75 Best Cheap Date Ideas to Keep Things Interesting

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Are you looking for some of the best cheap date ideas because you want to do something fun with your partner but you don’t have much money to spend?

If you are trying to figure out what couples can do for fun without a lot of money, you came to the right place.  

Since I am always looking for cheap date ideas near me, I figured you would be too!  I put together a list of cheap date night ideas and totally free date ideas to help you plan a fun date with your partner.

Do you remember when being called a “cheap date” was a bad thing?  It was definitely something my husband used to joke with me about earlier on in our relationship.  

We don’t joke about it anymore though.  Since we have become two very frugal people, we love planning fun and frugal date nights.  

Planning some alone time with your partner is so important.  Whether you are looking for free date ideas at home or want to find some of the cheapest date nights possible, I have you covered! 

But first I have some tips for how to turn a typical date night into a frugal date night.  Let’s get started!

cheap date ideas

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  You can read my full disclosure here.  

How to save money on date nights

The cost of going out on a date with your partner can really add up.  But here are some ways you can reduce the cost while still going out and having a fun date night.

Budget for your date night

Creating and sticking to a household budget is important for living within your means and reaching your money goals.  And as you may know, sticking to a budget can be really hard, especially when money is tight.

But you don’t have to sacrifice your quality of life to stick to your budget.  It is important to have fun and enjoy life while you are working towards your financial goals.  

Incorporating your date night expenses into your budget will allow you to enjoy a weekly, biweekly, or monthly date night without accidentally using the money you need to pay other bills. 

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be difficult.  You can use my free budget binder printables to help you get started.  Here is a preview:

Budget Binder

You can get my free printable budget binder here. 

Save on the babysitter

The going rate for a babysitter varies greatly depending on where you live. In my area, we can expect to pay around $15 an hour for a babysitter on the weekend.  

That can really add up!  Let’s just say the sitter comes over at 5 so you and your partner can go out to eat.  Then you decide to catch a movie at 7:30 afterward.  Figure around a 2-hour movie.  It would be around 10 until you get home.  

You are looking at paying the babysitter $75 for the evening in that scenario.  Add that to what you spent on dinner and a movie and that’s a pretty steep evening out.  

There are definitely ways to save on babysitter costs.  Here are a few to try:

Use a free family member:  If your kids have grandparents or great-grandparents, they may love babysitting for you to spend some extra time quality time with their grandchildren.

Date night kid swap:  If you know another couple with kids, take turns going out on date nights while the other couple babysits.  

Share a babysitter with another couple:  According to thebump.com, it’s typical to start with the average babysitting rate for your area and then add $.50 to $1 to that for each additional child.  

So say the average rate is $15 an hour for one child.  Add 3 more children at $1 more per hour and the rate per hour would be $18.  

Now say 2 of those children are yours and 2 are your friends’ kids.  Instead of paying $15 an hour, when you split the cost, you end up paying the babysitter $9 an hour.  

Use coupons or discount codes

There isn’t any shame in using coupons for a cheap date night.  It’s a frugal thing to do!  

Here are some ways to look for coupons or discount codes:

  • Google Search
  • Browser extensions (Rakuten, Honey)
  • Restaurant websites
  • Signing up for newsletters
  • Newspapers
  • Local magazines

Use Groupon

Groupon is a marketplace that offers vouchers for discounted goods and services.  They have deals for restaurants, events, and different activities.  You buy the voucher ahead of time and then use it when you want to (within the specified time frame).

We have bought Groupon deals when they offer vouchers that cost $10 for $20 worth of food at certain restaurants near us. It’s like having a 50% off coupon!

Also, Groupon participates with cashback sites like Rakuten and Swagbucks.  So when using these cashback sites when shopping on Groupon, you can also get cashback on your Groupon purchase.  

Check for Groupon deals near you here!

Pay attention to the time of your date

Many activities are cheaper when you do them earlier in the day.

For example, check out early-bird specials at your local restaurants.  Or switch it up and do a lunch or breakfast date since these meals tend to be cheaper than dinner.  

Or if you are going out for drinks, why not go out for a happy hour to take advantage of drink specials and then head home to cook dinner together.  

Want to go to a movie?  Check out the matinees to save money on your movie tickets.  

Use gift cards

If you and your partner enjoy going to different restaurants or doing different activities that aren’t cheap or free, request gift cards when your family asks you what you want for holidays or your birthday.  

Or you can earn your own gift cards to pay for your date nights by taking online surveys.  You could set your date night budget for the current month based on what you earned the previous month taking surveys.

Two of my favorite survey sites are Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.

With Swagbucks, you earn points that you can trade-in for PayPal Cash or gift cards just by taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, and playing games. 

You can earn gift cards for your favorite brands like Amazon, Walmart, Visa, Target, and more!

Many Swagbucks members earn between $25 to $100 per month that they can use to save for a vacation, use for fun money, or cover expenses.  

If you would like to check out or sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here!  

Survey Junkie is an online market research community.  When you participate in Survey Junkie, you get to share your opinion to help brands improve their products.  

