25 Cheap Dates for Every Couple


A couple things inspired me to write this article.  One was that I date the most beautiful and incredible girl in the world.  Since we’re both pretty frugal, we try to stay creative and go on dates that are both fun and affordable.  And second, I think a majority of people have been hit hard in this down economy.  Couples need to spend quality time with each other despite the terrible economy.  It doesn’t have to cost much!

I’ve compiled 25 cheap dates.  I’m making it my goal to do each one of these someday!  Enjoy.

1-Thrift Shop. Second hand shops are a blast.  Take turns trying on various outfits and make a joke out of it.  Pink t-shirt and lime yellow skinny jeans?  I think so!

2-Night Market. You know the saying, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.”  This is so true for night or flea markets.  I guarantee you’ll get a few laughs on this date.  I recommend this for a casual Saturday evening.  It’s a good opportunity to learn a little more about your date or significant other.

3-Update Your Man Pad. Yes, it takes some guts to let a girl into your “domain” but chances are, your room needs some updating!  It can be as simple as having her rearrange furniture around. Have some fun on this date.  Go into it with an open mind. Most likely, she will be impressed that you’re asking her for her advice.

4-Go Explore a New City. Find a nearby city and go be tourists together. Go into it as total “outsiders.” Bring a shoot and snap camera and take lots of pictures!  If one of you is an  extrovert, go ahead and ask shop owners and passer-byes for good places to sight see or eat.  Small towns, beach fronts, or any tourist centered town will work for this!

5-Hit up a Garage Sale. This is an easy one to plan.  You can either just drive around your neighborhood or can check your local newspaper for garage sales.  Make it a competition and see who can find the coolest item.  This activity can easily last a couple hours.

6-Cook Together! This is a fun one.  Go out to the grocery store and buy a couple items for dinner.  Head home and cook it all up together!  Throw on some music for a romantic evening.  You can take turns cooking for each other over a couple weekends too.  This is a great way to try out new dishes and see what each other are capable of cooking up.

7-Netflix Night. I pay $10 a month for unlimited Netflix rentals and thousands of free streaming movies online.  This date is as easy as finding a couch to lounge on and enjoying some movie time together.  Grab some popcorn and diet soda!

8-Go for a Hike. This is pretty much free.  It’s also a great way to test your date’s ruggedness.  I like this for distraction-free time with your date.  It’s an awesome time to enjoy the beauty of nature and get some quality talk in.

9-Drive in Movie Theater. Here in San Diego, they have a pretty well known drive-in movie theater.  It’s $9 to get in.  Grab some blankets and enjoy a blockbuster hit together.

10-Fun in the Snow! This is something that will be geographic dependent. If you’re like me and live somewhere hot, this is impossible.  Hopefully , your significant other lives somewhere where it’s cold!  You can do so many things in the snow.  Snow ball fights, snowman building, or sledding, it’s all a blast when it’s snowing!  Even a quiet walk down a snowy neighborhood can be relaxing/romantic.

11-Fly a Kite. This one doesn’t have to be romantic, it’s more of a fun relaxing date together.  Go to a nearby park or beach front and fly a kite together!  You can top this off with a lunch and a long walk.  Kites are dirt cheap and easy to find at your local hobby shop. Who knows, kite flying might be your new hobby!

12-Outdoor Show. This date idea is awesome for warmer climates.  I don’t know about you but I love fresh air, relaxing on some grass and watching a band play.  It’s also really fun to people watch at outdoor shows.  Gab some fresh lemonade and you got yourself a great date in the sun.

13-Art Show. This one I have yet to do.  If you’re into art, art shows would be a great way to get your creative juices flowing.  Entry fees are  decently  cheap and parking is usually free.  If you;re like me and can;t stand the art scene, you can make a joke out of it ad pretend to be very serious art gallery enthusiasts.  This is sure to get some good laughs out of it.

