Whether you’re a new couple or you’ve been married for 50 years, date nights are vital to growing a relationship. It’s easy to think you need to spend a lot of money to have a good time, but that’s not the case! There are many fun and cheap date night ideas you can use to enjoy time with your significant other.
Frugal date nights are often the best, because they put the focus on spending quality time together instead of an expensive outing. If you’re looking for new cheap date ideas to enjoy with your partner, our guide will give you dozens of new ways to have fun on a budget.
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Best Cheap Date Night Ideas For Couples on a Budget
As the saying goes, “love don’t cost a thing.” You can do virtually anything to enjoy time with your partner to keep the spark alive.
Below are 35 cheap date night ideas for couples on a budget that don’t skimp on the experience.
1. Have an In-Home Movie Night
The undisputed king of at-home date night ideas. In-home movie nights are nothing new, but they are fun.
Rent a Redbox movie that you’ve wanted to see, pop some popcorn, and cuddle up for a few hours of fun.
If you’ve never used Redbox, you can receive a one-night free rental when you open an account.
2. Check Out Groupon
Do you want an experience, but not the associated high price tag? Groupon is an excellent option for cheap date ideas without spending a lot of money.
Just click on the “Things to Do” link on their homepage to find date ideas in your area.
3. Sign Up For a Free Class at the Library
If your local library offers free classes, sign up for one, and have fun. For example, my local library has personal finance, sewing, and even 3D printing classes.
These are all terrific choices for fun date ideas for couples on a budget.
For some libraries, you may have to pay a small fee for materials, but a meager price to learn something new and have a great date.
4. Feed the Local Ducks
Have a pond nearby? Take a stroll around and feed the local ducks. Just remember not to feed them bread.
Cracked corn, uncooked rolled oats, or duck food is best.
5. Check Out the Farmer’s Market
If you’re lucky enough to have a farmer’s market open this time of year, they’re worth exploring.
Chat with the farmers and vendors, grab some local fruits or veggies, and walk around at your leisure. You may even be able to catch a local band or acting troupe.
6. Go Sightseeing in Your Neighborhood
Since it’s almost Christmas, many houses are already putting up their outside holiday decorations.
Soak them in by doing a drive around your neighborhood together. Bonus points if you bring some hot chocolate along.
7. Visit a Free Museum
Have any free museums in your city? Or, do you have any museums that offer free admission days?
Take advantage and see what beauty they have to offer.
8. Volunteer Together
It’s always nice to do something selfless, and it’s even better when you do it together. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, shelter, animal shelter, or even school.
You’ll make a difference and have fun with your partner.
9. Go People-Watching
For some people, this may be a bit mean-spirited. But if you want some good laughs or just want to see how people live so differently, go people-watching with your significant other.
There are some fascinating people out there.
10. Build a Fort
If you’re anything like most people, you probably have a ton of spare blankets and comforters lying around.
Put them to good use and build a fort. Stay in the fort all night and play games, watch Netflix, and pig out on junk food.
11. Go To a Few Happy Hours
Happy hours are an excellent choice for cheap date night ideas for couples. You can both enjoy great food and drinks at a significant discount.
Set a limit (say $20), though, because these places can make you go overboard on the deals!
12. Play Board Games
Take things back to the old days with some classic board games.
Thrift stores typically have used games for less than $5, or you can buy a new one on Amazon if you’re in the market for a new game.
13. Play Video Games
If you want to kick things up a notch, try playing some video games that require two people. These games can get competitive, or you can work together. Regardless, either is one of the more fun things to do at home.
Some of my and my husband’s favorites include Overcooked, Call of Duty, and Farm Together. Regardless of the game, this is one of my favorite cheap date night ideas for couples.
14. Sing Some Karaoke
You can do this in one of two ways. You can either go to a Karaoke bar (and only order drinks to stay on budget). Or, you can do this at home with your TV/computer and some fake microphones.
There are a ton of karaoke-style videos on sites like YouTube, so you’ll have free reign over what you want to sing.
15. Find Constellations
Fan of the stars? Learn about some constellations and their backstories, and then go outside and search for them together.
16. Learn How to Give Massages
Chiropractors and massages are expensive. And while they’re great, sometimes you only need a massage from your significant other.
So, learn how to give massages, and then practice on each other. This is a perfect choice for at home date night ideas, especially if you pair it with a movie night.
17. Go to Costco
Free samples. Need I say more? Even if you don’t have a Costco membership, you can get in (for free) by letting the workers know that you want to look around.
