If you and your significant other are feeling frustrated because of the rising costs of pretty much everything, you’re in the right place. We’ve got some frugal date night ideas here that will save you money while still bringing the fun.
Frugal Date Night Ideas
PRO TIP: Let’s start out with an important tip. It’s a great idea to check out sites like Groupon and look for deals on local venues and activities. I have found many really great deals on golfing, ballroom dancing, sip ‘n’ paint events, and
Learn something new.
Watch a TED Talk or Youtube video together and learn something new. Maybe this will even give you ideas for your next date night. Or at the very least, you’ll have something interesting to talk about.
You could learn to make a craft, cook a new recipe, learn how to make wine or brew beer, build something for your home – the possibilities are endless.
Make plans for the future.
This could be something you do once a quarter or at the beginning of a new year. Sit down and talk about your goals and plans for your future, including financial goals, career plans, ideas for your family, and so much more. It might even be when you go over your calendars together and ensure that plans are in place as needed. If you have kids, this might include school pickups, taking them to extracurricular activities, or even just plans for having fun together as a family. You could even plan out your vacations!
To make this a little more special, combine it with a trip to a coffee shop, trying out a new beverage together, having a picnic, or just serving up some of your favorite snacks.
Browse your local library.
Okay, this will likely only work if you both love books, but it can be a great way to spend an afternoon or evening together. Check out a new library you’ve never been to before to make it a more unique experience.
You can also look into the special events at your local library. Ours offers movies, jazz concerts, author visits, art workshops, and more. You can even check out movies, music, recreation kits (board games, gardening equipment, craft kits, etc,) and use those for your date night as well.
If you like to shop, you can go window shopping together. This is an especially good idea if you’re planning some renovations to your home or have other plans that require you to make purchases. Shop for new flooring, kitchen cabinets, living room furniture, and so on. This is only a budget-friendly idea if you are disciplined enough to look and not actually purchase!
Take a hike
Go on a leisurely walk around the neighborhood or take a more adventurous hike on some local trails. This is a great way to get some exercise and conversation at the same time.
Play a board game or do a jigsaw puzzle.
You need to have these already on hand or purchase them frugally. If this is something you like to do regularly, check out thrift stores, yard sales, or your local library to see if you can sign them out there.
Take a class together.
Our local parks and rec department offers really low cost classes for all ages. They even provide subsidies for those who can show proof of income lower than a designated amount. You could sign up for a class together and have a built-in date night every single week for anywhere from 4-10 weeks. They have one-time workshops available too.
Check out places like Michaels for craft classes, Home Depot for building or home improvement workshops, local kitchen stores for cooking classes, garden centers for gardening classes, and so on.
Have a campfire.
If your area allows this, it can be such a lovely way to spend some quiet time together. Another option, if available to you, is to sit in front of the fireplace. Make s’mores if you want or simply sit there and chat. Or enjoy the peace and quiet. Music is optional.
Go skating together.
In the winter, you may find local rinks that are free for public use at certain times. Pick up skates second-hand at a thrift store or local sporting goods shop if you don’t already have some. You can also often rent them at the rink for very little money.
The rest of the year, you could go roller skating together. Some cities still even have some of those retro roller rinks available. Again, many of them offer some free skate times or special deals making this economical. Find skates at a thrift shop or check out rentals.
Check your local area for any tours.
For example, in our city, we have a brewery that offers a factory tour and beer tasting for free. There are micro breweries and wineries that sometimes do the same – some are free and some are quite inexpensive.
The tours don’t have to be alcohol-related either. I’ve been on fun tours of pizza joints, cheese factories, flour mills, a restaurant that specializes in chocolate, and bakeries.
Take a scenic drive in the country.
If you find any small towns that look interesting, get out and take a stroll around. Or maybe you’ll come across some local scenery or a cafe that you want to check out.
Head to the local playground and embrace your inner child.
Swings, slides, monkey bars – there are so many options for fun there. Or take along and basketball and play some one-on-one.
Go on a picnic.
This can be as simple as spreading a blanket on the living room floor, turning down the lights, and having some snacks and beverages together. Or you can find a beautiful beach or park and take your picnic outdoors.
Whichever you choose, your picnic food doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Take along a simple dinner or lunch – just the experience of eating it outside together will make it special.
Have a dance party in your living room.
You don’t need to pay money and head out the club. Turn on your favorite tunes (you could even pick ones appropriate to when you first met for nostalgia’s sake) and dance away.
Go out for dessert.
Even if only ice cream! Have dinner at home and then head out for dessert for a much less expensive way of eating out.
Serve dinner by candlelight.
It could just be the same old dinner you had already planned to eat. There’s something about candlelight that inspires people to linger instead of rushing away from the table.
Head to a lake.
Bring along some food for the ducks and geese and enjoy some quiet time sitting on a bench feeding them.
You can lie down on a blanket in your backyard or head out to a quiet spot in the country where there’s less light pollution. Use binoculars or a telescope if you have one, but it’s not necessary for this to be a wonderful experience.
You could also Google “observatory” and your city name to see if you have an observatory in your area. Ours offers free nights open to the public during the summer or anytime if there’s a significant special astronomical event happening.
Have a night of pampering.
Give each other massages, facials, and even mani/pedis. You can find lots of “recipes” online for making your own beauty treatments.
Bake cookies together.
And then decorate them. During the holiday season, you could even make a gingerbread house together if you’re feeling ambitious. Sometimes they even make gingerbread house kits suitable for anytime of the year!
Rent a movie.
Or watch a favorite one together. Snuggle up, eat popcorn, and enjoy the experience!
Take a dance class together.
Studios like Fred Astaire often offer free dance classes as a trial session or you can purchase a set of 5 or 10 classes at a highly discounted rate. They also often hold dance nights where as a student you can attend and practice your dancing skills.
Go try out the newest food trend together.
This could mean picking up the new seasonal drinks just released by Starbucks or something like the Grimace shake from McDonalds. We have some local bakeries that release new cookie and cupcake flavors seasonally and these are another good option. Most of the time, these are single items that won’t break the bank and it’s fun to try out something new.
Head to a farmer’s market.
Or maybe you can find a roadside farm stand to purchase from. Pick up some produce or other items and make plans to incorporate them into a meal that week (or that night!). Consider buying something you’ve never tasted before.
Plan a scavenger hunt.
There are companies that provide these but they tend to be pricey. You might be able to score a deal on Groupon or you can just plan your own. Maybe this month, you plan one for your significant other and next month, they plan one for you.
Have a photo shoot.
Pretend you’re influencers and drive around town finding spots to take some interesting photos of each other. Be sure to take some selfies together too!
Go to a nearby museum.
We have an art museum here that offers free admission most days of the week. Check out the latest exhibit together and point out your favorites to learn a little something more about one another. We also have a pioneer village, museum all about radar, a military museum, one all about Frederick Banting, and one about medical history. Check out your local area and discover the options available to you.
Head to the local drive-in theater.
If you still have one in your area, check it out. Ours offers double features every night (for less than the cost of one movie at a regular theater) and on holiday weekends, they have triple or quadruple features. Some nights are priced per carload too so if you feel like going on a double date, this might be the way to go.
Go axe throwing.
Okay, hear me out. This is tons of fun! Yes, it can be expensive but, if you join a league, the price goes down considerably. And once again, this gives you a date night every week for 8 weeks.
Do some charity work together.
You could help out at the local food bank or community fridge and pantry, walk dogs at the pet shelter, or read with kids at the local library. There are many many options to choose from in most cities.