Forget Restaurants Or River Cruises, These 7 Thrifty Date Ideas Will Impress Your Date Without Leaving Your Wallet Empty

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Whether you’ve been married for decades or are trying to impress a new flame, taking your partner out for a date is a surefire way to keep the spark alive — or ignite a new one. But with “dinner and a movie” costing upwards of $100 in some cities, date nights can quickly become pricey. Don’t worry, though; there are plenty of ways to enjoy a fun and romantic date night without breaking the bank.

Now, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean boring. In fact, it pushes you to get creative with your planning, letting you come up with unique, left-field ideas that add that extra touch. Here are 7 affordable date ideas to try any day of the week.

Trivia Night at a Local Bar

Show off your smarts and see if your partner can keep up by hitting up a local bar's trivia night. Image: Dall-E 3

Why not show off your smarts together? Many local bars offer free trivia nights. It’s a fun, engaging way to see how well you sync intellectually, all without spending more than the price of a pint.

Movie Night In Your Own Living Room

Skip the expensive theater tickets and set up a cozy movie night at home. Image: Dall-E 3

Who says you need a big screen to enjoy a blockbuster? Grab some popcorn, and a selection of your favorite candies, and cue up a movie on your streaming service. It's the perfect way to enjoy the cinema experience without the cinema price tag.

Explore the Great Outdoors

A stroll outdoors is one of the simplest ways to spend quality time together. Image: Dall-E 3

Nothing beats the simplicity and beauty of a hike. Whether it's a leisurely walk in a nearby nature preserve or an adventurous trek through the mountains, you'll enjoy stunning views and quality time together, completely free of charge.

Taste Test Challenge

Grab similar foods from different spots and compare them. Image: Dall-E 3

Grab three varieties of your favorite snack from different stores and have a tasting contest. See who can pinpoint the best one! Or, for a twist, host a blind taste test with something fun like flavored jellybeans.

Bowling Night

The mix of friendly competition and goofy moments in bowling makes it a fun way to bond. Image: Dall-E 3

Often overlooked, bowling is a fantastic budget-friendly date idea. Lace-up those quirky shoes, choose your lucky ball, and enjoy a playful competition. No bumpers needed – you’re all grown up now!

Cocktail Competition

Get creative with your partner by hosting a DIY cocktail competition. Image: Dall-E 3

Channel your inner mixologist and set up a DIY cocktail face-off. Gather some basic spirits, mixers, and a secret ingredient that everyone must use. Have fun mixing drinks and crown the best cocktail of the evening. It's a spirited way to spend your evening!

Monopoly Marathon

Board games aren't just for kids! Make Monopoly interesting by placing a wager: the loser buys dinner. Image: Dall-E 3

Board games are a fantastic way to spend an evening, especially when there’s a little wager involved. Play Monopoly and make a fun bet: loser buys dinner or drinks. It’s a great way to keep the stakes high and the fun rolling.

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