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Eight Cheap Date on a Budget Ideas That Don’t Break The Bank

I told you all about the first time I had to deal with the end of a serious relationship and how to get over heartbreak and move on. Then, more recently, I told you about my reflections on whether I am more like Barney or Ted. After any relationship ends, you have to move on to the next one. Here are my tips on starting a new relationship without breaking the bank.

In my most recent relationship and when dating, I knew it was important to get to know each other better, spend time together, have fun, and not blow all of my money. As much as I would love to go to the Capital Grille and sushi every night, I know that is not realistic. Here are eight ideas for going out without going broke:

How I Met Your Mother Nights

Yes, I got in two references to How I Met Your Mother in one post. I have Netflix streaming on my Roku and Xbox. What is more romantic (girls love this stuff) than cuddling on the couch watching Ted on the journey to find Mrs. Right?

What’s better, Netflix has lots of shows. Whether you are both nerds (Star Trek) or action junkies (MacGyver!), you can surely find a fun way to spend time together at home for almost nothing.


Here is a tip to any guy in a relationship, girls love “just because” flowers. Seriously. You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to buy overpriced roses. On a Wednesday night, head to the grocery store on the way over and pick up a $5 bouquet. This will score you major points and make her super happy.


I know I just said dinner can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I recently cooked a great salmon dinner with garlic green beans and wild rice for about $15. That is much cheaper than a fancy restaurant and gives you a great chance to spend time together.

For a bonus, pick a meal to cook together. Cooking together is a lot of fun, gives you time to talk, joke around, and eat something delicious as long as you don’t burn it.


A few months back we had a beautiful November day, so I decided to ask a romantic interest if she was interested in going on a walk. We walked a little less than two miles around a local park.

If you don’t have any parks nearby, you can hop in the car and head to a nearby state park or find a new part of town you want to explore. For example, we have an art district in Denver that I have never spent any time in. It could be a fun date idea.

Treasure Hunt

While we are not pirates, who would not want to go on a treasure hunt? I have done the treasure hunt date and it was amazing! Here is how it works:

First, you need to have a smart phone. Android or iOS works. Install the OpenCaching app from Garmin. It is 100% free. Open it up and find any nearby geocache locations. The app uses your GPS to help you find a hidden treasure.

A geocache is a hidden treasure for recreational treasure hunters. You can’t keep it, but you can take something from the stash if you leave something of equal or greater value for future hunters.

Dance Lessons

Within a ten minute drive of where I live I know of three places with weekly swing or salsa dance lessons. They all offer a free hour lesson with admission for the night. For $20, you can dance the night away and have fun learning the jitterbug in the process.

Include Your Date in Your Life

Chances are you are dating someone because you have something in common. The last girl I dated liked nights out on the town. So did I. We had a great time doing something we already did, so it didn’t cost us any more to go out to the bars on a Saturday night. We switched off buying drinks so the total cost wasn’t any more than a usual Saturday.

There are lots of local activities that I like to do anyway, and bringing along a girl does a lot to share what I enjoy and not spend too much. The Denver Cruiser ride is a local weekly bike ride I love. I plan to take a girl along this summer, as long as I have a girl to take.

Whatever you love to do, include your guy/gal for a low cost way to have fun.

Find Free or Cheap Stuff

The local zoo has free days every year. ScoutMob and Groupon give you great options to get cheap food or a fun activity. Also check out coupon books like Entertainment for more ideas and discounts.

How Do You Date on a Budget?

Whether you have been dating your sweetheart for a week or a decade, how do you date on a budget? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

Image by prayitno

10 thoughts on “Eight Cheap Date on a Budget Ideas That Don’t Break The Bank”

  1. Yes! Flowers! I don’t understand why so many men don’t understand this. But even better than flowers is dinner cooked by a man who knows how to cook. Mmm. 

    This problem isn’t the most romantic thing for a couple to do, but how about a friendly game of Scrabble? 

    1. Game nights are a lot of fun. I didn’t even think about that! I am not a huge Scrabble fan myself, but I do have another favorite…. Twister!

  2. Cooking together is always a winner.  My husband and I try to cook together at  least a couple of times a week.  What I’ve really wanted to go try out is salsa dancing!  Maybe he and I can try it out on our next date in a couple of weeks.  🙂

  3. Love the adventure stuff like geocaching. We do it as a family activity, but I never thought of it for a date. We did go on a (fake) rock climbing date once, that was a lot of fun.  We had a friend that worked at the place so we got a nice discount. 

    1. It sounds like you have an exciting family life Niki! Having adventures one on one is a great way to keep the spark going strong.

  4. Marina K. Villatoro

    Get a bottle of (cheap) wine, head to a park, or even better if you have access to a beach, and have a picnic. Get drunk, laugh a lot and enjoy nature! 

    It’s the best way to talk and simply enjoy being with one another. 

    1. The best place I ever did that was the base of the Eiffel Tower. Got a couple decent Bordeaux wines for about 5 Euro and sat in the park. Probably the most romantic thing I have ever done. It was super cheap, given we had to get to Paris.

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