Cheap Date Ideas

Back when Michael and I had more money and less debt, we LOVED going on dates all the time, but because of our current economic situation and our mission to get out of debt, dates have definitely been slightly fewer in recent months.

However, I still think dating is really important, even if you’re already married. So lately, Michael and I have been finding less expensive ways to enjoy a nice date together, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a few of these date ideas with you!

  1. Go people-watching. I swear, one of my favorite dates is to head down to Knoxville’s Market Square on a nice day with Michael, grab a Misto from Rita’s Italian Ice, and sit in the middle of the Square people-watching. It costs us about $7, and it really is endless fun!
  2. Go geocaching. One thing Michael and I recently got into is geocaching. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s really simple to get started. You can use any GPS device. We use one of our phones and the c:geo app. Then, you choose caches on the device and go out and find them. Usually, there’s a little container with a scroll in it, where you can sign your name, but sometimes there are also little trinkets (take one, leave one). In Knoxville, caches are hidden all over town. It’s actually amazing how many people play!
  3. Find free events. So this might not be one you can do everyday, but you might be surprised at how many free events happen around your town. Just search for a local event calendar. In Knoxville, we have a monthly event, First Friday, which proves to be a great, free date night. Basically, all the downtown businesses open their doors,  provide wine and snacks and often feature local art for attendees to look at.
  4. Make a nice dinner at home. Going out to dinner can get really expensive, so why not make a nice dinner together at home? Light candles, drink wine, the whole nine yards. Plus, if you cook together, this is also a really great bonding experience and costs a fraction of what you’d pay at a restaurant.
  5. Go out for dessert. After your cheap dinner at home, go on a dessert date. Personally, Michael and I LOVE to go out for ice cream. It allows us to get some time out of the house and feel like we’re out on a date, yet it costs us under $10. Plus, I love some frozen yogurt!
  6. Find a dollar movie theater. Until recently, I completely forgot that Knoxville has a $2 movie theater, but it’s really proven to be a great date location. Plus, on Tuesday, they offer discounted pop corn, soda, etc. So unlike paying $30 for a movie night at the normal theater, we’re able to have a great date for about $10. Of course, I don’t know that every city has one of these, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to look!

What other cheap date ideas do you have?

[Image by cmu chem prof]

About Nicole Denton

With a love of planning just about anything — from her own wedding, to bridal and baby showers, to dinner parties, and more – Nicole is the Plunge Project’s founder and former editor-in-chief. A New Jersey native, Nicole has called Chandler, Arizona home since 2013, where she currently lives with her husband Michael; two pit bulls, Shelby and Link; and cat, Kity Perry. A University of Tennessee graduate, Nicole has a bachelors in communications and a career at a rapidly-growing digital marketing firm.

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