14-Pool/Darts. Find your local pub or sports bar and shoot some pool.  All it takes is a couple quarters and you have yourself a couple ours of competition driven fun together.  Grab some soda or beer and you’re in for a fun night.  Challenge other couples around you if you feel the urge.  It’s game time!

15-Used Book Store. This date idea is FREE!  Head down to your local used book store and explore the endless rows of books!  Make it a game and see who can find the most interesting or wacky book.

16-Volunteer Together. This is a great way to see how each other react doing something unselfish.  Watch each other’s attitudes and orbserve one another.  It can also be a great bonding experience knowing you helped make people’s lives better, doing it together.

17-Test Drive. Go to your local auto dealership and test drive some dream cars.  I’ve done this by myself but can only imagine how much fun it would be to do it with my date.  Go ahead, take that corvette out for spin, you won’t regret it.

18-Coffee Shop. This is my all time favorite date with my girlfriend.  We enjoy going to Starbucks together and getting our favorite drinks.  We then like to sit with each other and talk.  Trust me, this date can turn into multiple hours.  It’s a blast and a great way to get away and relax with one another for a reasonable price.  Also, you might want to explore new coffee shops in your town and turn it into an adventure.

19-Bowling. Ahh, bowling, the stereotypical date!  It definitely  doesn’t  have to be.  Change up the rules or make bets with who will score higher.  Bowling is cheap and is  guaranteed  to be a blast every time you go. Once in a while you might want to try midnight bowling for a new and exciting bowling experience.

20-Driving Range. Who’s really good at golf?  I know I’m not!  But that’s not a reason not to head over to a driving range.  There’s nothing like smacking a golf ball 200 yards and seeing it fly through the air.  Grab an extra large bucket and share it.  This date is sure to give you laughs and will make for a memorable experience.

21-Library Date. Libraries are amazing resources that people take for granted. Everything is free to take out, including music and movies.  You can take it to the next step and see if you can last 30 minutes without using words to communicate.  I know for me, this would be tough!  Go ahead, let your inner nerd out!

22-Scenic Drive. A little gas money and you two are on your way.  Go somewhere new, preferably in a hilly area with a view.  Make it your goal to make it to the top on the road.  This is a fun and adventurous date.  No flies, bugs, or creepy crawlies.  you you, your date and your car.  Roll down the windows and take in the beauty during the drive.

23-Picnic. Ok, yes you’ve heard this one before, but who doesn’t like a picnic! Plan it out and pack all your food.  heck, pack a bottle of wine and turn up the romance if you want.  Just get out to a quiet part of a park and relax with one another.

24-Batting Cages. I’m a baseball player myself, so i’m excited about this date any day of the week. Rent a bat and two helmets and you;r ready to hit the cages!  Help one another with form and see how many balls you can hit.  Save a round for a competition between you two and see who can hit the most.  Swing batter batter!

25-Personal Photo-shoot! Who needs professionals when you have your own camera!  Dress up and take pictures with one another.  Make it fun and spontaneous.  You could even go outside of your home and take nature pictures.  You’ll be glad you took them.

So those are my top 25 recommendations for cheap date ideas.  There are tons more out there but I wanted to write up some ideas so you could take advantage of them.  If you have more ideas I’d love to hear from you!  Post in the comment section below.  Now that you have some new ideas for dates, there’s absolutely no excuse for running out of ideas!  Go have some frugal fun with your date this weekend.  You’ll have a blast and your wallet will thank you.


Where Do You Spend, and Where Do You Save?

Look, I’ll be the first one to admit, I’m not frugal in every aspect of my life.  There are times when I enjoy spending a little extra money (call it splurging).  Each one of us has different priorities, so where we spend extra money will be different for each of us.

Now, I want to back up for a second.  Before I allow myself to splurge in an area, I ask myself this first, “have I been diligently funding my retirement accounts?”  This and saving for an emergency fund are two top priorities for EVERYONE, no questions asked.  If you do these two things, then if you have money left over, feel free to spend it!  There isn’t a better feeling in the world than knowing you can spend some money guilt-free, knowing that you’ve done your due diligence in saving for retirement!

