I recently shared some of my favourite free things to do over the weekend, and it got me to thinking about other budget-friendly pastimes…like date night! Fancy nights out are certainly a treat, but they’re not always feasible–try out some of these frugal date ideas for a great time that won’t break the bank!
Maybe it’s the poet in me, but I love looking at the stars. I even took Astrophysics in college in an attempt to learn more about them (and fulfill a needed science credit–a terrible idea for someone who’s horrible at math!). Weather-permitting, get outside and look at the stars. Depending on where you live, it might help to drive a bit until you’ve found a clearer, darker spot!
Even small towns seem to have something that makes them special. Play tourist in your own town (or a nearby locale) and do whatever there is to do. Whether that’s a museum, a park, or a cool bookstore, you’re bound to have a good time! It might even make you appreciate your hometown a little bit more.
Check out a block party, carnival, or fair
As I write this post in mid-June, there are all sorts of fairs and other events coming up across the county (even here, in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania!). They may not be a five-star restaurant, but who says you can’t have fun? Bonus points if you’ve got one with a Ferris wheel for a romcom moment!
Okay, grocery shopping might not sound like a romantic evening for you and your SO. But hear me out! It can be a whole lot of fun to head to the local grocery store and pick out some goodies…or even your normal weekly shopping. I’m a huge proponent of mundane activities being a lovely way to spend time together, and make your errands a whole lot more fun!
Take a walk
Or go for a hike, ride bikes, and so on! Get active, get those steps in for the day, and, most importantly, get in some quality time.
Don’t want to spend any money? You don’t have to! Browse some stores together and find the most ridiculous items. Make yourselves a scavenger hunt. You could even point out some of your favourite items and give each other ideas for upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, or gift-giving holidays!
The ~chill~ is optional, of course. Put on a favourite movie from Netflix, Hulu, or Prime (or–gasp!–a DVD!) and snuggle up on the couch!
Now, if you want to go all-out and make a mini “book club” with just you two, go for it (in fact, this may now be on my bucket list, because aww!). But you don’t necessarily need to be reading the same book (or even anything remotely related) to still be spending time together! If one or both of you are major bookworms, this is a great way to spend a night in.
Redbox movie night
Really want to see that new-ish film that’s not on Netflix (or Hulu, or Amazon Prime…) just yet? If it’s out on DVD, you may just be able to snag it from your local Redbox! Renting a movie through Redbox is nostalgic (without being too inconvenient) and lets you check out a movie before you commit to buying a copy for your personal collection.
Go thrifting or yard sale-ing
See who can spend the least money on the coolest items! Or, just browse! If you’re living together, this can be a great, low-cost way to pick up some items for your place (or, maybe a way to hint that that’s something you see in your future?).
Build a blanket fort
I’m a firm believer in there being no bad opportunity for a blanket fort.
Go to the library or local used bookstore
Books to read for free or little to no cost? Sign me up (and add a plus one for this frugal date idea)!
Exchange “mix tapes”
If you have the tools at hand to go the old-fashioned route and record them a cassette or burn a CD? Go for it! But a Spotify or YouTube playlist can put a modern spin on what is (in my opinion) one of the sweetest handmade gifts. Make a night of it for a budget-friendly date! Bonus points if you listen to them (and dance!) afterward.
Start a joint bullet journal
Maybe not for the classic to-do lists (though, you could use it for shared tasks!), but there are so many ways you could share a joint bullet journal! Track the movies you want to see, restaurants you want to try, or even which of these frugal date ideas you want to try out next!
Go to the playground
Also on my list of rom com-worthy moments? Spending some time on your closest swingset!
Have a cookout
You could go all-out and make it a double or triple date with friends (make it a potluck to keep your wallet even happier!) or keep it just between the two of you. Grab your favourite grill foods (I’m convinced nearly every veggie burger tastes better when it’s grilled!), whip up some sides, and enjoy!
Chances are you like this person at least in part because they’re a good person–so why not spend some time volunteering for a cause you both support?
Go to a museum
Do you share an interest in history, art, or something else that might be showcased at your local museum? Many are low-cost or free entry or offer free days every so often.
See some fireworks
As I’m writing this post, summer’s just begun here in the States, so neighbourhood fireworks are an almost nightly occurrence, much to my (and poor Fitz‘s) dismay. I may not be a fan of them generally, but even I can enjoy a purposeful, organized fireworks show!
Take a couple’s quiz
Do you know each other’s love language? Want to see if you know each other as well as you think you do? Whatever you’re thinking of, there’s probably a quiz for that.
Speaking of quizzes…why not try your hand at trivia? Many local bars and pubs offer trivia nights, or you could host your own! Square off against friends or one another and may the person with the most random useless knowledge (raises hand) win!
This is one I wouldn’t be particularly fond of myself, but it’s popular for a reason! Plus, it’s extremely budget-friendly…make it ultra friendly and pull up YouTube karaoke videos in the living room!
Want to get creative? Make a scavenger or treasure hunt for your significant other see where it leads them!
Go for coffee
Far past the first date stage of grabbing coffee? It’s still an easy, low-cost date idea! Personally, coffee is a direct route to my heart–whether it’s our first date or our 500th, I’ll be excited!
Play a board game
Or put together a puzzle! You can learn a lot about a person by how they play (and how they react to winning/losing) a board game.
Cook or bake
Bonus frugality points if you already have the ingredients on hand! Check out our archive of vegan recipes if you’re looking for inspiration. You could even cook for one another to make it a little extra romantic.
DIY Spa Night
Pamper yourselves with some DIY spa staples like face or hair masks!
Make use of that gym membership you’re already paying for or pull up some yoga tutorials. Play a sport (however good or bad your abilities may be). Be as ridiculous as you want to be!
Have a picnic
Make yourselves dinner? Why not have a romantic picnic? Head to a local park or even your backyard, lay out a blanket, and enjoy.
Check out a local event
Depending on where you live, there may be a free or low-cost event going on–ask Google (or your favourite search engine) and keep an eye out for flyers or other advertisements.
Go for a drive
Can’t decide on a date night activity, but have some gas in the car? Head out for a drive! You’ll spend time together by default and, depending on how scenic a route you take, can take in some amazing sights.
Which of these frugal date ideas is your favourite? Will you be trying one out with your SO soon? Let us know in the comments!