Top 5 Budget Date Ideas

2008 September 12
by Kyle Bumpus
from → Frugality

Dating can get expensive if you’re the type who insists on always paying for your date (I’m not, but hey, whatever floats your boat!). But who says frugal and romantic are mutually exclusive?  Of course, it goes without saying that you actually need to find a date first.  If you’re still dateless, bookmark this page and head over to  Now that you’ve cleared that hurdle, ere are my top 5 budget date ideas for a great time without coming off like a cheapskate.

  1. Check Your City’s Event Calendar – Most city’s have free events scheduled weekly during the summer months and beyond, depending on the local climate. These can include concerts, plays, improv shows, and movie screenings. Just this week, I attended a free improv comedy show in Piedmont park. A cheap bottle of wine, some cheese, and a blanket makes for a fun, affordable evening. Or you can skip the cheese and buy more wine.
  2. Picnic In The Park – Same basic idea as above, but this time without the free organized entertainment. Don’t fret, though, because making snarky comments about how ugly the guy doing laps around the park’s shoes are is a great bonding experience. Of course, for this to work it helps if you’re not incredibly boring. If you are, stick to the option above.
  3. Hiking – This is a great opportunity to show off your rugged manliness and if your date just happens to be a bit over-weight, struggling up the side of a mountain can serve as a subtle hint they need to start working out more. Also, sweat really gets those pheromones flowing.
  4. Take a Brewery Or Winery Tour – Are you an aspiring alcoholic without the funds to make your dream come true? Local breweries usually have tours and free/discounted samples of the merchandise. Many micro-breweries also throw weekly parties with live bands and sometimes cheap food. My personal favorite is the Sweetwater Brewery tour, where you get six drinks and a beer glass to take home for $8. I usually don’t go on the actual tour, though. If you want a more laid-back date and live in a place where the weather doesn’t suck, you can check out a local winery tour. Bonus points if you know which type of grape Chardonnay is made with.
  5. Take a Free Dance Class – Women love to dance, so what better way to show them a good time than take them dancing? It’s ok if you don’t know how, because many clubs hold free dance lessons early evenings during the week in an effort to get people out on an otherwise slow night. Why not impress your date by taking salsa lessons with her at 8 followed by a real-world application at 10 when the club starts to fill up? As an added bonus, you can skip your morning workout that day because you’ll be exhausted after 4 hours of dancing.

This post was featured in the 171th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Sound Money Matters.

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4 Responses
  1. 2008 September 14

    cheap date nights…

    Date ideas that cost ya $30 or less.

  2. 2008 September 15

    I love the ideas.

    One of my favorites was to go to this funky shop called Archie McPhees that has all sorts of random crap: rubber chickens, voodoo doll kits, all sorts of strange crap. The guy and I would just wander and laugh. No money spent and I got to see what his sense of humor was like.

    Also, a lot of museums have free days. Here in Seattle, the art museum is free the first Thursday of each month. Also, plays tend to have a “run-thru” night where it’s pay-what-you-can.

  3. 2008 September 17

    Well, between this post and one other about frugal dating, I compiled my own list. I’d love if you could check it out and see if I missed anything

  4. 2008 December 20

    Would it be crass of me to suggest finding a sunny park bench, snuggling up and letting nature take its course? :)

    Okay, perhaps that’s better for a second date.

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