After you complete surveys, you will earn virtual points that you can trade-in for Paypal cash or e-Giftcards for places like Amazon or Target.  

You can sign up for Survey Junkie here.  

best cheap date ideas: bottle of champagne in bucket on table outside

Best Cheap Date Ideas

#1  Grab a coffee

Go out for a cup of coffee (any time of day) and sit and chat.

#2  Go out for ice cream

Hit up your favorite ice cream store or look for a new one to check out.

#3  Visit the local museum

Many local museums offer free or cheap admissions. Keep your eye out for a cool new exhibit for a cheap date idea.

#4  Go out for happy hour

Enjoy a discounted drink while catching up with each other.  Take advantage of appetizer specials for a cheap dinner.  

#5.  Go out for dessert

Eat dinner at home and head out later in the evening for a tasty treat.

#6  Have a picnic

Pack a meal and head to the park to sit on a blanket in the grass to eat and enjoy each other’s company.

#7  Go roller skating

Head to the local roller skating rink to rent some skates and skate to the music.

#8  Go for a hike

Live in the city?  Head out of town to find a rural area to explore.  

#9  Go for a bike ride

No bikes?  Borrow or rent some for the day.

#10  Go mini-golfing

Rounds of mini-golf tend to be fairly inexpensive. Practice your putting and have a little friendly competition.

#11  Head to the driving range

Buy a bucket of balls and practice your golf swing with your partner.  

#12  Go to a matinee

Daytime movies are usually cheaper than going to the movies in the evening. 

#13  Work out together

Go for a run, lift weights, jump rope, or do a HIIT workout.  

#14  Do yoga or pilates

Find a video on YouTube or check out the FitOn app

#15 Take a self-defense class together

This one may cost a bit more than some of these other ideas, but it could prove to be money well spent. 

#16 Watch a movie at home

Veg out on the couch in your PJs and check out free movies on your streaming service or rent a movie from Redbox for cheap.  Make some popcorn and have your favorite beverages for a relaxing night in.

#17 Binge watch your favorite TV series

Buy your favorite ice cream and toppings and get comfy for marathon TV watching.

#18 Stargaze

Take a blanket outside in the backyard to lay on to look for the constellations.

#19  Hang out on your patio or deck with your favorite beverages

Don’t forget the music!

#20  Roast marshmallows for an after-dinner treat

And make smores.  

#21 Have a fondue night

Chocolate fondue makes a fun after-dinner activity.  Dip pretzels, marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, animal crackers, or vanilla wafers for an indulgent dessert.

#22 Visit the bookstore

There are still bookstores around that have little cafes and sitting areas inside them.  Grab an interesting book to look through together and drinks (or drink to share!). 

#23 Head to the library

Many libraries have free guest speakers.  Then look for a new book to check out to take home.

#24  Cheer on the local sports teams

Check the local high school or college (if you have one near you) websites for upcoming sporting events to attend.

#25  Play in the snow

Get all bundled up, make a snowman or snow angels, then head inside for some hot chocolate.

cheap or free date night ideas: couple relaxing on bed

More Cheap Date Ideas & Free Date Ideas

#26  Decorate (or redecorate) your home

This doesn’t have to be expensive.  Even just rearranging furniture or moving decor items to different rooms can help your home feel fresh.  

#27  Paint a room

Complete that paint job you have been meaning to do.  Watch for sales on paint at your local paint store.  

#28  Garden together

No green thumb?  Research which plants do well in your zone and head to the nursery to pick out a few.  Or start a little collection of houseplants.  Rescue dying plants off the clearance rack at the local home improvement store.  

#29  Play cards

Strip poker anyone?  Or be more conservative with a round of Rummy 500 or another favorite card game.  

#30  Have a spa night

Give each other facials, massages, or soak in the tub together.

#31  Put together a jigsaw puzzle

Check out eBay, yard sales, or thrift stores for cheap puzzles.

#32  Take a walk around the neighborhood

Make it a nice long walk to get your steps in while chatting about what’s going on in your lives.

#33  Have a board game night

Keep it intimate with just the two of you or invite friends over to join in the fun

#34  Plan a potluck dinner with friends

Everyone brings a dish to share to keep the costs down.  

#35  Go kayaking

Rent or borrow a kayak to head out to a nearby lake.

#36  Go camping

Even pitching a tent in your backyard could be memorable!

#37  Check out a nature reserve

Just search for “nature reserves near me” in Google to find the reserves closest to you.

#38  Head to the casinos

But stick to the penny slots.

#39  Look through old pictures and reminisce 

Check out each other’s baby pictures and pictures from when you were kids.  Look at old pictures from when you were first dating.  And don’t forget about your wedding pictures.  

#40  Create a picture book online together

Mixbook and Shutterfly are both super easy to use.  Sign up for their email to get discount codes sent directly to you.  Or download the Rakuten browser extension to help you find the best coupon code.

#41  Watch your wedding video

Re-experience the emotions from your big day.

#42  Learn a new hobby

Choose something you both want to learn to do.  Figure it out together by reading blogs and books about your new hobby.

