Cheap Date Night Ideas

Sometimes a girl just wants to have a date with her significant other.  However, there isn’t always enough room in the budget to cover the cost of dates.  Unless, of course, you find some cheap date night ideas.

cheap date night ideas

My husband and I are celebrating our 15 year anniversary this year.  It’s pretty exciting to hit this milestone, and so it got me thinking that this would be the perfect night to share some cheap date night ideas with you all.


Here’s a confession.  My husband and I rarely have had regular dates over the year.  This year is the first time we have a date every week because our 3 kids all go to the same kids program once a week, thus leaving us childless for 1.5 hours.  But up until now we’d have a date roughly every 6 months or so. That’s just where we were in our life.  It wasn’t easy to get a sitter.  We had high need children.  We had very little money. Unfortunately, date night can be expensive.  Not only can the actual date add up, but the cost of a babysitter on top of it can easily turn a date night into a hundred dollar night.

When the kids were younger we would sometimes have a date at home after the kids went to bed.  Something as simple as watching a movie was possible when the kids went to be at 7.  However, they are older now and bedtime is 9 o’clock.  I ain’t as young as I once was, and by 9 o’clock I am yawning and my brain is not functioning at full capacity any longer.

All that to say, date night will depend on where you are at in life.  Of course it’s important to date your spouse regularly if possible, but sometimes that just isn’t feasible.  You need to do what you can at the stage of life you are at.  Sometimes the only date you can get with your spouse is “doing life” together.  Dates might be doing running errands or doing dishes together.

I know this goes against what we are often taught when we have young kids.  However, I remember feeling the pressure of trying to get in dates with my husband because the “experts” told me my marriage might fail if I don’t.  In the end i felt frustrated and inadequate because I couldn’t make it work, and of course I worried it would have a detrimental affect on my marriage.  I didn’t really realize that we were just in a season of life that would one day pass.

If you are struggling to get date nights in with your spouse, I would just encourage you to make sure you are spending time together as a family in the meantime, while you wait for a chance to regularly have dates again.  Make sure you are not leading separate lives. Wherever you are in life, more than likely that won’t be forever and once again there will be a chance to go on dates again.  Make it a goal to have regular dates as soon as you can (whatever that looks like for you), but give yourself and your spouse some grace if you just can’t make it work right at this moment.

However, if it is money that is holding you back, these cheap date night ideas may be the thing you need to get you back on track.  A lot of the following ideas also would fall under simple date ideas because we are all about simple and frugal over here. 🙂  At least at my stage of life, simple date ideas go over well because there just isn’t time to complicate things when you have kids and a busy household.  Alot of these dates you can do right in the comfort of your own home, which, of course eliminates the need for a babysitter!


Rent a movie to watch together.

Play a board game.

Buy some (cheaper) wine and cheese to enjoy together.

Go for a trail walk.

Go out for coffee.

Go on a picnic.

Have a candlelight dinner at home.

Cook together.

Take a drive in the Country.

Find a geocache.

Go on a bike ride.

Drink hot chocolate by the wood stove or fireplace.

Go ice skating.

Go swimming.

Go for ice cream.

Binge watch your favorite TV series.

Slow dance in your kitchen.

Have a bonfire outside.

Attend a local free event.

Sit by a lake together and enjoy the quiet.

Attend local Movies in the Park.

Take in a sunset.

Cheap date ideas do exist!  You don’t have to give up date night just because you are living frugally.  Make a plan to spend some time with your significant other with these cheap date night ideas.  You could do a different one every week and this list could last you for months!

Did I miss any good cheap date night ideas that you think should be added to this list?

Related: Road Trip Essentials When Travelling with Kids



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