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7 Fun Budget-Friendly Date Ideas

Hello, lovely readers!

Does your wallet keep you from dating? Is the thought of shelling out for dinner and a movie anxiety-inducing? Although you might feel alone, I assure you that you are not. Like many young adults, I have a super-tight budget that allows for very little play – or so you would think. It might seem impossible to create an air of romance without spending an arm and a leg, but I promise you it is. Without further ado, here are my favorite, wallet-friendly date ideas.

1. Stroll Through a Park

A woman and man holding each other on a date at the park.
Chermiti Mohame / Unsplash

When the pandemic hit, the first thing I did was look up the nearest parks. Strolling through a park is a great escape from day-to-day life. Natural beauty can be very romantic if you time it right. My favorite park in the city is quiet, secluded, and has a large pond. My S.O. frequent it bi-weekly with our dog, Mr. Cantaloupe. I love sitting on the steps to the pond and watching the ducks and turtles swim. His arm around me also helps add to the romance (wink, wink). Step up your date by adding some delicious food to make a picnic.

2. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Who doesn’t love animals? Get the good vibes going by volunteering your time at an animal shelter with your S.O. In many shelters, there are multiple areas where you can volunteer. Talk to each other about your skills and interests, and you will find a department that fits. After the shift, you and your S.O. will be feeling amazing and closer than ever.

3. Netflix & Chill

A man holding a remote to a TV that reads, "Netflix" on the screen.
Freestocks / Unsplash

This one might seem obvious, but it’s an old favorite. For my S.O. and I, watching TV shows and movies on the couch is our go-to romantic activity. Although our favorite entertainment is watching fantasy shows, like Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a romantic movie breaks up the scary and brings on the love. I suggest a romantic comedy because it will make you and your honey laugh, bringing you closer together. Overall, I highly recommend this lower-cost alternative to an expensive movie theater.

4. Hit a Thrift Shop

Inside of a thrift store.
Darrien Staton / Unsplash

Thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies, and as a self-proclaimed history buff, I love the historical aspect of it. Coincidentally, my S.O. also loves history, so it’s a win-win. Looking through antique furniture, books, clothing, and artwork has served us well the past few months, especially when decorating our apartment. I highly recommend this date idea to anyone who appreciates a good find for a great price.

5. Take a Hike

Two women on a hiking date.
Katie Treadway / Unsplash

Hiking is quickly gaining popularity among couples. Luckily, there are numerous hiking areas worldwide, and many amazing ones are in the US. Make it a couple’s retreat by renting a cabin for the night or camping, although the cabin rental could cost you a pretty penny.

6. Grab a Cup of Joe

A woman and a man on a date, holding hands in between two coffee cups.
Taisiia Shestopal / Unsplash

In my book, there’s nothing better than a good cup of joe in the morning. The coffee market has exploded over the past few years, with trendy shops popping up worldwide. So why not explore this phenomenon with your S.O.? This is also a great, casual first-date idea.

7. Discover Your Inner Artist at a Museum

Two women on a museum date, looking at paintings.
Kazuo Ota / Unsplash

Another fun date idea is perusing some famous artwork at a museum. You can feel the inspiration sinking in as you walk through the gleaming hallways with your honey. Most museums also schedule a day with free admission and give discounts to students and veterans.

Are you thinking about trying any of these date ideas? Let me know in the comments below. As always, I love my lovely readers!

For more inspiration, check out 10 Beach Essentials for Your Next Vacay.


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle on a Budget and THE TEEN RUNWAY. She has over a decade of experience giving women advice through her writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you can find her exploring Texas with her fiancĂ©, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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