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Save Money on Your Next Date Fun and Inexpensive Date Ideas. Cheap Date!!

Updated on March 9, 2012

Breaking the Bank

Life is expensive. It seems that the price of everything has risen and risen and risen again this year. Gas is quickly approaching $5 a gallon (if it hasn't gotten there already) and the high cost of fuel is driving the cost of everything from food to clothing through the roof. In this economy people have to be extremely creative in order to get the most out of their every dollar.

So what's a person to do when they don't have a truckload of cash but want to plan a fun date? I've compiled a collection of creative, inexpensive date ideas that I hope will answer that question. Some of the ideas are original, some have been supplied by fellow hubbers and some have even been suggested by my fifth grade students! I hope you like this hub and find it helpful. If you have any other ideas please leave them as a comment.

My local Dollar Tree
My local Dollar Tree

Inexpensive dates start at The Dollar Tree

Every inexpensive date starts with a trip to your local dollar store. That being said it is important to note that not all dollar stores are created equal. Stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General offer a variety of items that cost anywhere from $1-$10. The Dollar Tree on the other hand is a TRUE dollar store. Everything in the store from dishes to paper towels to shampoo costs just a dollar. There are Dollar Tree stores in all 48 contiguous states and if you need to find one just use their websites quick store locator.

Before Your Date

Why not start your date off on the right foot and surprise your date with a few helium balloons from the Dollar Tree? You can get a really cute bouquet for less than $5. The balloons are the same ones you would pay twice as much for anywhere else and the helium keeps the balloons aloft for days. You can add candy if you choose to-the store has plenty of seasonal candy available as well as a large variety of candy that's available all of the time.

Pick up some toys to take to the park-there are a ton available at the Dollar Tree.
Pick up some toys to take to the park-there are a ton available at the Dollar Tree.

Outdoor Dates

When the weather is warm you and your date can have a fabulous time outdoors at a local park or beach. The trick to making the date memorable simply lies with a putting a little time in before hand. Pack your car with a blanket or foldable chairs to sit on as well as a small cooler then head off to your local Dollar Tree. Fill your cooler with water or drinks from the store and fill a bag with a variety of chips, crackers, and snacks for you and your date to munch on. Then visit the store's toy aisle and pick up some of these things to do while on your date:

  • Frisbees-who does't like to toss a Frisbee around with a friend?
  • Water Balls- on a hot day pick up a set of the fabric water balls. Soak them and keep them in the cooler for a fun and refreshing game of catch.
  • Kites- I loved to fly kites child. As an adult the activity is just as fun.
  • Bubbles-Sitting on a blanket blowing bubbles with someone you care about-what can be more relaxing?
  • Sidewalk Art- Pick up a variety of colored chalk and spend the afternoon with your date creating art on the sidewalks in the park. Be sure to pick take extra chalk because as soon as others see what you are doing they are going to want to join the fun.
  • Planting Flowers- Pick up packets of inexpensive flowers from the Dollar Tree and take them with you as you hike through the woods at your local park. Sprinkle the flowers along the way. On subsequent hikes you and your date can visit your own special "flower garden".

The Dollar Tree has the same candy and snacks that you can get at the movie theater for a fraction of the price.
The Dollar Tree has the same candy and snacks that you can get at the movie theater for a fraction of the price.

Inexpensive Indoor Dates

Movies: A premium movie ticket in the 1980's would set you back about $3. Zoom ahead to 2012 and that same ticket will cost you $13 in New York City and $10 in Dallas. Multiply that by 2, add drinks, popcorn, and candy and your Friday night movie date will cost you between $40 and $50! If you can't spend that much try these money saving date ideas:

See an early show: Typically movie prices rise after 5:00 so if you want to save some cash go to an early movie. Dollar movie theatres that show non-first run movies are another good option for saving money.

Take your own snacks: You can get the same exact snacks that the movie theatres sell for $5 a box at the Dollar Tree for $1. Visit the store before going to the movie and slip a few snacks into your purse or backpack.

Redbox: Another good way to save movie money is to have a "stay at home" date and rent a DVD from Redbox or Blockbuster. Add some microwave popcorn from the Dollar Tree and you will spend less than $5 for the entire experience.

Have a Movie Marathon: Plan the afternoon around a themed movie or television show marathon. You can buy or borrow boxed sets of television shows like: Breakout Kings, Law and Order, Glee and The Vampire Diaries. If you have premium subscriptions to cable networks you can also watch marathons of shows like: Weeds, Dexter, and Game of Thrones (my personal favorite).

Why not take your date to read at your local nursing home.
Why not take your date to read at your local nursing home.
Hank loves the idea of planning dates around helping animals.
Hank loves the idea of planning dates around helping animals.

Socially Conscious Dates That Won't Cost You Anyting

Why not spend time on your next date helping out others? Not only will you have fun and get to know your date better, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you spent your time making a difference in someone else's life. There are a myriad of great organizations that you and your date can help by volunteering your time, your creativitity, and your resources. Some socially conscious date ideas include:

Giving Blood: The Red Cross is always in need of blood donations especially type O. You and your date can actually help up to six people by spending a few hours on a "donation date".

Reading to the elderly:There are many people that are home-bound or in nursing homes that would love to have visitors. For your next date why not call up a local facility and volunteer to read to an individual or group of individuals? If reading isn't your cup of tea offer to play cards or dominoes with patients. Your initial "operation old-buddy date" could turn into regular and much appreciated future "dates" as well as friendships that could last a lifetime.

Walking the dog: If you and your date are animal lovers why not volunteer to help out at an animal shelter? Local ASPCA's and animal welfare groups have a myriad of things you can help with that include walking, feeding, showing, and tidying up after the animals in their care. You and your date can spend time bonding over caring for your new furry friends-its a win win situation.

I hope you find this hub helpful when it comes to planning your next date. Leave a comment about any date night ideas you may have.


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    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      You are a smart girl. I agree with you about the repayment issue.

    • Sarahhh666 profile image

      Sarahhh666 5 years ago from near Philly

      I don't like guys spending a lot of money on me on a date because then it's like they expect something in return. We have $5 movie nights on Tuesdays at a nearby theater. That works for me.

      I like to do things that are free like play cards and board games. Outdoor stuff is good too.

      I love Dollar Tree!