Best Cheap Date Ideas for a Fun and Fiscally Savvy Date Night

by Taylor Haahr on February 19, 2019 · 0 comments

best cheap date ideas

If you’re anything like me, you’d prefer to keep your date nights low-key and fiscally savvy. With that in mind, I thought I would write up some of my favorite cost-conscious date ideas for you and your significant other on any occasion that you’re looking for a cheap date idea.

Hit Up a Happy Hour

Cheap food, cheap booze? Sold.

Happy hour is my recommendation for almost any dinner that occurs outside the house (where all of the participants are above the legal drinking age). Drinks with the girls? Happy hour. Dinner with mom when she’s in town? Happy hour. Catching up with the brother? Happy hour (preferably with chicken wings)… you get the point.

Happy hour is a great option particularly for cheap date ideas because not only does it mean cheap food and drinks, but it gives you a specific cut off time, so you don’t ruin your morning wake up routine by staying out too late.

That said if you’re a night owl that’s looking for more of a late night try a late night happy hour. Typically you have to hit these during the week, but around 9 pm if you want to stop in for a quick bite to eat and a drink, it can be a great way to spend a date.

Netflix & Dinner

If you’re itching for dinner and a movie but aren’t excited to face the crowds or line-ups, then why not have date night at home?

A traditional “cheap” dinner and a movie combination out on the town probably sits somewhere between $100 and $200, depending on how lavish you decide to go. But the home version you can do for under $50 (depending on where you order from).

Trade in the $50 at the cinema for two movie tickets and snacks for microwave or stove-top popcorn, a bottle of wine and a free flick on Netflix. Cost? Maybe $25. You can make it $30 if you want to spring for renting the latest flick.

Trade in the Fancy for Community Theatre

If live theatre is more of your jam, but you wince at the cost of professional theatre tickets, then this idea is for you. While there are ways to get discount tickets for your local professional theatre — such as getting opening night (or in some cases pre-opening night) or preview tickets which are usually at a discount  — you can also see live shows at a lower cost by hitting up your local community theatre.

Last June I took two of my girlfriends out to a local improv show done by a local troupe called “Improvised Clue” for a grand total cost of $30 (after which we promptly hit up a happy hour, so a night on the town for three… $100) and we had a blast! The show was an hour and a bit and featured local artists who were 100 percent passionate about what they were doing. Plus we got to see live theatre for way cheaper than we typically would.

All-in-all you get an enjoyable night out, and you support local art, which in this writer’s humble opinion is incredibly important. Other cheap theatre options include local high school or college productions or smaller-scale theatre groups.

Double-Date With Some Board Games

Every time I talk about cheap date ideas, I always recommend board games. I think this is mostly because I love board games and don’t feel I play enough of them (note to self). Board games are great group dates because not only is it a fun activity, but you can also show off your competitive side!

Granted, you don’t have to have another couple (or couples) to hold a board game night, there are plenty of board games (and card games) that only require two people to play. Or if you want to play a game like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity just make up a ghost character, we typically call ours Jack… and he almost always wins. The idea being every time you start a new round throw in a random card as your competition card.

Other Cheap Date Ideas

While those four are my favorite cheap date ideas, here are a few more things you could consider doing:

  • Take a cooking class (preferably a discounted one)
  • Create a couples book club that includes just the two of you (this is basically just reading the same book and talking about it — bonus points for reading it together)
  • Take a dance class (also preferably a discounted one)
  • Hit up an art gallery opening (free cheese, anyone?)
  • Go open housing and pick out your dream house!
  • Hit up garage sales (if you have the patience for that kind of thing)

What are your favorite cheap date ideas? Share them in the comments below!

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