Date Ideas For When You’re Broke & Still Want To Have Fun

Date Ideas For When You’re Broke & Still Want To Have Fun ¬©iStock/AleksandarNakic

Times are tough, kids. Money is tight and dating is expensive, especially now that you’ve got bills to pay. While elaborate and expensive dates shouldn’t be required to be happy in your relationship, you do want to keep things fresh. Here are a few date night ideas when you’re pinching pennies but still want to have fun:

  1. Wine night. I LOVE wine — red, white, rosé, you name it. Luckily, you can pick up a bottle at the liquor store for as low as $7 (sometimes less, if you live near a Trader Joe’s). Good wine doesn’t have to be pricey. Go to the store, pick up a few bottles, and stay in while sipping on some Pinot Noir with your man.
  2. Christmas lights sightseeing. With the holidays upon us and the winter months coming up, this simple date night idea is perfect. This was my favorite tradition as a kid. Put on some comfy clothes, grab a couple of hot chocolates, and drive through neighborhoods and look at the displays of lights on people’s houses. It’s romantic and seasonal!
  3. Netflix and chill. Need I say more? This takes on a new meaning when you’re actually in a committed relationship, and it can be a whole lot of fun.
  4. Board game night. Pull out Monopoly, Yahtzee, Candy Land, Trouble, or even a deck of cards and have at it. There’s nothing wrong with some friendly competition.
  5. Hiking/nature walking. Becoming one with nature with your other half is an awesome experience. Pack some sandwiches, a few water bottles, some bug spray, and go exploring before the weather gets too cold. You’ll get your blood pumping and your heart rate up while taking in some fresh air with your other half. What’s better?
  6. Picnicking in the park.  Again, hit the outdoors and grab a blanket and some snacks and spend the afternoon in the park. Spend the day chatting and people watching, which is always basis for some amazing conversation.
  7. Mystery drives. My favorite date ever has to be what I call “mystery drives”. You hop in the car and just start driving, not knowing where you’ll end up but going where you feel like going. If you’re adventurous, this is for you.
  8. Sledding. Nothing says childhood fun like sledding. Race him down the hill, squeeze on a tiny sleigh together, or even have a snow ball fight. Of course, this only works if you live somewhere there happens to be snow, and if you do, take advantage of it!
  9. Cooking dinner together. MUCH cheaper than dining out and much more fun. Cooking together in the kitchen is a fun bonding experience with a yummy outcome.
Shelby is a New England girl who loves mimosas, edamame, new bras, and her Yorkie, Jack.