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Running Low on Cash? Here’s 14 Cheap Date Ideas

Since my most popular post by far is my post about budget friendly Valentine’s Day ideas I thought it might be time to write down my ideas for inexpensive dates in general.

Let’s face it, whether it’s your first date or your tenth, dating can be kind of expensive. And while we're at it, let’s be honest ,does it really get less expensive when you’re in a relationship? Gotta keep the spark alive! But the good news is it doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Skip the expensive dinner date in favor of one of these ten budget friendly date ideas!

Be forewarned, I’m really looking forward to summer so some of these might be a little biased towards warm weather. But I mean come on, we’re almost there! Alright fine, it’s like another month away if you want to be all technical.

1) Farmer’s Markets. As we’re gearing up for warmer weather I’m starting to get excited about the idea of farmer's markets and all the yummy fare they offer! Nobody says you have to buy anything, but the food is usually inexpensive and amazing, so check it out. If you’re trying to avoid spending money, just walking around is a fun time. There’s usually crafts to check out and some offer free games and activities too!

2) Bookstores. One of my favorite date ideas is going to a bookstore (or library) and each selecting three books - one that represents the person you’re with, one that represents yourself and a random pick. Meet up with your three books and explain why you picked each book. It’s a fun first date idea to try to guess what your date is all about but it’d also be fun to see what your long term partner comes up with.

3) Movies in the Park. A lot of public places offer movies or community organized plays for little or no money. Sure you might have seen the movie a hundred times but it’s still fun to grab a blanket and hang out under the stars.

4) Hiking. Enjoy Mother Nature in all its glory and check out your local hiking trails. Pack a picnic lunch and find a nice scenic overlook to enjoy it. Just be careful in the springtime, trails tend to get muddy! Make sure you have on shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.

5) Netflix and Chill. Get your mind of the gutter, I’m talking about genuinely watching some Netflix. You know I have some series recommendations too! Try watching Love Sick (as long as an STD story line won’t kill the mood) or Grace & Frankie (vibrators are less awkward than STDs right?) for some good laughs. On second thought, maybe stick to a movie and ignore my series suggestions altogether - To All the Boys I Loved Before scores big on the romcom scale.

6) Roller Skating. Get all nostalgic for the days of middle school birthday parties at the roller rink. Make a day out of it and go hit the hardwood. You’ll get to show off your sweet moves and get a good workout in simultaneously. What could be better? Well, maybe owning your own skates and taking this adventure outside.

7) Thrift Stores. Ok, to be fair here I love me some bargains and thrift stores are a great way to find them. Ergo, I would totally be cool with an afternoon digging through the goods at my local thrift store. Maybe that’s not your thing, I get it. So stop in and head to the outdoor section, grab some tennis racquets, badminton racquets, a volley ball, a soccer ball, something! Then head out to the local park and get your game on. Plus, it’s even more fun if you can’t play!

8) Amateur Theater. There’s several community theaters near me that offer Broadway shows at Main Street prices. Even if you don’t have the option of community theater, there’s another great option - the local high school. Yeah, that’s right, the high school play - go check it out. Those kids work hard and can put on a good show. Support the arts and have a great time. Even better, if you’re close enough, go to a show at your old high school. If your date went to school nearby check that show out too. Bonus date night!

9) Community Events. Hit up the local street fair, festival, parade, soap box derby, whatever. Admission is usually super cheap if not free and hey, it’s a good ol’ time. Plus the food is usually pretty amazing if the festival is food based... One of my favorite local festivals? Wing Fest! Also a fan of chili cook offs. I like spicy foods! What can I say?

10) Psychics. Usually found at the above community events, an inexpensive psychic reading can be a fun date. Besides finding out what the stars say about your future it can be interesting to have a discussion about the merits of mediums.

11) Stargazing. Speaking of stars, instead of reading them how about just looking at them for a night? Set up a blanket in a nice and quiet, super dark field and spend the night checking out the constellations. Bonus points for whoever can finds the most. I wouldn’t win because high school earth science wasn’t my scene but it’d still be a ton of fun!

12) 36 Questions to Fall in Love. Ok as if psychics weren’t controversial enough, let’s introduce the idea that asking someone intimate questions and staring into their eyes can lead to falling in love. I’m serious, this was a real experiment conducted by psychologist Arthur Aron. So maybe you think it’s crazy or maybe you’re already head over heels in love with your partner, it could still be interesting to see if you learn anything new about each other!

13) Minor League Baseball. No secret that I’m a huge baseball fan (I even worked at a minor league stadium all through college. I love watching any baseball game but minor league games are pretty fun even if you don’t love the game itself. There’s so many things going on with on the field games, crazy mascots and fun promotions. Plus, you can get good seats for $10, the food is cheaper and major league guys pass through town on rehab assignments. What’s not to love? Go catch a game at your local stadium!

14) Volunteer. Work on a town beautifying project painting an old fence or planting a new garden, spend a couple of hours at the nearby hospital or retirement home with patients that rarely have visitors, volunteer at a local food pantry or collect trash from the side of roads. There are so many different things you can do. Things you can do together to make the world a better place!

I hope you enjoyed this list because I had a great time making it! Now I have so many ideas for things to do over the summer.

What about you? Do you think you'll try any of the things on my list for date night? Do you have any other cheap date ideas that should be added? I’d love to hear all your ideas, tell me in the comments!
Broke Dolly
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