Whether you’re casually seeing people or in a serious relationship, going out on dates can get pretty pricey. And as young people, we have so many other expenses to worry about. So, how do you balance having a good time while sticking to a budget? Let me share with you some of my favorite budget-friendly date ideas!
Homemade Pizza And Movie Night
I love this one. My boyfriend (Matt) and I have recently been trying to save up some money, and we’ve realized that we spend far too much money on food and alcohol when we go out. I mean think about it, you have 2 beers each and your bill is already $25, which doesn’t even include food. And let’s be real, 2 beers each is on the low side… Don’t get me wrong, we still go out on the weekends, but every once in a while we like to stay in and save some money. Homemade pizzas are so much fun to make and they’re incredibly inexpensive.
All you need to do is buy the dough (we buy premade dough or use English muffins), sauce (which you probably already have in your pantry), cheese and whatever extra toppings you might want. Next up is the fun part: building your pizzas! This is great for Matt and I because we get to customize our pizzas. He LOVES cheese, and I would rather have more sauce on my pizza and less cheese (weird, I know). By making our own pizzas, we each get exactly what we want! And of course, no date night is complete without some wine and a good movie.
Hike And A Picnic
For all my outdoorsy people out there, this one’s for you. When the weather is nice, there is nothing better than getting outside and exploring the beauty of nature. This is one of Matt and I’s favorite things to do, especially since we have dogs. It allows us to get outside, get some exercise and spend time with each other and our fur babies. Brody and Cali LOVE going on hikes. If you live near lakes or rivers like we do, I would recommend bringing a hammock and setting up a mini campsite along the water. We do this all the time in the summer and it’s my absolute favorite. We usually pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, and hang out by the river for a few hours. It costs nearly nothing, and it’s a great place to relax and catch up on life together.
Listen To Live Music
Concerts can be really expensive, depending on who you want to see. I once spent over $100 for a Taylor Swift concert so I could sit in the nosebleed section… Those days are over for me. I’ve discovered that it’s not necessarily who I go see, it’s the atmosphere of live music that I really love. With that being said, you can find live music nearly anywhere. Bars typically have bands or solo artists come out and play, and since most of these people are just trying to get their music heard, it’s always free! You can also find smaller concert venues that get up and coming artists to play for a cheaper price. Last year, Matt and I saw the country artist, Frankie Ballard, play at a tiny music venue 10 minutes from our apartment. The tickets cost $20 each and we had an amazing time. Funny enough, we actually met Frankie and his band after the show at a bar we went to. That would never happen at a Taylor Swift concert….
Go For A Run Together
You probably think I’m crazy for suggesting this, especially if you’re just casually dating. And I’m the first to admit that the thought of going for a run right now makes my stomach turn. However, it’s great exercise and it’s a great bonding experience. I probably wouldn’t recommend this for brand new relationships, though. I mean, there’s a certain comfort level that needs to be reached before you’re willing to sweat profusely and dry heave in front of him/her.
I remember the first time I went for a run with Matt. I wanted to impress him naturally, so I went really hard for the first mile… Bad idea. By mile 2 I was DYING! Luckily, he’s a good guy and helped me along. If you decide that a run sounds like a fun date idea, here’s a piece of advice: don’t try to be a hero. Take it slow and just enjoy each other’s company and the great outdoors!
Day Trip To The Beach
Ahh summertime. If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, day trips are the best! Living in NJ, we have several beaches within a few hours from us. You can set aside a certain day of the week to make the 2 hour drive to the beach, and have yourselves a nice day in the sun. Bring your own drinks and snacks so you don’t have to buy the overpriced boardwalk food, read a good book or take a nap! If you’re the kind of person that can’t sit still (Matt totally is), than bring a frisbee or a boogie board for some extra entertainment.
Yahtzee!!!! Games, no matter what kind, always end up being so much fun, and it’s a great way to spend time with your significant other without having to break the bank. Matt and I have been on a Grand Theft Auto kick for the past month or so. I was never big into video games (I’m still not), but sometimes it’s fun to switch things up. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun playing video games with him, and we’ve found that it’s a great way to entertain ourselves on a low key Friday night. We also love to play card games. We usually turn those card games into some kind of a drinking game, which makes it that much more fun!
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you try any of these date ideas!