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Fun Romantic Ideas: How to be a Cheap Date

Updated on January 21, 2013
Couple walking beach at sunset
Couple walking beach at sunset | Source

Have you ever gone on a cheap date?

Have you ever had an inexpensive night out with your partner?

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Inexpensive Dates

First off, get your mind out of the gutter. Yes, my title claims to be teaching you the arts of being a cheap date, which is my aim here, but not in the sense that I am encouraging scandalous behavior. Going on cheap dates are great to keep the relationship going despite monetary setbacks or as a way of proving just how dedicated he/she is in the relationship no matter how much money is spent on them every time you two go out. They're also a great way to create lasting memories and just plain have fun in the simplest ways possible.

Just because you can't afford to go out on a date, doesn't mean a romantic night out is impossible. I personally have enjoyed my cheap dates out with my boyfriend just as much as the ones that he really spent money on. They have been great ways to be creative together and to bring us closer with experiences only the two of us really have. The more creative you are with how you save money on your romantic night out, the more fun you are most likely to be. The key to a successful cheap date is that balance between frugality and sufficient entertainment that isn't always easy to come by.

So, if you're looking for something new for your next romantic night out together or just trying to save a little cash while still not losing your time with your partner, then go no further. My five dating ideas below should help give you the inspiration to come up with your own inexpensive dates in no time.

Couple holding hands
Couple holding hands | Source

Quick Tip for a Cheap Date

If your partner is willing, share a meal at a restaurant rather than ordering your own plates full of food. Most restaurants will kindly split the plates for you into two equal servings on separate dishes. This will cut your bill almost in half.

Have you ever taken someone out on a cheap date?

Have you ever been the one who came up with an inexpensive night out?

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Ideas for a Date Night

Idea #1: Blindfolded Golf and Some Micky D's

One of the first dates my boyfriend and I went on almost three years ago now only cost him about $15. He picked me up, as usual, and, about halfway to our destination, told me ,"Lisa, I have only $10 in my pocket. Let's see how much fun that buys us." Turns out, that $10 bought us a game of mini golf at the bowling alley and a meal at the McDonald's next door.

During mini golf, we used my scarf to cover our eyes as we each took turns trying to make the next hole. We were the only people there at the most run down bowling alley I've ever been to (which is saying something since my dad is an avid bowler and took my siblings and I to every game growing up) which only made it even more fun as we laughed and poked fun at each other.

Leaving the alley with just a couple of bucks left and a couple of hungry stomachs, we couldn't have chosen a better place for two cheap cheeseburgers and a coke to share. Not the healthiest of dinners, but, we were delighted to use the entire $10 and still have as much fun as we'd had on any other date thus far.

Idea #2: Take a Hike

Another cheap date we've taken was on Thanksgiving one year when we drove out to to Olympic Mountains and camped in the snow. We were the only ones stupid enough to go out there so we were by ourselves, which made it even more special.

Going hiking or camping doesn't take up as much money as it does time; which is time well spent, as long as it's with the one you love, right? The best part about hiking is you don't have to wear anything fancy and you can spend hours together enjoying nature and sharing in that victorious moment when you reach the top.

Idea #3: Go on a Road-trip

Yes, road-trips can be expensive. However, it is possible to just drive a couple of hours out to a town you've never been to before and count that as as road-trip, rather than spending hundreds driving across country. My boyfriend and I enjoy visiting older, smaller towns and perusing whatever antique shops or other interesting stores we find (especially book stores, in my case). You never know what you can find when you just get out there and drive. Even if you come home empty handed, you're bound to have a story or two to talk about.

The last road trip we went on, was a drive about two or three hours north of where we lived to a town with a closed down insane asylum that is supposedly haunted. We got there, only to discover that we could not get onto the property but still had fun the whole drive there just talking about it. If you only enjoy those road-trips across country, perhaps just planning one and saving up will suffice for a date night for now.

Idea #4: Take a Walk

Going out for a nice walk in good or even bad weather can be fun. These are especially fun in the snow when you can go sledding or have a snowball fight. If you have dogs, this is a great way to include them in your time together while you all get some exercise.

Another activity you can do is go check out different parts of town you've never been to or check out some local historical walking tours. Usually these tours are free and the history will never fail for conversation later.

Idea #5: Bad/Cheesy Movie Night

My boyfriend, as well as many of my friends, enjoys bad/cheesy movies as much as I do. By "bad" and "cheesy," I mean those movies that are so horrible they are hilarious or so cheesy you just can't take them seriously no matter how hard they try. These movies are great for just enjoying a night in together with lots of laughs. Don't forget the popcorn!

© 2012 LisaKoski


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bowled many a game there. I was a North End boy so I hung out there quite often. :)

    • LisaKoski profile image

      LisaKoski 5 years ago from WA

      I almost went to UPS. PLU had the Publishing Arts program though so I went with them instead. The bowling alley date was at Tower Lanes.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't think I noticed before that you went to PLU....I'm a Tacoma boy and got my teaching degree from UPS. Where was the bowling alley on that date? I used to bowl in leagues for years.

      Anyway, fun hub and I think the cheap ones are every bit as fun as the expensive ones.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      My husband always and still says that I am a cheap date. I just find being at home or going to the local dive for good food to be much more fun than an expensive restaurant.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I agree with Shiningirisheyes, the first line made me smile as well! I love the blindfolded minigolf idea, sounds cute!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You started me with a giggle which is always appreciated. Great hub providing wonderful economical ideas so badly needed in the current state of our country's situation.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. It has been my experience, it is the planning that makes a good date.

    • Armchair Builder profile image

      Michael Luckado 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Some great ideas Lisa. You don't have to spend a fortune to have real fun!