You won’t be able to buy anything, but that was never the point.
18. Cook Dinner Together — Chopped Style
If both of you are relatively good (or even bad) cooks, competitive cooking is a fun game. Take four random ingredients and try to make a meal out of them with the other items in your pantry and fridge.
May the best man, or woman, win.
19. Plan Out a Vacation For Next Year
Even if you can’t go on vacation right now, you can plan for one. Look for an exciting or relaxing place nearby, choose some cool things to do, and plan to take a vacation within the next year.
20. Take Photos With Santa
Who says photos with Santa are just for kids? Have fun, and enjoy the holidays with a quick picture together with Santa.
Even if there’s a cost, it’s typically minimal and makes for one of the best fun date night ideas.
21. Finish a Monopoly Game
Monopoly is the type of board game that requires dedication because it takes forever. Make a vow to play until someone wins.
To make things quicker, you can also play Monopoly Go if you don’t have all night.
22. Go to Open Mic Night
Poetry or music lovers? Check out the open mic nights in your area. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, have a seat together, and enjoy the ambiance.
23. Paint Together
All you need for this at home date night idea is some cheap canvases, paintbrushes, and paint.
If shopping at a store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, you can also use their online coupons to save some money.
24. Check Out LivingSocial
Remember that vacation you planned? LivingSocial may have some discounts to make that come true for up to 40 percent off.
Even if it’s just booking a hotel room, or having a staycation, LivingSocial can help you stay under budget. Like Groupon, If you want cheap date ideas for couples, you can also find discounted activities in your area.
25. Go To a College
We have four colleges nearby, and all have plays, musicals, and more that they put on every year for a small fee (or even for free) for the community.
If you have a local college near you, check out what they have to offer.
26. Invite Another Couple For Trivia Night
Want to have a double date? Invite a couple over for date night and have fun playing trivia.
You can team up either with your partner or against them, but either way, you’re in for a good time.
27. Watch a Sunrise
If you’re both early birds, try getting up early and watching the sunrise together. You could even make an early breakfast.
28. Watch a Sunset
If you’re not early birds (like me), try watching the sunset instead. You could also mix this with the kitchen challenge and have dinner while watching the sun go down.
29. Check Out a Used Bookstore
A good book can equal a great time, but so can a bookstore full of cheap and interesting reads. Some even let you lounge around and read, but try to be courteous and at least buy one book.
30. Try Fondue
You don’t even need a fondue pot to try some cheese or chocolate fondue. Try using just your crockpot.
Get some delicious dippers like crusty bread, strawberries, or marshmallows, and enjoy a great appetizer or dessert from home.
31. Have a Partner Spa Night
Sometimes you need a little pampering. Run a nice hot bath, put on some face masks (yes men, you too; your skin also needs some TLC), and enjoy each other’s company for an at-home spa night.
32. Go Work Out
A couple that works out together stays together. Or something like that. But working out together can boost endorphins and keep you both healthy.
You don’t even need a gym membership to do this. You can workout at home with YouTube videos or even Amazon videos.
33. Try a Class Out of Your Comfort Zone
Have you ever tried trapezing? Aerial yoga? Stripteasing? I know, those all sound difficult and maybe a little weird.
But many studios and gyms have classes like these for a discount to get people to try them. Experimenting with new classes is an excellent way to have cheap dates and learn something as well.
34. Go to the Casino
Now, I’m not saying to spend hundreds of dollars here. Instead, you each get $5, and you’ll pay the penny slots to see who gets ahead.
The person with the most money (or who at least didn’t spend the entire $5) wins.
35. Go Bowling
Bowling is another one of those classic cheap date night ideas. Bowling is usually reasonably inexpensive, but bowling lanes often run specials to help you save more money.
If you find a bowling alley that offers blacklight bowling or retro music, that’s even better!
You don’t need to spend significant money to spend time with your significant other. These cheap date night ideas prove it.
While there are so many other fun date night ideas that you could try, this list can get you through almost the entire year if you do one date night a week. And saving money while enjoying your significant other is always in style.
What are a few of your favorite cheap date night ideas? How much money do you budget to spend on dates each month? How often do you have dates at home?
Kim Suazo has been a freelance writer and business owner for over four years. When she's not writing for Frugal Rules, you can find her on other publications like Chime, Discovery, and Due. She also owns her own websites The Entrepremomer and Part-Time Profit, where she teaches overworked moms how to streamline their new businesses so they can scale without a team.