The 65 Best Cheap Date Ideas Couples Can Do On Any Budget

The 65 Best Cheap Date Ideas Couples Can Do On Any Budget

Spending quality time with your S.O doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Here are over 60 cheap date ideas that are affordable on any couple's budget.

cheap date ideas

Whether it's your first time out with the person or the hundredth, you still want to plan a date they will be telling their friends about.

But, we all know how expensive dating can be. Fancy dinners add up quickly, and after a couple of rounds of drinks, you're left with a $100+ check. While most of us would like to plan lavish dates every week, unfortunately, that’s not the lifestyle we can all afford to live.

The good news is, spending quality time with someone doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Whether it's a planned date in the park or a home-cooked candlelit dinner, there are plenty of budget-friendly date ideas for you to enjoy together. Here are 60 of the best cheap or free date ideas!

This post is all about the best cheap date ideas.

BEST CHEAP DATE IDEAS:

1. Go On A Picnic

free date ideas

You can honestly never go wrong with a picnic. Grab a blanket and a basket and fill it with your favorite snacks and drinks. Head to your favorite spot and enjoy some quality time together on the beach or in the park. It may seem small, but this intimate date idea is one anyone is sure to love.

2. Do The TikTok Couples Shopping Challenge

If you're on TikTok, you've definitely seen this cheap date idea. But if not, it's definitely one you need to try!! You basically just stick to a budget and pick out gifts you think the other would like in each category. So, the categories could be favorite drink, snack, something in their favorite color, something that reminds you of them, etc. This date idea is a great way to make each other feel special without having to spend a ton of money!

3. Go Thrift Shopping

I mean, what's cheaper than thrift shopping? For this date idea, you can either spend the day hitting the best local thrift stores or even just going to one and having a competition to see who can pick out the best outfit under a specific budget! Even my boyfriend, who hates to shop, is always down to go thrifting. This is a fun, cheap, and earth-friendly date idea we can all get behind!

4. Set Up A Car Date

Whether you're looking for cheap first date ideas or just planning a casual night with your gf/bf, a car date is a romantic option you have got to try! Set up blankets and pillows in the back and bring snacks and drinks. Spend the night hanging out, listening to music, and just talking. Bonus points if you have a sunroof!

5. Go To A Waterfall

Have a waterfall nearby? If so, you've got a fun and adventurous date idea that won't cost you a thing.

6. Photoshoot With Disposables

You don't have to hire a photographer or buy a fancy camera to plan a fun photoshoot date! Buy disposable cameras and have your friend takes pics of the two of you. Or, you can plan a fun theme and just take pics of each other! The best part about disposables is that you can't see them until you take them to get developed. This means less time checking if you look good and more time spending time in the moment together. 

7. Have A Wine & Movie Night

Who can say no to movie night? And with wine? You can't top that… Find a free movie on Netflix and pick up a bottle of wine for the two of you to split. This is a casual date night idea you can plan last minute and is guaranteed to be a hit every time. 

8. ...Or A Wine & Painting Night!

I mean, let's be honest, if wine is added to the mix, there's no doubt the date will be fun. If movies aren't your thing, or you just want to try something new, pick up a couple of canvases and some acrylic paint. Spend the night chatting over a glass (or many glasses) of wine and painting! This cheap d

9. Go On A Hike

If you're the outdoorsy type, try hiking together! It won't cost you a thing, and you'll get some good exercise in at the same time!

10. Order Takeout & Go To A Lookout

While our heads all go to reserving fancy dinners for a date, the truth is you can have just as good of a time (if not better) over takeout! This will not only save you a ton of money but will also feel more casual. The less awkward, the better when it comes to cheap first date ideas!

11. Dollar Store Crafts

Dollar store crafts have been trending all over TikTok when it comes to cheap date ideas at home. There are plenty of DIY-able things at the dollar store as well as fun, cheap crafts to buy under $10!

12. Make A New Recipe Together

cheap date ideas 2022

I have to say, cooking together is at the top of the list for romantic date ideas so try making a new recipe together! The Couples Cookbook has a ton of fun recipes for couples to make together right at home. 

If you frequently cook together, you could also make your own cookbook together and take the night organizing all your favorite recipes in a binder! Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes that are definitely worth giving a shot if you're looking to try something new!

