Dating when money's tight can be a challenge. You want to make a big impression on a small budget - without looking like a cheapskate. In this era of belt-tightening, you don't have to give up dating or resort to watching movies on the couch every weekend. With a bit of creativity, you can keep things interesting without overspending, whether unmarried or married, new to a relationship or settled in. Here are ten ways to plan a cheap date, plus dozens of specific ideas to get you started. From cash-strapped college students to young parents who have to shell out for a baby sitter, there's a fun cheap date here for everyone. And be sure to share your own ideas in the comment box below.
Just, you know, go easy on the loser! Is there somewhere you'd like to go? Some milestone you want to achieve together? Or, if the relationship is new, share what you both want to get out of this year and offer support for each other's hopes and dreams.
Recreate your own spa experience by drawing a bubble bath, lighting a few candles, and throwing in a soothing massage. Bonus points if you can get your partner to put on a face mask. For an awesome time at an arcade, all you need are some quarters. Make things more interesting by betting a drink on the person who can win the most prizes.
Karaoke is a guaranteed fun night, even if you can't hold a note to save your life. When's the last time you actually put your phone down and looked up?
More From Kiplinger
Grab a blanket and try to find your favorite constellations. If you need some guidance, you can download apps like Star Tracker.
Most local brewery or winery tours are free, and you'll leave with knowledge you can impress your friends with-and you'll get some free sips of booze, obviously.
Spend an afternoon sharing your talents and hobbies. You can demonstrate your musical chops by giving your date a guitar lesson while they show you how to throw a free-throw. Or vice versa. Find a poetry reading, or performances of works by a specific writer, by searching local book readings.
Yes, the shoes are disgusting, but you'll have a great time and a little friendly competition never hurts. Test your sense of adventure by renting a kayak, canoe, or paddle boat at a local lake or beach.
Two words: cotton candy.
Low cost dating ideas
If there's a carnival in town, bring your date for a few rides on the Ferris wheel. Take a moment to decompress by grabbing a bottle or two of wine and snacks for a cozy night in. Working on your fitnessgoals? Do some research to find classes with great first-timer rates, or "consider joining" a gym by trying out their facilities. United States.
Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Farewell, J. Meghan Markle Is the Ultimate Influencer. Examining the Swimwear on 'Too Hot to Handle'. Bored at Home? Take a Virtual Vacation. Getty Images.
Make a Bonfire. Visit a Museum. Mistik Pictures Getty Images. Dave Bradley Photography Getty Images. Go Antiquing or Thrifting Together. Take A Ferry Ride.
1. Play in the snow, build a snow man, then drink cocoa. 2. Go to a community play, a dress rehearsal, high school or college play. 3. Do an inside or outside picnic. 4. Work out together. It's fun to subtly flirt with each other at the gym because the other gym patrons don't necessarily know you're together. Starlight Starbright - Stake out a secluded place for some stargazing. Enjoy an evening under the stars with your spouse. It won't cost you a thing! Je T'aime Hotel - The price tag of Paris is far from free, but this date night is! We have lots of free printables and ideas to convert your own bedroom into a Paris-themed hotel. Aug 13, Dating when money's tight can be a challenge. You want to make a big impression on a small budget - without looking like a cheapskate. Low-Cost .
Go Window Shopping. Martin Barraud Getty Images. Relax in a Jacuzzi. Klaus Vedfelt Getty Images. Learn Something New. Thomas Barwick Getty Images.
Visit a Pop-Up. Zeyu Wang Getty Images. Look for a Spectacular View.
Lucia Lukacova Getty Images. Make Something.
Hal Bergman Photography Getty Images. Ride a Train or Trolley. Find Your New Happy Place. Sascha Kilmer Getty Images. Visit the Library. Artur Debat Getty Images. Play Paintball. Kseniya Ovchinnikova Getty Images. Write Out Your Goals. For instance, you could make your own pizzas or an inexpensive pasta dish, or cozy up together to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in your fireplace.
Fondue can be another fun way to make a meal interesting. It can also save you money because you cut the food into individual bites, making a little food go a long way. Or have a group date and invite other couples over for a potluck dinner. Rethink movies. Movies are the old dating standby. However, tickets and munchies can get pricey, and the routine may quickly get stale. Wow your date by being creative. For instance, set up your TV on the patio or in the backyard along with a comfy seating area for a private outdoor theater.
You could even plan an evening around a movie's theme, such as snacking on chocolate-dipped strawberries while watching Chocolat or stringing up lights and watching a holiday movie in July with mugs of hot cocoa. For a free or cheap movie rental, check out your local library or a Redbox DVD kiosk. Go outside. Mother Nature offers a bevy of free or inexpensive activities, and her beauty can set the perfect stage for romance. Plus, "because you're outside, everything feels less claustrophobic," says Joy Browne, author of Dating for Dummies.
30 Awesome Date Ideas Under $30
You could also go to the beach, walk in the forest, watch wildlife, fly a kite, take a walking tour of your town or visit a pick-your-own-produce farm. Local botanic gardens can also be an inexpensive place for a scenic stroll together. Bring your camera to snap pictures of your favorite plants and flowers. Planning an outdoor activity at night can amplify ambiance.
For instance, go stargazing, fish in the moonlight or toast marshmallows over a beach fire. You adventurous types may consider a camping trip, while you less-adventurous couples could camp in your own backyard. Visit the library.
Your local library is a trove of free entertainment. Many offer book readings, film screenings, lectures or concerts.
Jan 02, Spending quality time together with another person doesn't need to cost that much, after all, love doesn't cost anything. Sometimes the most fun you'll ever experience costs little to nothing. If you're low on money or just tired of the same kind of dates over and over again, then try these unique, cheap and fun date ideas to enjoy some Author: Amanda Bradbury. Jan 16, Fancy dinners and costly ticket prices add up, especially when you're trying to get to know somebody new. So we've put together the ultimate guide to dating on a real-person budget, from stay-at.
Or plan a date around learning something new and creative together. Check out a book on how to do magic tricks, tie balloon animals, fold origami, sculpt clay or cook an ethnic meal, for instance.
Some cities have libraries in beautiful or historic buildings, and some even have coffee bars inside. If the library closest to your house isn't that impressive, it could be worth a short drive to one in your area with a bit more ambiance for your date. Get in touch with your inner child.
Volunteering the two of you to baby-sit for a friend or relative can be a great way to impress a date. Plus, it gives you an excuse to act like a 5-year-old and get away with it. Play catch, dig in the sandbox, lounge in the kiddie pool and make finger paintings with your charges. Or take them to the playground, story time at the library or some other free activity.
If you have kids of your own, join forces with another family and trade off watching each other's kids for free. For example, you and your spouse watch their kids one Saturday evening and they watch yours the following weekend.
That way, you can use your money for your date night instead of blowing it on a sitter. Do good. Come together by helping others.
You can check out volunteer opportunities in your area at VolunteerMatchIdealist and Network for Good. Or choose a project of your own, such as doing yardwork for an elderly neighbor. Get moving. When your body is active, it releases endorphins - hormones that boost your mood.
That's a definite bonus when it comes to dating. For a budget-friendly activity to get your blood pumping, try riding bikes, hiking, ice skating, rowing on a lake, fly fishing, sledding, shooting hoops or playing tennis at the local park.