From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget


I'm happy to say that I'm a cheap date. I don't mean that I have a low tolerance for alcohol, but that I'm happy doing free or cheap things in the company of someone I enjoy. Sure, sometimes I enjoy a fancy date as well — putting on a dress, getting a nice meal, and so on...especially if it's done in a frugal fashion.

If you're looking for date ideas on a budget, open up your wallet, see what you've got (and want) to spend, and find something to do in the appropriate category below. And remember, the costs of these dates are estimates and might vary from city-to-city. (See also: Classy Dating on a Budget)

$0 Date Ideas

  • Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride.
  • Introduce each other to your favorite music.
  • Go to an author reading at a library or bookstore.
  • Offer to babysit a friend's child together (if you don't have one of your own, that is).
  • Make up a walking tour and play tour guide for your date.
  • Volunteer.
  • Go on a brewery tour.
  • Teach your date a skill or one of your favorite hobbies.
  • Sit in a park and people watch.
  • Check out shows or lectures at a local college; many list events open to the public on their websites.

$5 Date Ideas

  • Go get ice cream.
  • Visit a museum that suggests a $2 donation for entry.
  • Go sledding, then get a mug of cocoa.
  • Buy a used book — serious, silly, whatever — and take turns reading to each other.
  • Have an at-home movie night complete with indulgent snacks like popcorn and candy.
  • Meet for coffee or tea.
  • Go back to film — buy a disposable camera and fill it up.
  • Make s'mores (if you can sit around a campfire, even better!).
  • Have a game night with just card or dice games.
  • Visit a cupcake shop — or make some yourselves!

$10 Date Ideas

  • Pack some good sandwiches and sweets, and go for a picnic hike.
  • Visit a farmers market, buy ingredients, and cook a meal.
  • Play pool or darts.
  • Pick your own fruit (be careful how much you pick, though — this could get pricey!).
  • Buy and put together a puzzle.
  • Go to a show at a coffee shop.
  • Go to yard sales or thrift shopping (and buy silly gifts for each other).
  • Enjoy an inexpensive bottle of wine.
  • Do a morning date with bagels and coffee.
  • Indulge in milkshakes and fries.

$20 Date Ideas

  • Go to the movies.
  • Go ice skating or roller skating.
  • Instead of going out for dinner, just have drinks and share a dessert.
  • See a local band.
  • Attend open mic night at a comedy club (the cost is usually a two-drink minimum).
  • Go bowling.
  • Get tickets for a not-as-popular professional sport like lacrosse.
  • Visit a county fair.
  • Host a double-date dinner party.
  • Take a guided tour.

$30+ Date Ideas

  • Get two standing-room-only or nosebleed tickets for a professional sports game.
  • Go rock climbing at an indoor rock gym.
  • Drive to a nearby town you aren't very familiar with, get lunch, and explore.
  • Enjoy a fixed-price meal (many restaurants offer $20 fixed-price menus on off days).
  • Get a Groupon to try a nice restaurant.
  • Savor some fancy, well-made cocktails.
  • Go camping for a couple of days.
  • Take a class.
  • Buy a new video game you can enjoy together.
  • Go canoeing, try surfing, or do something else adventurous.

What budget date ideas did I miss? Share in the comments!

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Guest's picture

The $30.00 + date ideas are great! I hadn't thought of using Groupon in order to have dinner at a nice restaurant, that's a fantastic tip! Thanks for sharing.

You could also try this website for some other ideas:

Guest's picture

Great ideas! Me and my boyfriend are tired of doing the same thing every weekend. I'll mention the things in this article to him!

I love Groupon because they offer many things on this list at a very low price. They have rock climbing, movies and so on, for so cheap!

Guest's picture

To get a different scenery get a hotel room. I need ideas for a guy work 2 to 3 jobs who won't fall asleep on a date because he's too tired to do anything. Dinner & a movie don't work. I could only think of the hotel. The picnic & sports idea sound great.

Guest's picture

You could also go to the different factory tours near you. I have been to several cheese making tours, the jelly belly tour and we have an olive mill tour we still want to see.

Also, going to one of those paint your own pottery places can be fun too.