19 Fun Cheap Date Ideas You’ll Enjoy and Won’t Rattle Your Budget

Have you gone on a date lately? Dating can be wildly expensive as inflation remains high and disrupts your budget. Couples spend more on transportation, gas, and clothing as restaurants hike food and bar prices. Returning to in-person dating was welcome, but higher prices at bars, restaurants, and venues are a turn-off.

In a Lending Tree survey of Millennials and Gen Zers, almost 1 in 5 (19%) will go on fewer dates due to inflation, while an additional  14% will reduce spending. Millennials (22%) will be more likely to rely on debt to pay for their dating spending habits. That means borrowing, especially on costly credit cards with high interest rates.

What’s the Average Date Night Cost in the US?

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According to a survey, the average date cost in the US was $97.68 and varied significantly. You’ll be set back in New York City with the most expensive date night costs at $150. Unless you’re willing to move to Iowa for low-cost dating, which averages $72, you’ll need to switch from conventional outings or pay through the nose to meet people.

19 Fun Cheap Date Ideas to Enjoy

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 Going on a date doesn’t have to be expensive to have a wonderful time. Be creative about your choices, and have fun getting to know each other, and make lots of memories.

1. Take Advantage of Nature

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Do you enjoy taking rides and exploring natural beauty? Pack your car with food like veggies or cheese to eat along the way, or find an excellent area for a picnic. Look for nature trails along rivers or ponds,  or discover public arboretums and botanical gardens in your area. They are ideal places to spend a day and start a romance. 

2. Urban Delights

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You may enjoy people-watching in parks, streets, and stores if you are more of an urbanite. Go window shopping down Fifth Avenue in New York City, visit Central Park, walk boardwalks, gaze at beautiful views from hotel rooftops or skyscrapers, and visit museums that interest you.   Sharing your favorite places in your town is an easy way to learn about each other casually.

3. Plan A Meal Together

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Rather than going to a restaurant, consider planning a meal, making pizza, or baking a pie. Come up with a budget you can work with and split the costs.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated meal; it is probably better if it is something easy and fun to do together.

Go grocery shopping or head to the farmer’s market to pick up vegetables, fruit, or anything you need for a culinary delight. Your event will likely be cheaper than dinner and an excellent way to get to know each other.

4.  Playing Board Games And Puzzles

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You may want to order pizza and have a cozy night playing your favorite card or board games. So many games come to mind, like some of the classics: UNO, Checkers, Chess, Yahtzee, Risk, Scrabble, and Monopoly. It’s a great way to test out your competitive nature and temperament.

Alternatively, have a puzzle date night, starting with small puzzles until you can master building a 1,000-piece mystery, or try out one of the larger LEGO sets. Combine cooking and building on the same evening for a fantastic night together.

5. Indoor And Outdoor Adventures

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Find adventures you both want to try, from going up in an air balloon, Go Kart racing, bouldering, or taking an open cockpit biplane ride.

You may decide on something more sedate or indoors, like bowling, rollerskating, taking a ferry or train to different locations, hiking, flying a kite, or paintballing. Go to antiquing, flea markets, or junkyards to find treasures.

6. Enjoy Engaging Activities

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Depending on your interests, there are many fun and engaging activities.  If you love to read books, browse through a bookshop and find a book to read to each other. Consider pottery-making or painting to exercise creativity, go to a karaoke bar, and sing together. Love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter to walk and play with them for the day. Who knows. You may end up taking a loved one home.

7. Fall Foliage Near You

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There is always fall foliage at a place near you. I’m partial to the East Coast, especially New York and New England, but they are everywhere. Get a fall foliage map or a leaf-peeping app to find the best time and place to experience the colors nearby. Go on a scenic drive with the top down, ride a bike, or hike to explore the area.

8. Take A Breath-Taking Hot Air Balloon

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Take a panoramic bird’s eye view using a hot air balloon. It’s not for the faint of heart who may have height concerns, but if you can hack it, it’s an exciting experience. Another unique way to achieve an extraordinary view is by taking an open-air flight with a vintage WWI plane with the pilot sitting behind you. Even if you are adventurous, you may tremble initially, but it’s a majestic view. 

9. Visit Farmer’s Markets

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It’s fun to go to a farmer’s market to shop for the best products from owners who take such pride in their market. Many farmer’s markets stay open until late fall or even all year round.

Fruits and vegetables are plentiful in farmers’ markets and may include apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, cucumbers, peaches, avocados, arugula, broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, and tomatoes. You’ll not only enjoy checking out their products, but you’ll also be saving money as well. 

 10. Visit a Farm

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Speaking of farmer’s markets, you can visit farms and their barns for quintessential activities with your date. You can’t help not loving the pastoral scene all year round. Go hiking, play with the baby goats, ride horses, talk to the farmers,  and pick your food. 

