12 Cheap Date Ideas

12 Cheap Date Ideas November 8, 2010

I’m not convinced that a great date has to be expensive. My wife and I do a lot of things that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and we have a great time doing less expensive dates.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t let money keep you from enjoying a date with that ‘special someone.’ Take a look at these not-so-expensive date ideas and get inspired to go have fun without going broke.

1. Walk/Run/Bike

Go do something fun and get off the couch. :) Exercising together is a great stress reliever and is important for a healthy life – so you can keep going on the rest of these dates.

2. Check out the local college

If you live near a college campus, take some time to walk around and explore. If it’s your alma mater, look around to see what’s changed since you’ve left. Be sure to stop by the music and theater department to see what’s playing. Colleges often provide concerts for free!

3. Visit an animal shelter

If you like animals, visit the shelter to play with a couple of dogs. I recommend this with caution…be careful not to give in and bring the dog home…that is not an inexpensive date. :) Better yet, if you have friends with a dog, offer to take fido to the park!

4. Have a picnic, with a twist

Limit your basket to just 5 items and try to be creative with what you bring. This prevents waste and makes things interesting. If the weather is bad, just bring it back inside.

5. Browse the mall

Alright guys, bite the bullet. Change things up by alternating stores – one store for her, one for him. Give each other $10 to spend on the other person and have fun.

6. Go to a park or lake

Bring a few pieces of bread to feed the fish or birds and see how many skips you can get with a rock. Leave the cell phones in the car and enjoy the day.

7. Split the cost with another couple

Let them know you’re on a mission to explore cheap dates and ask if they’d like to split a nice dinner at your place.

8. Put on your chef’s hat

Move over Top Chef! Explore a new recipe or make a something that’s a little complicated. Try to practice patience with each other and most of all have fun working on something new together.

9. Be a bookstore bum or library rat

Enjoy reading? Spend a couple of hours in a bookstore or library and get lost in some books.

10. Stay in

Turn off the iPhones and Blackberrys and make a nice dinner. Here’s a tip for the guys: clean the house before she comes home and surprise her with a preset table and the smell of her favorite dish. Romantic huh? ;)

11. Movie marathon

Go through the dollar section of the movie store and pick a few classics. Bonus tip: Make it even more romantic by watching the movie on your laptop in the park under the stars! Now we’re talking!

12. Game night

Break out your favorite board games and challenge each other to a duel. If you’re a little more tech savvy, start up the Wii and play a game of bowling or tennis.

What do you enjoy doing for fun that doesn’t break the bank?

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  • Great ideas for cheap date nights, Tim! My wife and I enjoy several of the things on your list. It’s hard to get out of the mindset that having a good date means spending a lot of money. I find that simple dates can be much more rewarding.

  • Great list Tim. Idea #3 would probably be very expensive for us. But it’s a great idea.

    For #1, the Nature Center is fun to go to for a nice walk.

  • Tim

    Sometimes the simple dates are the most fun!

    I should take #3 off the list…it’s too dangerous. We went to Petsmart this weekend and could barely shake off ‘the itch’ to get a dog. That could definitely get expensive : )

  • No don’t take it off. It’s a great idea. The ‘danger’ is what makes it an exciting date. :)

    Petsmart is a great place especially if you have kids. We have a 20 month old boy and we’ll take him to Petsmart just to look at the birds, fish and other animals. He loves it. And we get a kick out of watching him. Luckily he’s still young enough to where he just looks. He hasn’t started asking for a pet hamster yet.

  • Now that we have two young boys, we don’t do date night with each other like we use to. Back in the day we would go pick berries at a farm and buy a reciprocal zoo membership that can be enjoyed all year,

    • Tim

      I have never heard of a reciprocal zoo membership until recently. I’ll have to check that out.

      Not having kids myself, I imagine that date night would be limited once the kiddos arrive. Hopefully you’re still able to sneak out every once and a while to enjoy a nice time together!

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