25 Ways to Date Night While Spending Less

Aditi Shekar
August 22nd, 2019 | 5 minutes
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Who doesn’t love date night? But when the average date in the US costs over $100, it can be hard to budget for them. Instead, try one of our cheapish-dates - ones that won’t skimp on the romance and not break the bank.

Want ideas? We got you. Here are 25 fun ways to date night on a budget:

1. Chopped at home

Who doesn’t love Food Network’s Chopped? Do your own at-home version where you judge each other’s creations with groceries from your fridge and then be your own judges. For example, homemade pizza is surprisingly good, eat to make, and cheap!

2. Take a hike

Go out to your favorite nature spot and walk through the woods. There's something about being amongst nature that's calming and romantic. If you need advice on good trails, check out AllTrails for some awesome adventures.

3. Puzzle it out

Puzzles, the ultimate test for any couple. You might find that your compatibility has a lot to do with whether you’re an edge-first or don’t-care-bout-edges person. Either way, make it hard and do one that has 500+ pieces.

4. Have a picnic

Picnics are an absolute classic when it comes to dates on a budget! Grab a cooler, throw together some sandwiches and grab some water (or alcohol). Our favorite snacks come via Trader Joe’s - hmmm caramelized onion cheddar.

5. Take up babysitting

If you both love kids, try babysitting someone else’s kids and see how you do as a team. You’ll definitely get a feel for your readiness for starting your own family (if you haven’t already). Plus, we could all use the free karma points.

6. Put your green thumb to the test

What if you could combine your New Year’s Resolution of eating healthier with spending time with bae? Try building a veggie garden together! Eventually, you’ll get the payout of some free, healthy food and you’ll have a constant reminder of those memories!

7. Throw it back with dominoes

Remember when you were a kid and you used to stack dominoes or at least watched videos of insane domino chains? Give it a go with your partner and see if you can make a crazy domino chain, like this one!

8. Go on a half date

Instead of passing up your fave outings with bae just to save money, try a half date instead! For instance, have a homemade meal together and go out for dessert. You could also switch it up and do a coffee date to keep it low cost.

9. DIY spa night

Candles, face masks, and a massage from your lover? Yes please.

10. Play 20 Questions over wine

Remember the 20 questions game growing up? Grab your S/O, your favorite bottle of wine, some sweets and buckle in for an uninterrupted game of 20 questions, money-style. Put your phones away and embrace the conversation! Refinery 29 can get you started.

11. Start a bucket list

Sit down as a couple and talk (and document) the things you want to do over your life. Start with a goal of getting down at least 25 things for a good time. Best part, future dates/memories can be all about doing those bucket list items!

12. House hunt like a royal

Have an idea of the dream home you want to own together one day? Go on Zillow and find a bunch of open houses to get some inspiration. They may even have free snacks - score.

13. Build a fire

Whether it's in your backyard or at the beach, grab some logs and s’mores ingredients to have a romantic, fire-lit date.

14. Take the morning off

Switch it up and take the morning off to go on a splurge date! Instead of scrambling to get out the door with a Poptart in-hand, make a nice breakfast together or spend the morning brunching when you can actually get a table.

15. Put your dancing shoes on

If you both love to dance, hit the club! But, put a cap on the amount of drinks you’re willing to pay for beforehand. Or just pregame at home together and grab an Uber, like the early days.

16. Burgers on the Beach

There’s no denying it, the beach will always be a romantic date location. Rather than going out to eat and then hitting up the beach (or vice versa), pack a meal and have your date night there! In-and-Out on the beach anyone?

17. Scooter your way around town

If you didn’t know, electric scooters and bikes are a thing now! They make for a fun and adventurous way to get around for cheap. Try a service like Scoot to get around town to explore the city a totally new and different way!

18. Taco Tuesday at home

Create your own Mexican fiesta on a Taco Tuesday with homemade tacos! Tacos are a cheap and festive meal that will keep you under budget and your tummy happy.

19. Netflix & chill

A personal favorite. Pair a movie/TV show binge on Netflix with snack feasts and comfy clothes for a total classic in terms of cheap date nights!

20. Role play your hearts away

Try role playing in public (not the sexy kind, lol). It may seem a little corny, but trust the process! Create your own characters, be them to the best of your abilities, and interact with others. It will definitely be something you’ll laugh about later!

21. DIY wine tasting

Go to the store and grab a selection of mini bottles of wine, grab some travel wine glasses (check these out on Etsy) and hit the road to a fun location for your private wine tastings. Extra credit for making your own chocolate covered strawberries.

22. Consider a breakfast date

Try doing a breakfast date to switch things up. Typically, breakfast is the least expensive option on a menu, so you’ll most likely spend less than you usually would during lunch or dinner.

23. Take a free class together

Check Nextdoor and Eventbrite for fun and free events going on in your area. Sign up for a free class together like outdoor yoga or group hiking!

24. Make a time capsule

Start a new tradition that is all your own! Make a time capsule and add to it throughout the years. It doesn’t have to be a metal box that you bury in your backyard, but decorate a box with memories specific to you and your boo and check back on it in 1, 2, 5, or 10 years and reflect on your awesome mems!

25. Find peace together with meditation

Sometimes slowing down is the fastest way to speed up. Try taking a few moments to be near each other and meditate to find your peace. You can find all different kinds of meditation guidance on YouTube.

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