Free and Frugal Ideas For A ‘Cheap Date’

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A good date or date night doesn’t have to be expensive. Whilst eating out at a posh romantic restaurant can be lovely, things like that aren’t always in the budget!

The good news is there are plenty of free and frugal ways to enjoy quality time together – a cheap date doesn’t have to mean a bad date!

man and woman hugging in the snow

I’ve asked some other thrifty bloggers for their favourite cheap date ideas and put together a list of some of the best frugal but fun ways to spend a date with your partner.

#1 Have a Carpet Picnic

It might be freezing outside, but that doesn’t have to rule out the classic picnic date! It can be just as fun (and a bit cozier!) to have an indoor picnic instead.

Try a carpet picnic with picky bits or popcorn and prosecco and a film on the TV.

Catherine, Rock and roll Pussycat

#2 Get a Dine In Meal Deal

Sarah from Boorooandtiggertoo suggests getting a M&S Meal for Two. This is one of our favourites too, because it means we get to enjoy a lovely meal with wine, it’s very low effort to cook and it’s so much cheaper than going out to a restaurant and needing a babysitter.

If M&S isn’t convenient, other supermarkets like Tesco and ASDA offer meal deals too.

If you don’t want to buy a dine in deal or prefer to cook, Emma from All She Loves says “Put the kids to bed early and have a dinner for two at home, rather than going out. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy – even spaghetti Bolognese is romantic! Think of Lady and the Tramp!”

Most supermarkets offer a special Valentine’s Day Dine in Deal: here’s what you can expect to find and what it costs:

  • M&S: Starter, Main, Side, Dessert, Wine & Chocolates – £20
  • Waitrose: Main, Side, Dessert plus choice of Wine or box of chocolates – £20
  • Tesco: Finest Starter, Main, Side, Dessert, Wine or chocolates – £20
  • Morrisons: Starter, Main, Side, Dessert & Drink (prosecco, lager, wine) – £15
  • Asda: Starter, Main, Side, Dessert and bottle of fizz – £15

#3 Try a Poundland Date Night Challenge

This is a great idea from Fiona at Savvy in Somerset. The idea is basically that you choose an amount of money – doesn’t have to be much, Fiona and her husband opted for £3 each – then individually head to Poundland, get creative and see what you can get for a date night with the money.

It’s cheap, fun and a surprise for both of you! Find out what Fiona managed to buy in her post about it here.

#3 Romantic Views

One of the easiest free ways to spend some time together is to simply head out for a walk. It’s a great way to spend some time together, talk to each other and get some fresh air and exercise too!

Wrap up warm and cosy and enjoy a bag of chippy chips together at a viewpoint on the top of a hill. The chips will keep you warm and you can enjoy the view together! Tie it in with a sunset to make it more special. Cheap, cheerful and romantic enough for me!

Victoria, Travel Vixta

#4 Have a wine, cheese and chat night

Is there a better combination than wine and cheese? It’s a classic for a reason!

Relax at home by spending some quality time over some shared wine, cheese, and conversation.

#5 Give a frugal gift

Jenny from Mama Foodie says for occasions like Valentine’s day, try giving a ‘free’ gift instead.

Instead of buying a fancy card, write a heartfelt note, it will be much more appreciated and it’s free! Take it further by writing vouchers out for favours – you can make them mundane like I’ll cook or wash up for a week to naughty ones.

#6 Have a cosy movie night in

Forgo the expensive cinema prices and choose to stay home for a film night in. Pick out a favourite or choose something new and settle in!

Rent a movie off one of the film channels and snuggle up with some snacks on the sofa.

Beth, Twinderelmo

#7 Do something your partner loves

Helen from The Queen of Collage, suggests planning your date around your partners interests, to make it more special for them.

Play to their interests. For example, if they have an interest in history then visit a museum together. My husband is addicted to geocaching so a country walk with geocaches would make him happy.

#8  Take an imaginary flight of fancy

My husband and I had a blast last week doing this. We collected a few holiday brochures from outside our local supermarket (does everyone have a stand like that?) and sat together planning a fake holiday.

We used travel sites, set up a Pinterest board, googled things to do whilst we were away etc. Cost, time away etc didn’t matter because we weren’t planning a real holiday, we were just daydreaming together.

Afterwards, we made a meal together influenced by the destinations we had decided to go to and watched a film that we joked was our in flight entertainment. Both the children have asked if we can have a date night doing the same with them too!

Pippa, A Mother’s Ramblings

#9 Create your own Spa at Home

Run a soothing bubble bath, light some candles, give each other a massage. Throw in a glass or two of fizz (Aldi is great for cheap wine that tastes good) and you’re away!

flower, bath scrub and candles

A few other cheap date ideas to try:

  • Visit a museum – lots of museums have free entry
  • Go stargazing – romantic and free!
  • Take a romantic walk
  • Go out for coffee
  • Have a games night
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Watch the sunset
  • Visit your local animal shelter
  • Give each other a massage (google for tips)
  • Go out for ice-cream
  • Go window shopping
  • Cook or bake together
  • Do some fondue dipping with melted chocolate and your favourite fruits
  • Look through old photos and reminisce
  • Have a movie marathon

I hope that gives you a few ideas for some ‘cheap dates’! Do you have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Read more: How To Live Frugal On One Income >>