How to Be a Cheap Date Without Staying Home

Whether you are married or dating, there are a ton of ways to be a cheap date without staying home. Come on people, we have to put in a little more effort than that, am I right? Yeah, maybe we live in the days of Netflix and chill but I’m also a firm believer in trying a little harder than that. Here are some practical tips anyone can use to save money on a night out.

*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Be flexible

A lot of times we can get stuck in our own head thinking that any date that we plan won’t be good enough.

Beyond that, what if the other person suggests something we don’t want to do?! 

Be flexible people. You’re dating after all! Even if you’re dating your spouse, be open to suggestions and don’t get too carried away. 

Work with what you’ve got

There is nothing wrong with setting a date budget. It’s not like you have to tell your date about it! If you’ve got $20 to your name, browse Groupon and see what you can come up with! 

The best part about doing this is that it forces you to get creative and maybe try something you’ve never tried before. 

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Take advantage of discounts

Thank goodness we live in a world where information (and coupons) are right at our fingertips. Here are some of the best apps or sites to help you be a cheap date without staying home!

  • Groupon– When it comes to finding things that are inexpensive, fun and different there is no better source than Groupon. This way you can browse things in your area and stay in your price range.
  • Ibotta– Did you know you can get rebates beyond groceries with Ibotta? They often offer a percentage back on any Groupon (just make sure you log into Ibotta first). Plus, if you haven’t signed up yet, use my link and you’ll get $5 back!
  • Living Social– Another option through the Ibotta app is to get a discount through Living Social. Living Social looks at fun, discounted things that are happening near you and Ibotta will give you a percentage of your money back on any events you choose to partake in!
  • Check your local calendar- Another thing you can do is check your city’s calendar. They usually have a list of events that are taking place and often times they are free.

Other ideas

  • Couples massages
  • Laser tag
  • Mini golf
  • Dinner and a movie
  • Bowling
  • Winery/Brewery tour
  • Escape room
  • Local sporting events
  • Comedy clubs
  • Salsa lessons (We’ve done it…I swear, it was so fun)
  • Archery or shooting range (just to blow off some steam!)

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Discounted weekend getaways

If you are able to steal away for an entire weekend, don’t worry you can still be a cheap date while being totally adventurous and fun!

  • Groupon– I told you, always start with Groupon. There are always a ton of awesome discounts on local hotels and excursions and sometimes they even bundle stuff together!
  • AirbnbWhile I don’t recommend waiting until the last minute to plan your date if you happen to be heading out on a spontaneous getaway try this out:
    • Browse for Airbnb’s near where you’re staying
    • Message the owner and ask for a discount
    • If they say no, ask the next owner
    • Often times these hosts just want to fill their room/home. If they aren’t booked at the last minute, chances are they would rather take your discounted offer than nothing at all!
    • Use my Airbnb link to get $40 your first Airbnb stay
  • Ibotta– Besides giving refunds of Groupon purchases, Ibotta also offers $10 cash back when you book through VRBO or Home Away. Just be sure to book using your Ibotta app!
  • Dosh- If you are new to the Dosh rebate app, you can get $5 for signing up and you will get $25 cash back for booking your first hotel through Dosh!

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How to have a really cheap date (like…FREE)

If you just cannot plan for the cost of a vacation or even a night out, I get it, never fear, here is a list of totally free fun things you can do to be a cheap date without staying home!

  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Rollerblading
  • Stargazing
  • Coffee shop
  • Beach day
  • Cook dinner together
  • Walk local trails
  • Picnic
  • Exchange messages
  • IKEA
  • Barnes and Noble – Get a peek at your date’s favorite book. It might tell you a lot about them!  

Have fun!

No matter what you do, what you can afford to do make sure you are having fun together even if its a cheap date.

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No one's judging you! You can definitely be a cheap date without staying home. In fact, it's encouraged. Here is a full breakdown of cheap or free dates.


  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine | 29th Jan 18

    Great ideas to still have the best times!

  2. Corina | 29th Jan 18

    Love the post! Great advice indeed! Thanks for sharing

    • | 29th Jan 18

      You bet! Thanks Corina.

  3. Tiffany Meiter | 29th Jan 18

    Groupon is seriously one of the best tools out there! There are such great deals and gives you ideas of things to do and try you may not have thought of before.

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Exactly! We have had the chance to do so many new things and for a reasonable cost!

  4. Hussayn | 29th Jan 18

    Great ideas.. i will follow these ideas to plan trips thanks for sharing

    • | 29th Jan 18

      You bet! Have a great date.

  5. Lucy | 29th Jan 18

    You’ve inspired me to book a weekend away! and now thanks to your post I know how where to look for the best deals! Great post!

    • | 29th Jan 18

      I hope you have an awesome weekend…and have tons of cash left at the end!

  6. Kayla | 29th Jan 18

    Awesome ideas! Love the one about using the discount apps like groupon and living social to give you ideas! Full of info! Love the post! ?

    • | 29th Jan 18

      You can really save so much by using multiple resources!

  7. Johanne | 29th Jan 18

    I would love to go bowling with the boyfriend sometime. I’m still trying to convince him. Just like with laser tag en mini golf.

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Yes! We have done laser tag and bowling…it’s so fun! My husband always wants to do laser tag again!

  8. Jenn | 29th Jan 18

    Trade date is a great idea! The babysitting expense always blows he budget!

    • | 29th Jan 18

      I know!! I think so many people avoid going out because of it that there are a ton of couples who would be willing to trade babysitting!

  9. Susannah | 29th Jan 18

    Great tips! We love Groupon for activity coupons and babysitting sharing!

