Dating on a Budget

Dating doesn't have to be a costly experience. With some planning and creativity, dating can be relatively inexpensive, without losing the romantic touch. Whatever you decide to do on a date, always look into a cheaper option. Dating is not about how much money you spend or which fancy restaurant you go to, it is about two people spending some quality time together getting to know one another. There are countless money-saving ways to have a fantastic date without overspending.

Cheap Date Ideas

Here are some examples of low budget dates which range from being absolutely free to being fairly low-cost.

  • Watch a movie at home. This is a cheaper and cosier option than going to the cinema. You can either watch one of your favourite films, or rent one. Get some popcorn in and snuggle up on the sofa.
  • If you enjoy going to the cinema but find the tickets pricey, why not make the most of the discounted tickets most cinemas offer. There are usually certain times and days where visiting the cinema is unpopular, and this is when you can usually purchase discounted tickets, although cinemas vary.
  • Go for a picnic in the countryside or by a lake or river. A picnic is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the peace and quiet. Alternatively why not have a romantic candle-lit picnic on your living room floor while listening to music? This is ideal if the weather outside is not good. While on a picnic, finger food is the best option accompanied with some wine, but if possible choose a slightly more expensive wine rather than a cheap tasting one.
  • Go for a long walk in the countryside, park or woods. Make the most of the beautiful scenery and enjoy the fresh air. You could always take some sandwiches and find a romantic setting to sit and eat.
  • Cook dinner at home. This is a great alternative to going to a restaurant. It will also give you the opportunity to show off your cookery skills and impress your date.
  • Order a takeaway. A takeaway can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like. It can be nice to share your favourite dish with someone, or order something completely different. This is an ideal option if cooking isn't your speciality.
  • If you don't want to sacrifice going to a restaurant, why not go out for lunch instead of dinner? Some restaurants have special offers at lunchtime or offer discounted meals. Alternatively you could go to a pub for lunch where food is often cheaper than restaurant prices.
  • Feeding the ducks is a lovely way to spend some time together. It gives you a purpose to take a stroll around your local park or nature reserve. Remember to take plenty of food for those hungry ducks.
  • Many art galleries or museums are free or low-cost. You can take as long as you like wandering around looking at exhibitions and it will give you something to talk about both during and after the visit.
  • Window shopping is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. A relaxing stroll around town won't cost anything and it gives you the option of popping into a coffee shop for a drink.
  • Watching a sunset or sunrise is a romantic way to spend time together. Lookout points are ideal for this, but be careful that you don't get locked in if there is a gate at the entrance.
  • If nature interests you, why not go bird watching? Remember to take your binoculars and bird watching book with you to identify the different variety of birds.
  • Stargazing allows you to enjoy the fresh night air. The countryside is an ideal place for this where there is little light. Don't forget to take your constellation book with you. There is nothing more romantic than gazing at the stars with someone special.
  • A visit to the beach is relatively low-priced. It may not even cost you anything at all, depending on location and parking. If you wish to hire a deckchair and buy food then it may cost a little more than if you were to take a rug to sit on and bring your own food. You can have lots of fun on a beach without spending any money, such as making sandcastles, burying each other and collecting shells.
  • Playing a sport together is a great way to keep fit while spending quality time with someone. It can be fun and make you feel more relaxed. You don't need to have fancy equipment or belong to a club to take part in sport. Your local park and a ball are sufficient. If sport doesn't really interest you, then why not take part in a less energetic activity such as miniature golf.
  • If you enjoy being active and like being outdoors, then cycling is ideal for you. If you already own a bike then it won't cost you anything. Alternatively there are many locations such as nature reserves and woods which allow you to hire bikes and cycle round miles of woodland.
  • Playing board games indoors is a cost-free way to have fun together. This is ideal if it is raining outside.
  • Many bookshops offer poetry readings which you can listen to free of charge. If you enjoy books and poetry then this is a perfect idea for you.
  • Flying a kite is a fun way to spend time together, especially if you make the kite yourselves using newspaper and other bits lying about the house. It is fun waiting to see if your home-made kite actually makes it off the ground.
  • Laughing together is a great way to bring two people closer together, so a visit to a comedy club is an excellent date idea. Comedy clubs are a great alternative to a visit to the theatre and they aren't as pricey.
  • Why not take up a hobby together? If there is something you are both interested in, why not learn how to do it together, for example dancing or painting. It will cost to learn a new hobby, but in the long run it will be cheaper than many visits to a restaurant, the cinema or theatre. If you take up painting together, then this opens up a whole new idea for a date, such as visiting a location to paint a picture of it.

Hidden Costs

Whatever you decide to do on a date, remember that admission fees and eating and drinking out can make a date more expensive. It is vital that you plan your date and don't forget about those hidden costs. Also, remember to dress appropriately for your date, so as well as remembering about extra expenses, don't forget to wear something to suit your chosen date location, especially if you are opting for an outdoor date.

Many of these ideas will help to strengthen a relationship and sharing these special moments together will be memorable and leave an excellent long-lasting impression on one another. For further suggestions on what to do on a date please see our article on first date ideas.

Additional Resources