Frugal Date Night Ideas: Money Saving Tips

There are so many ways to have a frugal date night! Enjoying spending time together shouldn’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you want to stay in or go out, here are a whole bunch of money-saving frugal date night ideas to bring you closer without the huge price tag.

Date night doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here are 25+ frugal date night ideas for going out and staying in. Save money while having fun together with these creative date ideas that are cheap or even free! #frugaldatenight #datenightideas #cheapdateideas #creativedateideas

Frugal Date Night Ideas

I’ll be honest, even before my husband and I had kids, we rarely went out on dates. I literally cringe at the thought of paying so much for one meal. However, I do think once in a while it’s nice to get out and do something different. Here are a few cheap (and even free!) date night ideas:
  • Visit your local public gardens in the spring/summer and admire all the flowers.
  • Take a hike or drive and have a picnic off the beaten path
  • Go for a drive and just talk
  • Go to your local museum on a free or “BOGO” day
  • Have a cup of coffee and scan the books and magazines at your local book store
  • Browse through an antique shop together
  • Go to the lake and fish or rent a paddle boat
  • Go to a movie but see a matinee or go to the cheaper theatre that shows second run movies

Save Money on Eating Out

If you really want to go out to eat there are several ways you can save money on meals out. Here are a few ways to eat out for cheap on a frugal date night (or day):

  • Go out for lunch instead of supper
  • Order an appetizer instead of an entree
  • Split a meal
  • Just order dessert for a treat
  • Stick to water and free refill drinks (drinks, especially alcohol, can inflate a restaurant bill really quickly!)
  • Find coupons for restaurants in your area on
  • Take advantage of dine-out events in your area. Some towns and cities have annual “dine-out” events that last a couple weeks when local restaurants offer special menus for a fraction of their regular price to attract new customers

Also, some restaurants will send you coupons for signing up for their newsletters. Be sure to watch your local paper for coupons for local places and special nearby dining events too!


Quirky & Creative Frugal Date Ideas for Cheap or Free

I love being frugal but still having fun, which, for us, can sometimes mean doing quirky things that most people might not think about for their date nights. Here are a few date things me and my husband like to do together:
  • Go rock hunting
  • Go ghost town hunting
  • Go offroading (mainly to ghost towns!)
  • Order an appetizer to go from our favorite restaurant and have them as a snack
  • Go anywhere and have a photo contest, see who can take the best picture of a certain thing
  • Take a drive up in the Hills

Frugal Date Night Ideas At Home

Date night doesn’t have to be synonymous with “going out.” There are lots of ideas for fun frugal date nights at home too. Here are a few:

  • Cook a fancy (but frugal!) dinner for each other and have it complete with candles and fancy folded napkins. Check out my recipes archive to find inspiration for delicious and frugal date-night dinner ideas.
  • Have a spa day/night at home together. If you’ve got a big soaker tub (or a hot tub!) you can enjoy a soak together. Then light some candles, turn on some relaxing music, break out the essential oils and give each other massages.
  • Have a movie night in. But not just any old Netflix night. Make it special: Decide on a movie you both want to see ahead of time and build anticipation. Schedule a date night and time for your movie. Then, before you press play, make popcorn and snacks, light some candles and turn the lights off and then get warm under some big cozy blankets. Put any phones and other electronics away and just focus on the movie (and each other!)
  • Have a games night for two. Save the family games night for another evening. This time, wait for the kids to go to bed and then make up a spread of snacks like chips and dip, pretzels or even a cheese platter and break out your favorite game for two. Some ideas are card games like Yahtzee or crib or board games like Scrabble and Monopoly. Or you can download a free, fun game for two people or more like Heads Up (available for download from iTunes).

Whether you go out, stay in, enjoy a meal together or simply spend time watching the sunset hand-in-hand, there are so many ways to have fun and enjoy each other’s company without spending a fortune.

What are your favorite frugal date night ideas? Leave your comments below and add to the list!

This blog post of Frugal Date Night Ideas was originally published on Little House Living in March 2010. It has been updated as of January 2019.

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  1. Thank you for sharing! My husband and I are determined to get our budget in check. There are definitely a few things on here that we will be using!

  2. How about a camp out in your driveway? If you’re not married it’s still a nice little getaway for one. I used to do this in the bed of my pickup but now I have a Tahoe. It still works if I lay down the back seats. A queen size blow-up mattress will fit in there. I just pop the hatch open so I can look at the stars.

  3. A couple of our dates included first our town’s holiday lighting contest. We printed out a map, plotted out our route, and drove to each of the 37 homes that had entered the competition. Second, an art tour in a neighboring town where we got to meet local artists in their homes and studios and saw some incredible art. I love creative dates that cost nothing more that a few gallons of gas.

  4. When we were younger, I had winter picnics, drive to the nearest park and eat at one of the picnic tables. Also did picnic indoors, spread a blanket on the floor and turn off the lights and have a picnic. outside of the rock hunting I think we have done everyone on your list. Great idea’s