Saving money and being frugal needs to be in balance with your spending habits.  I compare this with a diet.  If you deprive yourself of all bad foods, you will most likely end up breaking the diet, and won’t be able to stick with it.  On the other hand, if you stick to a diet that has “cheat days” built in, you keep your sanity and stay with the diet indefinitely.

Here are some areas of my life where I splurge or save:

Cell Phone: SAVE

I’ve been on my parents family plan for years and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.  One may argue that I’m not acting like an independent adult.  If willingly throwing money out the door is being an adult, then I guess I’m not one!  I just see nothing wrong with staying on the family plan.  Also, I never buy expensive or fancy phones.  There are many websites who offer a wide selection of cheap cell phones.  I currently own an android smart phone that I purchased for $50 a year ago.  I plan on keeping this phone until I get another free upgrade from Sprint.  Also, I pay for very few minutes.  Since Sprint has unlimited text for $10/month, I try to text my friends as much as possible.  If I do have to talk on the phone, Imake sure it’s at night, therefore making it free.


I’ll be honest, I really like food!  And not just any food, it has to be good food!  I’m a recreational bodybuilder, so I’m very  conscious of the food I put into my body.  I try to buy free-range/organic eggs, milk and meat whenever I can.  I justify this because I rarely eat out.  I’m a big believer in investing in your body.  A healthy body is one of the most important assets you have.  You want to be alive and kicking during retirement right?!

Clothes: SAVE

I don’t buy into the designer fashion industry.  I stick with run of the mill brands at store like ROSS,  Marshall’s, Target and Macy’s.  Why pay extra for branding?  Maybe it’s because I’m a guy, who knows haha.  I just could care less about the brand.  Go ahead, scoff at my lack of fashion, we’ll see who’s driving the Ferrari 20 years from now!

Cable Internet: SPLURGE

I’m only considering this category a splurge for me because I have the fastest internet out there.  This is also dependent on my landlord.  I currently rent, so my options were to either have fast cable internet or no internet at all.  This is a pretty insignificant cost anyways…


Who has time to watch TV?  There’s not a lot of time left in the day after 12 hours at the office and two hours at the gym.  I don’t watch TV and I don’t own a  flat screen  either.  It’s just not that important to me.

Toiletries/Skin & Hair Care/Cosmetics: SAVE

Friend who know me will tell you I’m extremely cheap in this category.  I re-sharpen by  Gillette blades, and use the $1 bottles of Barbasol.  I use clippers to cut my own hair.  I buy bargain shampoo and use the cheapest toothpaste possible.  Some would argue that this is an area where you should splurge.  Well, my response would be that i get the same end-result using the cheaper products.

Travel: SAVE

I’ve seen the world thanks to my parents.  They were missionaries, so we were constantly moving around.  I’ve been to China, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Britain and Mexico.  I’d love to travel again someday, but right now it’s not a priority in my life.  The most traveling I do now is flying to see my beautiful girlfriend in Memphis and to see my family in Seattle.


I’m a guy, can you blame me!  I drive a 2004 Acura TL.  It was my dream car right out of college.  I paid a large portion of this car in cash, but also took out a loan.  I justified this loan because of the low interest rates (3%).  Believe it or not, I’m actually making more money having this loan.  The loan freed up some of my cash to invest in the stock market where I’m making significantly more than 3%.  I plan on keeping the TL for years to come, so to me, this is a great investment.

Insurance: SAVE

Why pay more for auto insurance?  The key here is to stay away from the big insurance companies like State Farm and Liberty Mutual.  your best bet is to stick with a local insurer where you live.  Also, I have a high deductible and every possible discount available.  i also don’t over-insure my car.  While it’s not at the bare minimum, my insurance is definitely on the lower end of plans out there.  To ensure I’m getting the best deal possible, i look around at other company’s rates once a year.

Entertainment: SAVE

I never go out to movies.  I have a monthly Netflix subscription and watch HULU for free.

Now, what about you?  What areas do you save or splurge?