5 Cheap Date Ideas For When You’re Completely Broke

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years or you’re just playing the field, dating can be expensive. Dinner dates, nights at the cinema, drinks at the bar, days out at the fair—it can add up, especially if you’re struggling to juggle your life with bills, rent and student loans. But dating doesn’t have to be expensive. When you’re not in the mood (or the position) to drop a ton of cash on a date, choose one of these options instead—they prove money isn’t everything when it comes to having a good time.

man and woman lying on bed

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#1 Take a hike

We all know that hiking is good for our health, but did you know that it’s also good for your relationship? Striding along a trail with your loved one will have you solving problems together, communicating effectively and challenging each other. Hiking is a great way to unplug, boost your spirits and enjoy the little things in good company.

#2 Cook a meal together

Why spend money on dinner when you can cook a delicious meal together in the comfort of your own home? Decide on a recipe and head to your local farmer’s market to pick up the ingredients, taste-testing all of the fresh cheeses, homemade jams and organic produce in the process. Head home, make your meal together and have a romantic candle-lit dinner for two at the table or bring it into bed with you and pop on your favorite movie.

#3 Head to a free museum

No matter where you live, you likely have a free museum in or near your hometown. Check out National Geographic for nearby spots—fashion museums, science centers, art galleries, etc.—to take your date. Many top-notch museums are free to the public or only ask for a small donation in exchange for admission. If you find they’re not your or your date’s cup of tea, go anyway! You’ll have plenty to talk about and you might even learn something.

#4 Get creative together

The beauty of a creative date is that the options are endless. Had a tough week? Relieve stress with adult coloring books. Is your apartment looking bare? Buy canvases and paint a new picture for your bedroom. Have a sweet tooth? Bake a cake together. Can you play an instrument? Set up a private lesson. There are no limits to what a creative date can be, so let your imagination run wild!

#5 Volunteer at a local charity

There’s nothing sexier than giving back! Find a cause you both care about by searching for local animal shelters, food drives, beach clean-ups and nursing homes. Choose an upcoming event in your community that are looking for volunteers and offer your time—you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside while making great memories together.