12 Affordable and Fun Date Ideas

Does it really pay to go overboard on the first date? Isn’t it a genuine connection you’re seeking and not just a fling?

Do yourself a favor: When you’ve found the potential man or woman of your dreams, be upfront about your financial situation, even if funds are limited.

If your prospective partner is unwilling to understand your situation, it is time to move on.

If that person is still willing to give it a shot, that’s great news. But you’ll have to think outside the box and search for creative but low-cost date ideas to keep things spicy.

Here are a dozen frugal ways to date that will not make you look cheap.

1. Enjoy the arts

Visit a local museum or attend a play at the community theater to support and enjoy the arts. Search online for specials from Groupon and LivingSocial, or invest in an annual pass, which may be much cheaper than you think.

A day strolling through a museum is affordable. Some museums are free, and many others cost $10 or less.

2. Schedule a video game competition

If you own a video game console, a little healthy competition is a great way to spend time with your date. When you want to change things up a little, Redbox is always available and offers inexpensive video game rentals.

3. Plan a movie night

Throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave, pop open a soft drink, turn on your favorite flick and you have a movie date in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re big movie buffs, check out: “13 Easy Ways to Save Big Bucks at the Movies.”

4. Visit a national park or a zoo

A comprehensive list of national parks can be found at the National Park Service website. Also, be on the lookout for free admission days at parks, museums and zoos.

5. Embrace your inner chef

Whip up your favorite dish in the kitchen and head out to the local park for a romantic picnic. And if you’re no cook, grab takeout instead. No tip, no wait — just you and your mate.

6. Enjoy the great outdoors

Perhaps admission to your state parks is free. If so, put on your hiking boots and head out with a picnic lunch. Or, maybe go swimming or boating on a lake. In winter, how about some snowshoeing?

7. Host a date night in

Instead of spending $100 at a fine-dining establishment, check the sales circular to spot coupons and deals on your favorite foods and spend the night inside. Dress up the table, light the candles and even add a glass of wine or Champagne to the mix.

8. Create a spa session

Several years ago, I realized I had no desire to spend hundreds of dollars at the spa. So, I set up a manicure, pedicure and massage station in my home for my loved one and me. During our first session, we saved much more than $200 and even enjoyed an impromptu spa lunch.

9. Get fit

Take a class at the local recreation center. The cost of admission is usually not more than a few dollars per session.

10. Visit the local flea market

If it’s not scorching hot outside, a flea market is a great place to get to know each other while strolling up and down the aisles. And if you decide to purchase an item, it will likely be at a fraction of the cost you’re accustomed to paying at traditional retail outlets.

11. Attend a community event

Search the entertainment section of your local paper for free community events, such as art walks, concerts in the park, street fairs and events at the local college.

12. Take a mini vacation

A weekend getaway is a fun way to spend time together, but don’t wait until the last minute to book flights and travel accommodations — unless you spot a last-minute deal. Instead, plan ahead and start saving money. Then, search for deals on airfare, dining, entertainment and lodging using travel and daily deal sites.

Do you have any other low-cost date ideas in mind? Share your thoughts by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project
10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project

Here’s how to save on your next remodeling project with discounted materials and more tips and tricks.

9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card
9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card

Use your debit card for one of these expenses, and you could risk your bank account balance, your credit score or even identity fraud.

5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful
5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful

These tips will leave your ride smelling delightful for next to nothing. Some options are also chemical-free.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.