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free date ideas

Whether you are saving for your next big trip or trying to pay off student loans faster, being on a budget can really put a damper on your social life. When everyone in your life is inviting you to eat out, see a concert, or go to a bar, it can be frustrating to constantly have to decline invitations when you don’t have any extra money to spend. And dating on a budget can be even more of a bummer. However, great dates (or going out with friends, or your spouse) don’t have to cost much — or anything — to spark romance and inspire conversation.

When you’re on a budget, but looking to go on a date (or out with friends), look to these fifteen activities for ideas.

1.  Head to a park

One awesome — and free — constant in life is that parks can be found even in the smallest of towns and largest of cities. Simply strolling through a park hand in hand can be a wonderful way to get to know someone.

2.  Go for a run

If you and your love interest are active, maybe planning a pre- or post-work run is a good option. During a date run, you’ll release some endorphins while staying fit.

3.  Try a bike ride

Biking is a fun and low-impact way to stay fit. Couple this with a date, and you have the makings of a fun Saturday afternoon exploring your hometown.

4.  Check the schedule at your local library

Libraries are a hotspot for interesting, free activities. They often host local speakers, book clubs, exhibits, and cooking classes on a variety of different subjects. For a free date, check out the schedule for the library near you and you might just be surprised with the options you find.

5.  Parades and festivals

Each season holds a plethora of holidays and harvests that are bound to have parades, events, and festivals tied to them. By reading your local newspaper, you can learn about these free, fun events and suggest one for your next date.

6.  Free concerts

The summer is a great time to check out free local talent playing at beaches, bars, festivals, or parks. If you and your date love music, seeing a free concert is an excellent way to save some money while potentially finding your new favorite performer.

7.  Stroll through a botanical garden

Walking hand in hand through a rock garden or among blooming roses certainly makes for a romantic date. Many botanical gardens across the country have free entry or low cost tickets.

8.  Sightseeing

For your next date, play tourist in your town by visiting all the sights that you might show an out-of-towner.

9.  Cook at home

Cooking together is a fun, hands-on way to get to know your date, and it only costs the price of ingredients. Open up your favorite cookbook, turn on some music, and get ready for a great night in.

10.  Coffee date

With a full-time job and a side hustle, you and your love interest might not have a whole lot of time or money for a date. In that case, how about opting for a coffee date at a unique café. Coffee or tea are often under $2, making for an affordable way to catch up.

11.  Go for a picnic

You know that park I mentioned as point number one? Combine a visit to a park (or bike ride) with a picnic lunch or dinner with a bottle of wine, cheese, and fruit, and you’ve got yourself a budget-friendly romantic outing.

12.  Movie night

Skip the theater in favor of a movie night in. Snuggle into the couch and pop in your favorite DVD or queue up Netflix and I’d say that is a great way to spend a cozy fall or winter evening.

13.  Enjoy a free band at a bar

For the affordable price of a beer, you and your date could enjoy live music played by a local band in your favorite neighborhood bar. Many smaller bars often don’t charge a cover, especially if you arrive before a certain hour, so this cheap date option won’t be lacking on fun.

14.  Go for a swim

Another active outdoor date that is perfect in warmer weather is spending a day at the beach. Relaxing on the sand, playing sports, and swimming compose one of my favorite summertime dates.

15.  Play a board game

Though it might sound a bit old school, board games are actually a fun way to get to know someone. You can learn about strengths and weaknesses as well as strategy while laughing together as you figure out the rules.


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Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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