13. Decorate Cupcakes

Not the most talented chef? Good thing you don't need to be for this date idea! You also don't need to be rich! You can buy cupcake mix, frosting, food coloring, and sprinkles for under $15! I guarantee this will be the most fun $15 date you ever went on.

14. Rock Paper Scissors Date Night Under $20

I guarantee any girl/guy you're taking on a date hasn't done this before. Stop into Target or Walmart and play "Rock Paper Scissors" when picking out snacks, drinks, and a date night activity. This is a last minute date idea you can do on any budget!

15. Home Cooked Candlelight Dinner

Want the vibe of a fancy dinner without the price tag? Set it up at home! I promise, no guy or girl will think this is "cheap." In fact, they will probably be more impressed that you took the time to set it up! 

16. Drive Around And Look At Houses

Okay, this one may not be for everyone… But, I know my boyfriend and I absolutely love driving through new neighborhoods and pointing out parts of houses that we love. If you have been with the person for a while, or both just have a love for pretty houses, take a night and drive around looking at them! This is a fun date night activity that could even lead to exciting plans for the future! 

17. "1000 Things You Don't Know About Me" Journal

No matter how long you've been with someone, there's always going to be something you don't know about them. This journal has all kinds of questions that are sure to initiate fun and new conversations for couples that have just met or even those dating for years. 

18. Volunteer At A Local Charity Together

cheap date ideas

Asking someone to volunteer with you is sure to win you some brownie points. Not only is this free date idea a great opportunity to bond with someone, but it’s also for a good cause!  

19. Make Mood Collages From Magazines

Making a collage out of magazines is a fun cheap, or free date idea! If you have old magazines lying around, flip through them together and rip out anything you like. Glue them on paper or a canvas to make a "mood board" together!

20. Stargaze On Top Of A Parking Garage

Stargazing is a classic cheap date idea, but you can make it that much better by doing it on top of a parking garage! Lay out blankets and pillows and spend the night hanging out as close as you can get to the stars. I promise they will look 10x better on the top deck.

21. Go Rollerskating

Local roller rinks usually have amazing deals all throughout the week! Check times and pricing and schedule a date when tickets are inexpensive! I promise you’re NEVER too old for this date idea.

22. Plan Your Dream Trip

Just because you can’t pay for your dream trip right now doesn’t mean you can’t start planning it! Pick out your dream place to go and spend the night researching all the best things to do in that location. Find a hotel, make an itinerary, and find all the best restaurants. This will get you so excited about the trip together. Plus, when it’s time to go finally, you already have it all planned out!

23. DIY Clothing

T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, you name it, and it is sure to make for a fun, cheap, and DIY-able date idea. Buy clothes from the Michaels or repurpose old ones from your closet or thrift store. Whether it's tie-dye or iron-on patches, there are so many DIY clothing ideas for couples to make during date night at home!

24. Go To A Drive-In Movie

If you have a local drive-in movie theater, check the times and what is playing! While some theaters can be a little pricey, you can actually strike amazing deals if you plan it right.

25. Go On A Bike Ride

Pull out your old bike and go on a bike ride together! You can do this on a local trail or even around the city.

26. Make A Time Capsule

The sentimental side of me is absolutely obsessed with this idea. Make a time capsule together and add photos of the two of you and other fun things from the year. This will make a fun memory box for you to look back on in the future. Who knows, you may even be giving it to your kids one day!

27. Make A Scrapbook

Here is another date idea every couple needs to try! Document all your memorable moments for the two of you to look back on in a scrapbook.

28. Go Bowling

last minute date ideas

Bowling is a classic date idea that you can do on a budget. Almost every local bowling alley has discount nights throughout the week, so call ahead and find out what they are to get the best deals!

29. Play "We're Not Really Strangers"

If you haven’t played this game with your S.O, then it’s definitely time to give it a shot. “We’re not really strangers” is sure to strike up interesting conversations, whether it’s a first date or hundredth.

30. Go To An Art Museum

Most museum tickets or super cheap or absolutely free! So if you’re an art lover looking for romantic date ideas on a budget, then this is the one.

31. Ride Electric Scooters Around The City

Nowadays, most big cities have electric scooters you can rent all over. Rent a couple and take a night riding these around the city!

