Dating on a Budget: 7 Cheap Date Ideas


When my husband and I were first married, we barely had enough money to pay our bills. I remember the first time he went to the grocery store by himself after we were married and he bought an organic bell pepper worth $4.50 and I practically flipped out.

Needless to say, we were on a pretty tight budget. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on fun, so we had to come up with creative ways to spend time together that didn’t involve the couch and TV. Here are our top 8 cheap date ideas that we’ve taken advantage of the past four years of marriage:

7 Cheap Date Ideas

  • Take a hike. Together. On one summer afternoon, we headed to a gorgeous hike trail overlooking the ocean. Hiking allows us to really pull away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy each other’s conversation. There are no electronics allowed when you’re on a hike.
  • Frozen Yogurt. For one entire summer while we lived in a shack, we made it a mission to find the best frozen yogurt in our town. So pretty much every weekend, or every other weekend, we would treat ourselves to frozen yogurt. The total hardly ever came out to more than $7 but we really enjoyed the fun aspect we put together of trying to find the best yogurt.
  • Picnic. When you think of cheap date idea, you almost always think of having a picnic. But why don’t you jazz it up by splurging on some cheese and crackers and a bottle of cheap Trader Joe’s wine? For about $15, you can easily spend the afternoon at the park enjoying a great picnic. We would often take one of those games of questions (ie. Would You Ever?) and play those to learn more about each other.
  • Cook a meal together. One of our favorite things to do is to open up a bottle of wine, and cook a new recipe together. For the cost of the recipe’s ingredients, you can make a really decadent meal at home for a fraction of the price of a restaurant meal. One time, we made rack of lamb and were quite proud of how it turned out.
  • Redbox and a frozen pizza. When you’re feeling lazy, but still want to do something semi-special, we always fall in line for a Redbox DVD and a frozen Freshcetta Pizza. We think their pizza line is the best frozen pizza out there. Sometimes we’d even splurge on dessert from the grocery store bakery or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
  • Coffee walk to the shop. One of our favorite things to do on a Saturday morning, was to take the dog for a long walk in our neighborhood and end up at our local coffee shop and bakery. Since we were usually there by 8 am on a Saturday morning, the bread was still being baked fresh. We’d then walk back home with our coffee and a pastry.
  • Host friends for a potluck. Instead of spending a pretty penny on going out, we’d often host friends for a potluck. It was a BYOB, and nobody minded and it was a great time for very little money.