bit more memorable, consider combining two cheap date activities into a single enjoyable date! A great cheap option is the dinner/movie. You can get to know each other a bit over dinner, then cuddle up together while watching a movie you both enjoy. Since both of these inexpensive romantic date ideas are fairly cheap (although that is highly dependent on where you go to dinner), you won’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes though, you might be worried about not being able to easily hold a good conversation, & that’s where cheap double dates come in!

Fortunately, cheap double date ideas are the same as regular outings, just with four people instead of two! Both dinner & the movies definitely make good group date ideas, as they are enjoyable, relatively low pressure, & the addition of two more people to the group means everyone will be relaxed & more likely to have a good time.

As an alternative to cheap indoor date ideas, outdoor activities can also make for enjoyable, super cheap date ideas. Hiking & picnics can easily provide cheap adventures for couples looking to spend some time together outside, rather than being cooped up in a building for the duration of the date.

Cheap Date Night

We went over the inexpensive first date ideas, so now we’re going to assume you made it to date #2 (or beyond)! Even though the first date went well, that definitely doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on the second one. If anything, that proves that cute, inexpensive date ideas always work! Now that you’re on your second date, chances are you probably want to get to know your date a bit more. This definitely is easiest in a longer, more relaxed environment, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cool cheap dates you can go on!

Unless your partner specifically requests it, you definitely should try avoiding going on “the same” cheap date twice, which means don’t go to the movies if you already went to the movies. If you went to a restaurant last time, at a bare minimum, choose a different place to go to (unless your partner specifically requests the same place). Using lazy date ideas definitely won’t impress your partner much, so we’ve put together a list of cheap date ideas perfect for your second date!

  1. Go hiking. Just don’t pick anywhere too challenging! Hikes can definitely be a great way to admire nature, have a long conversation, & easily enjoy a relaxing day together on a mountain-side.

  2. Make dinner together. Working together and developing new bods is important, so what better way to find out if you can than by making dinner together? This gives plenty of time for flirting, playful banter, & meaningful conversation over food.

  3. Visit the beach. Walks on the beach are always seen as romantic for a reason. You can easily spend all day at the beach & wrap the night up by watching the beautiful sunset.

  4. Go to a drive-in movie. Everyone’s been to the movies, but not everyone’s been to the drive-in. Although a bit more “old school,” drive-in movies are certainly the perfect places to go on cool cheap dates.

  5. Take a class. If you two share a mutual interest, why not take a cheap class on it? You both learn something, & you’ll get to spend time together doing something you love.

  6. Go to a concert. Most people like music, so attending a cheap concert can definitely be a great way to bond while enjoying some tunes. Just make sure you both like the artists who are playing!

  7. Visit a farmer’s market. If morning dates are your thing, consider checking out the farmer’s market. You can always buy your partner one-on-a-kind trinkets & will have the entire time to chat.

The above are all good cheap dates, but what if you’ve been together for a while? In that case, you might need cheap anniversary date ideas! For the guys, remember that anniversaries are extremely important (so never forget the date!). A common choice is to take her to her favorite restaurant, but you can also relive your first date together or even go somewhere entirely new! Whatever it is, make sure certainly she’s sure to have a great time!

There’s plenty of options for the ladies as well. If you’re searching for cheap, romantic date ideas for him on a budget, chances are, you’re probably overthinking it! In general, guys don’t need much to be happy, so focus less on “what” you’re doing & more on “how.” As long as you make him feel special throughout the occasion, he’s sure to enjoy your company the most!

Dates That Don’t Cost Money

Sometimes you just don’t have any money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out! There are plenty of date ideas that don’t cost money. When it comes to DIY date ideas, the most important things are creativity & personalization. You definitely know your partner better than anyone, so think of all the things they love & places they enjoy and combine them into potential dates that cost no money. Coming up with 2-hour date ideas should be fairly easy, but if you don’t mind getting a bit more creative, consider coming up with mini date ideas. These are great because your partner gets to enjoy multiple things in one day & you definitely won’t get bored since you’ll always be moving! Not quite sure what we mean? No problem—we’ve included an example below for you to check out!

In this example, you’re a man with a girlfriend who loves animals, reading, & Cajun food. This easily gives us three great starting points, but the challenge is we need to do this for free! Fortunately, there are free options available for each one of her interests. Let’s start with the animals.

Many zoos & farms have animals you can go see, but since we don’t have a budget, we can cross those off the list. However, nature is always free and also a great place to see animals like deer, birds, & bunnies! You’ll definitely want to do a bit of research beforehand so you can easily find a location with a lot of wildlife, but the first mini date will be going on a nature walk in search of cute critters!

Since she likes reading, what better place to go than a library? Though not always, libraries are generally free (assuming you live nearby), so you can easily take her there to find some books she likes. Sometimes, authors will attend libraries & have a meet-and-greet. If this is happening around your time together, definitely consider taking her to one of these free events (assuming she likes the author in question).

The easiest way to find Cajun food is by going to a restaurant, but since we’re doing all of this with no budget, you’ll be making the food from home. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to cook. The internet has many different recipes available for free, & you can always use the ingredients you already have at home to make the meal!

As you can see, it’s entirely possible to go on an enjoyable series of mini-dates with no money at all! Your partner will definitely appreciate the amount of time you put into the event, & you’ll be able to enjoy her smile knowing it didn’t cost you a dime!

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