32. Go To Hibachi

I know what you may be thinking, “Hibachi isn’t cheap!” Well, I’m here to tell you it can be! After making the mistake of ordering separate plates a couple of times, my boyfriend and I started just ordering one. The portions are enormous, and even when splitting one, we always have leftovers. If you’re looking to go to a nice dinner without the high cost, this is definitely something to consider.

33. Go To An Arcade

Go to your local arcade and spend the night playing fun games! Dave & Busters has deals 24/7 that allow you to play hours worth of games for a great price!

34. Mini-Golfing

Glow in the dark mini golf, and outdoor putt-putt are fun date night ideas for the golf-lovers dating a not so golf-loving significant other. You could also go to a range and rent a bucket of balls to learn/teach them how to golf! Baby steps to finally getting them to come on the course with you…

35. Take Personality Quizzes & Compare Results

You can do this cheap date idea right from the comfort of your couch. Find a few personality tests online and spend the night taking them and comparing results. There you have it, a fun conversation activity you can do for free that is sure to lead to healthier, intimate relationships!

Here are some more romantic questions to ask your partner to become closer!

36. Plan A Facetime Date

inexpensive date ideas

There are always fun and unique events planned during the holidays, and many are completely free! Whether it’s looking at Christmas lights or visiting a pumpkin patch, check what local seasonal events are going on in your town.

Doing long distance doesn’t have to mean missing out on date night! Plan a FaceTime date instead! Yeah, you might FaceTime them 24/7 anyways, but scheduling a specific time, dressing up for it, and planning a fun activity will make the call feel (almost) as special as an in-person date- and it won't cost you a thing!

37. Go Ice Skating

Ice skating is a fun date you can do at any point throughout the year! Find open skating times and rent a couple of pairs of skates! And don’t worry, they probably don’t know how to skate either.

38. Home Made Chocolate Fondue

We all love the Melting Pot, but dang, it can be expensive! Make your own dessert fondue right from home instead! Grab melting chocolate, fruit, and other snacks to dip for a fun, intimate post-dinner treat at home!

39. Host A Game Night

Worried about being alone with them? Invite a group of friends over for game night! Have everyone bring a game from home and take turns playing different games throughout the night. Not only is this free, but it will also ensure the conversation never dies! And hey, even if things do get weird, at least you have your friends to laugh about it with later.

40. Go On A Groupon Date

If you haven’t checked Groupon for cheap date ideas, now is your time! From concerts to zip-lining, they have many budget-friendly date options to try.

41. Visit A Farmers Market

Take a day and hit the local farmer's market together. There’s just something about shopping for food at a farmers' market that is 10x more fun than regular grocery shopping. 

42. Go To A Local Concert

While you may not be able to afford tickets to their favorite artist, you can afford tickets to a local concert! You’d be surprised at how many small artists perform every week, and they are often in super fun venues! One of my favorite dates was a concert in the park with an artist I’d never heard until then! Now, this is one of my favorite summer date night ideas.

43. Cheese & Wine Tasting

fun cheap date ideas

Whether it’s going to your local winery or organizing it at home, cheese and wine tasting is one of the best cheap romantic date ideas! I mean, who doesn’t love to be wined and dined? 

44. Create Your Own Cocktail Bar

Meeting for drinks at your local bar is fun and all, but you know what isn’t? The price. My boyfriend and I went out for drinks the other night and were shocked at the $48 price tag after ordering two drinks. Instead, make your own drink recipes from home!

This is not only cheaper but more fun! You can experiment with all kinds of fun recipes and even come up with multiple different rounds for each other!

45. Take A Walk At Your Local Park

Looking for free date ideas? A walk in the park is a classic. It may not seem like much, but planning a date in the park is such a sweet gesture to show you are thinking about them.

46. Learn Another Language Together

Whether you’re visiting a new country together or just looking to learn something new, learning a new language together is a fun date night activity that is completely free! Sign up for a free account in Duolingo, pick a language you’d both like to learn, and spend the night practicing.

47. Apple Picking

Add apple picking to your list of fun cheap date ideas. This is the perfect summer activity for absolutely any couple to enjoy!

48. Go To A Street Fair

Street fairs are completely free and guaranteed to be fun!

49. Take A Craft Class

Whether it’s pottery making, cooking, or painting, taking a class together is always a fun date idea! If you can’t afford to take a class in person, look up tutorial videos on YouTube and try it from home!