  10. Justine @ Little Dove | 29th Jan 18

    These are such great tips and I definitely agree about the babysitter thing being the hardest part sometimes! We’re fortunate now that we live by family and often have free sitters, but that hasn’t always been the case, and they’re not always available so paying for a sitter for four kids (or sometimes having to pay for two sitters!) really adds up!

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Oh my goodness, 2 sitters!? Yes, that would definitely add up!

  11. Amanda | 29th Jan 18

    Loads of great ideas here, you’ve obviously done your homework! 🙂

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Just hoping to help ya’ll out!

  12. Rachel Kocurek | 29th Jan 18

    I LOVE Groupon! We use it all the time – buy the Groupon in advance and you have a date night waiting. Planning a huge night out can be stressful and expensive. I love these ideas for fun nights that don’t break the bank.

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Thanks so much Rachel. I totally get what you mean! Groupon is THE BEST!

  13. Alex | 29th Jan 18

    OMG! This post made my day! One of my boyfriend and I’s goals this year is to go on more dates, but spend less. I am definitely going to add these ideas to our list.

    • | 29th Jan 18

      That is an awesome goal and TOTALLY doable! Hope you find some fun stuff!

  14. Rachel G | 29th Jan 18

    It’s so important to remember to have fun together, even when money is tight! I am very glad we live within walking distance of my parents’ place, so when babysitting is a need, that shouldn’t be a problem (did I move so close to my parents for this exact reason?? Hmmmm…)

    • | 29th Jan 18

      Well played Rachel….well played. Haha

  15. Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy | 29th Jan 18

    Such great tips! I really should look more into Groupon. I haven’t told the hubs yet, but I want to do something this summer for our 10 year anniversary.

    • | 29th Jan 18

      You absolutely should! We’ve got our 10 year coming up as well and are debating what to do!

  16. Arielle Joy | 30th Jan 18

    ooo such a great list of ideas. We enjoy going out but are trying to save money, so this list is perfect. pinned for future reference

    • | 30th Jan 18

      Thanks Arielle. Doing both is definitely possible!

  17. Christine | 30th Jan 18

    Great I ideas Renee… i must admit, we have not been on a date for almost 6 months now and it does take a toll on our relationship. The excuse is always the cost of a sitter plus the night out. Thanks for the tip on ‘trade date night’… i’ll get calling some mum I know 🙂 Great post xx

    • | 30th Jan 18

      Been there, done that. Investing in each other is so important! Hope you can find some time away!

  18. Maria | 30th Jan 18

    Me and my partner are really on a tight budget situation this year. Especially this coming Valentine’s, this would be really helpful for us to celebrate happily without worrying about spending too much. Thanks for the great Ideas. It was helpful.

    • | 30th Jan 18

      I hope you can find something that doesn’t break the bank!

  19. Jalisa | 30th Jan 18

    As a sahm I sometimes get stir crazy and have to get out of the house. There are always frugal things you can do. Just knowing where to get them is essential. Groupon is huge. I literally just starting using Dosh too and use Ibotta all the time.

    • | 30th Jan 18

      That is so great! I am loving these apps! Every little bit can make a huge impact!

  20. Christine | 30th Jan 18

    What fun ideas! I love that there are so many things to do and places to see without spending any money. So important to have that time together too!

  21. Sarah | 30th Jan 18

    LOVE IT!! Such fun ideas! Thank you for linking to some coupon apps that are new to me. 🙂

    • | 30th Jan 18

      You bet, Sarah! These apps are newer to me as well and I AM LOVING them.

  22. anne-onedeterminedlife | 30th Jan 18

    One way my husband and I save on dates is by not paying for outings, so going to a friends house or a work event. That way, we are not paying for the event and for a sitter.

  23. Lindsey | 30th Jan 18

    These are SUCH great ideas!! I feel like we really need to make the effort to do a better job at getting out!

  24. Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins | 1st Feb 18

    So much great information here! I’m going to have to pin this and come back to it when I have a little more time to delve deeper. One thing that I was talking to my husband about though is using a travel agency for our 10 year anniversary trip. As much as I love to save money, they have access to more tools and time than I do and would probably do a better job on a bigger vacation while still saving us money.

    • | 1st Feb 18

      Absolutely! Our travel agent is an absolute life saver when it comes to helping us find big, affordable vacations!

  25. candy | 9th Feb 18

    All these are great ideas. We did day dates when the kids were in school and hubby happen to have a day off. Going for a drive and getting an ice cream cone was fun and cheap. There are ways to still enjoy each other.

  26. ShootingStarsMag | 9th Feb 18

    Great ideas! I like the idea of swapping babysitting nights with friends, etc. if you both have kids! I LOVE Groupon and other local deal sites. I get so many ideas there.


  27. Alexandra | The Happy Life Formula | 9th Feb 18

    I haven’t heard of Dosh, I am definitely going to be checking that one out!

  28. Tami @ The Inspiration Lady | 9th Feb 18

    I LOVE Groupon when it comes to dates, haha! All of these other tips are great too, and I’d never thought of some of them! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • | 9th Feb 18

      Me too! Especially when you get get even MORE off Groupon!

  29. AMy | 9th Feb 18

    YOu inspired me! e have got to get a date on the calendar soon! Budget or not budget. <3

    • | 9th Feb 18

      Absolutely! There are so many easy on the wallet options out there!

  30. Erin Haugerud | 9th Feb 18

    Great ideas! It’s nice to save money for sure!!

    • | 9th Feb 18

      Oh yes!

  31. Lara | 9th Feb 18

    These are all such great ideas! I always feel guilty spending so much on a date night, so I’ll definitely use some of these ideas!

    • | 9th Feb 18

      Don’t! Investing in a relationship is one of the most important things!

  32. Sigoni | 9th Feb 18

    So many amazing ideas!! I’m definitely pinning this for when my husband comes home from deployment. I really want to be able to have more date nights and these are perfect for us! <3

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