10 Cheap Date Ideas

As broke college kids with tight study schedules, my husband and I had to be creative in the beginning with out date ideas. Travelling to the city was too expensive and took up too much time. Fancy dinners were out of the question, because frankly, there are no ‘fancy’ restaurants in a college town. And some dates are just not worth the money. I mean the movies are great and all, but there are so many options to stream from your computer (plus, then you can both enjoy a few glasses of wine and not have to worry who will be driving back).

But dates are necessary in any relationship. Yes, if your living together,¬† you see each other ALL the time. That doesn’t mean you’re actually spending time together. It’s easy to sit next to one another over dinner and watch an episode of TV, but sometimes it’s good to get out a little. Personally, I go crazy sitting at home all day. I like to be outdoors, even if it’s just for a walk with Dakota.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, with romance in the air, I figured I’d share some of the dates we’ve been on PLUS some ideas that are soon to come! (Hubby – hint on #7.

  1. Sunrise or Sunset on the Beach – This was my husbands idea for one of our first dates. We got up super early one morning at drove down to Long Branch just as the sun was rising, and walked along the beach with a view. We had the whole beach to ourselves! It was such a romantic setting to just hold hands and talk about life together. If you want to go for sunset, you can even bring a bottle of wine and some dinner with you. Just find an empty space or go during the week when nobody will be around. Plus – it’s totally free.
  2. Ice Skating/Roller Blading – Sounds classic? There’s a reason! Its fun to wobble and fall together. Last time we went skating, my husband and I started dancing on the rink. (It helps that I took skating lessons as a kid). It’s also very inexpensive, especially out of season times.
  3. Hiking – You don’t have to be somewhere scenic to go hiking, although it definitely helps. People make fun of Jersey all the time, but there are actually some incredible hikes around here. Even the most basic trails are a fun way to bond, and to burn some calories too! You can take your bikes or your dogs, stop by the water, eat back the calories you’ve lost. It’s fun – trust me!
  4. Paint Nite – This is relatively popular activity, and for good reason. If you look on groupon continuously, you can find paint nites near you held by small, local studios at a reduced price (I’m talking $25/person – that’s not bad for art supplies and wine). To challenge each other, try to see who can paint the best drunken masterpiece.
  5. Go to the Dog Park – This is seriously the best date idea for dog lovers. You don’t actually have to own a dog to go to a dog park. WE saw a couple there the other day who were having a blast just petting all the pups. I know Dakota loves getting special attention from people – your welcome to pet her anytime ūüôā
  6. Test Drive a Tesla (and Other Cars You Love) – One day I called up my husband¬† (boyfriend then) in the middle of the day and asked him if he could skip his next class. Little did he know, the answer was automatically “yes”, because I had a test drive schedualed for later that day with a tesla. He loves Elon Musk and has wanted a tesla for some time now, so I figured this would be a cute way to surprise him. Needless to say, he loved it! The salesman didn’t even ask us any questions of whether we were seriously considering purchasing it. And let me tell you – it was a hell of a car! This brings me to the next idea…
  7. Check Out Some Real Estate¬†– If your in the later stages of dating, or married in an apartment – this is a great date idea. Knowing you are not committing to actually buying a house really alleviates the stress and makes viewing a LOT more fun. And it’s totally, 100% free. We haven’t actually done this yet, but we’re planning to go next weekend. If all goes well, you can definitely expect a blog post about it.
  8. Go to an Air Show¬†– They don’t come around so often, so you have to check up dates (usually in the summer by us), but it’s a show you don’t want to miss! Even if your not an aerospace junkie like me, it’s still pretty amazing. I mean, the jets fly really fast. You’ll even get to see the Blue Angels. We saw tons of families who attend the show yearly. It’s a family friendly event, it’s really cool, and its FREE! Plus, it’s on the beach, and I got a pretty killer tan from being out there all day.
  9. Go to a Farmers Market¬† – and then cook dinner together. I don’t know why, but we have some fond memories of the farmers market. We go to a small town where everyone is super friendly and the produce is amazing. It’s fun just walking around and seeing the different products people are selling. Usually there are some bakery stands as well, and I never say no to desert before dinner! Have some kind of dinner recipe in mind, get the products you need, and then come home and cook dinner together. You can even make it a cooking competition!
  10. Pottery Painting¬† – Could be expensive, but doesn’t have to be! You can paint a small dish for $20. You can even paint one together to save money – have each person paints one side. Plus, you get to keep the dish in the end. And you can get as creative as you want. This is also good starting date because you have an activity to keep you busy!


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