#43  Participate in your partner’s hobby

Taking time to explore your partner’s hobby is a great way to bond.

#44  Go wine tasting

Do you have some local wineries near you?  Get dressed up and head out to taste some of the local wine.  Many tasting rooms offer a number of samples for a small fee.  And many don’t charge for wine tasting if you end up buying a bottle to take home.

#45  For craft beer lovers

Head to the store to choose 6 different beers for your 6 pack.  Head home and create your own little flight of beer to taste and critique together.  

#46  Make beer together

Buy a beer-making kit to try your hand at brewing!  

#47  Have a bonfire

Head outside to hang out by the fire pit.

#48  Have a budget meeting

I know, it doesn’t sound fun.  But sometimes you have to make it a “date” to get this done.  

#49  Daydream about your future

Spend time talking about where you see yourselves in a year, 5 years, 10 years, and even 30 years.  

#50  Share your life goals

Talking about your goals is a really intimate thing.  If you are naturally an introvert, putting your thoughts out there can be difficult to do.  Prepare for your “date” by each of you writing down your list of goals.  Then compare to see how many are similar.  

cheap date ideas: vase of flowers and lit candles on table

Fun Free & Cheap Date Night Ideas

#51  Create a bucket list

Are there lots of things you want to do and places you want to visit?  Brainstorm together to create your couple’s bucket list.  Then make plans for checking one off the list.  

#52  Go antiquing, to flea markets, garage sales, or thrift stores

Look for a cool new antique or vintage item to add to your home.

#53  Visit the farmers market

Shop for some delicious produce and homemade foods while supporting the local farmers.

#54  Cook dinner at home

Try out a new recipe.  Or plan a multi-course meal.  

#55  Bake something tasty together

Cakes, cookies, or pies.  Make an old family favorite or search for a new recipe.   

#56  Play billiards

Head to your local pool hall to play a few games.

#57  Go bowling

Many bowling alleys have special discounted nights. Or check to see if the price of a game varies depending on the time of day.

#58  Go swimming 

Head to the community pool to relax and hang out.

#59  Head out for karaoke

Enjoy listening to others sing or show off your stuff. 

#60  Make homemade pizza

Pick up a Pillsbury pizza crust or a pizza crust mix, sauce, and your favorite toppings for a fun make your own pizza night at home.  

#61  Play the sports you played as kids

Get outside and play basketball, throw a football or baseball, kick around a soccer ball or any other sport you like.  Teach each other how to play your sport of choice.

#62  Head to the arcade

Play your favorite arcade games from the past to feel like a kid again.

#63  Have a video game night at home

Hook up your old (or new) game system for some friendly competition.  

#64  Go fishing or hunting together

But don’t forget your hunting or fishing licenses! 

#65  Look for cheap or free events in your town

Many towns host free outdoor concerts, races, fairs or carnivals, community days, and other festivals.  Check your local websites and Facebook pages for upcoming events.  

#66  Use Groupon to find deals

Look for new activities to try at a discounted price.

#67  Volunteer

Volunteer at your favorite non-profit or charity.  Food pantries, animal rescues, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, hospitals, retirement homes, and churches are all possible places to volunteer.

#68  Start a blog

If you and your partner are looking for a new hobby or want to make money with a side hustle, starting a blog could be a great option.  And talk about cheap! Starting your blog with Bluehost starts at $2.95 a month.  Check out Bluehost here. 

#69  Play tennis

Tennis is a fun game to play even when you aren’t a tennis pro.  Pick up an inexpensive racquet at Walmart (or find one used at a thrift store, garage store, etc) and head to the nearest courts.

#70  Go to the beach

This would be a really cheap date idea if you live within driving distance of a beach.  Pack food and drinks for the day and head out.

#71  Visit a nearby city

Plan a day sightseeing in a city you have been wanting to visit.  Look for free or cheap places to tour on your trip.

#72  Visit a zoo

Admission to large zoos can be quite pricey, but the smaller local zoos are inexpensive and would be fun to visit for a cheap date night.  

#73  Go to a car show

Does one of you love cars?  Watch for local car shows to plan a cheap date night.  

#74  Play laser tag

Look for a laser tag facility near you for an inexpensive date night or borrow your kids’ laser tag game for a cheap date idea at home. 

#75  Go for a scenic drive

Head out for a drive.  Depending on the season you could check out tree foliage, holiday lights, or look for wildflowers.  You could also look for old covered bridges or check out the scenery near lakes or rivers.  Take a look at this website for more ideas in your state.  

Final Thoughts on Best Cheap Date Ideas

There you are!  75 best cheap (or free) date night ideas.  

There are plenty of date night ideas to do with your partner when you are broke or low on cash.  Don’t feel like you have to do the same old thing every date night because you can’t afford to do anything else.  

Spice it up a little by picking something totally different to do.  Next time you are looking for fun things to do as a couple when you don’t have money, refer back to this list for ideas.  

What are your favorite free or cheap date ideas?  Please let me know in the comments! 

cheap date ideas
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