7 Date Night Ideas on a Budget

If money’s getting tight or you’re trying to stick to a budget, date night can be a stressful endeavour. Let’s face it, dating is expensive! A nice dinner for two can easily cost $100, and any after-meal entertainment such as a movie will just add to your bill. The alternative – dinner at home and a movie on the couch – is fine once in a while, but can get old quick. Instead, you need to think outside the box, get creative and use one of these great cheap date ideas that are also exciting and romantic!

Browse the Selection at Your Local Bookstore

Bookstore dates can be a lot of fun! You and your date can show each other your favorites, discover interesting new titles together and learn a lot about each other’s interests. You can play a game where you each browse the store and pick out a book you think the other would like, or try to find the with the strangest plot synopsis in the whole store. Grab a coffee from the in-store cafe and make it an evening!

Check Out a Neighbourhood Garage Sale

If you’re looking for an early morning activity, visit some local garage sales! You can look through the different treasures and see who can score the best deal. Set a modest budget for yourselves and try to see what items you can get for cheap. Since you’re up early anyway, celebrate your finds over breakfast! It’s usually a much more affordable meal than dinner.

Test Drive an Expensive Car

You don’t have to buy it, of course! Pick out a nice car and take it for a test drive around town. You can play make believe for the day, pretending you’re rich tourists, and see the sights your area has to offer. If you can, watch the sunrise or sunset together, or park near a picturesque spot for some photos. Just make sure to get the car back in time — and don’t break any public indecency laws in the backseat!

Give Back to the Community and Volunteer Together

There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping others, so why not do it together? You and your date can volunteer for the day at a local charity such as a soup kitchen or a humane society. This can help you see each other in a new light, find common ground and interests, and create a deeper bond.

Go Stargazing and Find Your Signs

Grab a blanket and a thermos filled with your favourite hot drinks and spend the night under the stars! Try finding constellations that mean something to you: your star signs, or just your favourite constellations. If you’re not into astronomy (or astrology), there are plenty of apps you can download that will help enhance the experience and show you where to look. You can learn together!

Sip Your Way Through a Brewery or Winery Tour

While this date idea may sound expensive, there are plenty of breweries and wineries that offer free tours through their facilities — with a few free drinks along the way. Others may have an entry fee, but include enough drinks to make the price of admission worth it. You might even find a new favourite drink together!

Celebrate Your Past with a Themed Night

Pick a year (or a decade) that’s important to you, and make it a theme night! For example, if you started dating in 1996, you can dress up in your best Clueless outfits and dance around the living room to the Smashing Pumpkins. If you haven’t been together long, pick a year that means a lot to you both separately, like the year you graduated high school or the decade you were born. It’s a fun way to celebrate your past and make future memories together!

Spend Time Together

No matter how much money you have, time is the most important thing you can spend with each other. Find ways to make memories and enjoy each other’s company without spending a dime.