11. Stargaze the Night Sky

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Grab a telescope or binoculars and find the new constellations in North America. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic basket.  The Summer stargazing can be beautiful; you can check which month certain clusters appear, including Constellation Scorpius. According to Celestron, autumn skies have abundant star clusters, the brightest and nearest galaxy, binary stars, double stars, and red supergiant stars that they detail in their guide.

12. Stream Movies and TV Shows Together

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Get some popcorn popping. Share your favorite movies and TV shows. Make a meal, have some wine, and enjoy the show together.  Is anyone for When Harry Met Sally?

13. Visit Literary Landmarks

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This is for readers who love poetry and the classics. Find some of your favorite authors near you, like Mark Twain’s House in Hartford, Connecticut,  Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, or Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi. Learn about what inspired them to write their masterpieces. 

14.   Fire Pit On the Beach

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Go to the beach, or finish your evening by a bonfire or firepit, where permitted.  You can roast marshmallows, play music, invite friends, and sing along if you know someone who plays guitar. Sitting outdoors always reminds me of camping, and you can tell stories. This activity is pleasing on many levels; your pocket won’t mind.

15. Visit A Pier

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Many activities happen on large piers celebrating the season with riverboat cruises, amusement park rides, food, kayaking, and booths.  Visit a dock and watch the boats go out and return. Sunsets are lovely experiences. Take a sweater or blanket and enjoy the serene view at night.

16. Have A Picnic

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Bring a  blanket, or find a picnic table at your favorite park surrounded by the pastoral scene or by the water. It’s a beautiful time to relax and take it all in.  Bring some cheese, veggies or sandwiches, a bottle of wine, and cheese, and enjoy nature’s optimal time.  

17. Outdoor Festivals

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There are a ton of outdoor festivals featuring craftwork, entertainment, food, music,  beer, and wine tasting. Most festivals are outdoors and may have tractor pulls, apple-bobbing, and ax-throwing contests: apple cider and crafts. 

18. Covered Wooden Bridges

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Before cars, Americans traveled by horse and buggy, and more than 10,000 covered wooden bridges spanned the American landscape, stimulating economic growth. Roughly 750 remain, many in beautiful condition for cars and bikers to pass over country rivers and streams. Most are in New England, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

The moving love story and best seller Bridges of Madison County highlighted the gorgeous historic bridges in Iowa. We live near two beautiful covered bridges in Connecticut (West Cornwall and Kent), an excellent setting for a picnic and meditation.

19. Antique Shopping 

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While you are tooling around the country, seeking the best sceneries, you may become aware that some places have open barns and shops brimming with antiques they may set outdoors. Also, many avid pickers shop during this period looking for old things people are happy to discard because they don’t fit with their more contemporary furnishings. Have fun window shopping and getting to know each other’s interests. 

11 Most Common Regrets People Make In Their Lives And Can Release For More Fulfillment

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Have you ever made a decision that you later regretted? You’re not alone. Most people are familiar with the discomfort of going down the wrong path. Some mistakes are small and not worthy of second thoughts. However, common regrets concerning relationships, family, health, and careers, may linger for years or potentially on your deathbed.

Use your regrets to help you make life-changing decisions to compensate for lost opportunities. Acknowledging your regrets can often lead to a more fulfilling life.


10 Destinations That Have Been Ruined By Rich People

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As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the influence of wealth and privilege can be seen in all corners of the globe. While the economic benefits of tourism and investment are undeniable, some destinations have undergone significant transformations at the hands of the wealthy and affluent. Once cherished for authenticity, these places have been molded into exclusive playgrounds for the wealthy elite.


These 10 Healthy Foods Are Just As Satisfying As Junk Food

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In a world where unhealthy foods are often marketed as indulgent treats, it can be easy to overlook the delicious and satisfying healthy options. Luckily, the internet is filled with people eager to share their favorite healthy foods that taste just as good as the less nutritious options. Here are some of the top suggestions from individuals who have found healthy foods that satisfy their cravings just as well as their less healthy counterparts.


Storytime: 10 Snacks People Love That Others Find Disgusting

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Snacks can be a source of comfort and pleasure for many people. From sweet to savory, there is a snack out there for everyone. However, what one person considers delicious, another may find revolting. Taste buds are unique, and food preferences can be subjective. A snack that divides opinions is one that some people love, but others hate.


10 Iconic Snacks That Should Have Never Been Discontinued

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Snacks are a staple of our daily lives, satisfying our cravings and giving us that extra energy boost throughout the day. Some snacks, however, have become a part of our culture and have gained a loyal fan base. These iconic snacks have become a part of our childhood memories, and even after their discontinuation, they still hold a special place in our hearts.


This article was produced and syndicated by The Cents of Money


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