50. Go Through Childhood Photos

If your mom was one to take millions of photos of you, then this date idea is already set up for you. Spend the night going through old family albums and childhood pictures. 

51. Go To A Vineyard

If you’re in an area with a vineyard, plan a day to go and visit it! Everyone enjoys wine tasting, but this is also such a beautiful place to take photos together!

52. Google Local Seasonal Events

There are always fun and unique events planned during the holidays, and many are completely free! Whether it’s looking at Christmas lights or visiting a pumpkin patch, check what local seasonal events are going on in your town.

53. Make S'mores

Who doesn’t love s’mores? You can either host a bonfire with friends or spend the night making s’mores over your gas stove at home!

54. Paint Pottery

In a crafty mood? Try painting pottery! There are lots of ceramics studios that offer this. Or, you can make your own pieces and paint them at home!

55. Go To A National Park

Don’t have the money for amusement parks? Visit the national parks instead! Tickets are usually super cheap, and now you can check off another park on your bucket list! 

56. Visit Your Local Animal Shelter & Take A Dog Out For "Happy Hour"

This is hands down the best date idea for animal lovers that you may not even know about! Many animal shelters will allow you to take a dog out for “happy hour” to let them get out of the shelter and play. This date idea will ensure one happy pup and another happy couple.

57. Go To A Comedy Show

You don’t have to go to a famous comedian's show for date night, and in fact, going to the unheard-of ones will probably make for an even funnier time.

58. Have A Bonfire

cheap date ideas near me

You can either host a bonfire with friends or just make one for the two of you to enjoy. Either way, this is a cheap date idea you’ll both have a blast doing.

59. Make Charcuterie Boards

Make your own charcuterie boards at home with fruit, cheese, and crackers from the grocery store! You could even turn it into a competition to see who can make their looks to best and compare at the end!

60. Attend Trivia/Bingo Night At Your Local Bar

Almost every town has a local bar or restaurant that does game nights. Search around and find what nights they do it and plan to go on your date then!

61. Visit The Dog Park

You don’t even have to have a dog to do this! If you’re both dog lovers, visit your local dog park and hang out with all the pups. This way, you can guarantee all the dogs are friendly and “pet-able.” But still, make sure to ask first!

62. Recreate Your First Date

Take it back to where it all started by recreating your first date! This is a fun way to spice up your relationship no matter how long you’ve been in it.

63. Play Tennis Without Keeping Score

You don’t have to know how to play to make a date out of tennis. Visit your local rec center or outdoor court and play a few rounds without keeping score.

64. Go Out Just For Dessert

Can’t afford an entire meal? Good news, you don’t have to be able to! Instead of reserving a fancy dinner, make a meal at home and just go out for dessert! It’s the best part of a meal anyways, right?

65. Have A Spa Night

Take the night and pamper each other at home. You can buy face masks, cozy socks, and other skincare products at the drug store for super cheap.

CHEAP DATE IDEAS Q&A

What can you do for a cheap date?

There are hundreds of cheap date ideas equally as good as going to a fancy dinner, if not better. Thrift shopping, hosting a bonfire, visiting a museum, or grabbing takeout to eat at a lookout are all fun date night activities you can do on any budget.

What can couples do for fun without money?

Some of the best date ideas don’t cost a thing. Outdoor activities always make for a fun date, so if you’re looking for cheap or free date ideas, try hiking, biking, or playing a game of tennis. If you prefer the indoors, have a movie night, make a scrapbook, take personality quizzes, or try learning a new language together!

What to do on a date when ur broke?

There are plenty of fun date options that are super affordable and even completely free! Hit up your local farmers market, host a game night with friends, have a picnic in the park, or go to a scenic lookout.

What is a fun date?

The key to a fun, successful date is picking something that will allow the two of you to spend quality time together. If you’re going on a date with the person for the first time, you are undoubtedly going to have a lot of questions to ask them so plan on doing something that will allow for casual conversation. Bike rides, a walk in the park, or bringing takeout to a scenic lookout are all fun outdoor activities that are both casual and budget-friendly. If you prefer date nights indoors, cook a nice meal at home, try a DIY craft, or have a wine night! These fun cheap date ideas are just as fun with a long-time partner too. While it’s not quite the same as date night, these DIY gifts are the perfect way to let your partner know you’re thinking about them even from a distance.

This post showed you all the best cheap date ideas.

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