5 Cheap Date Night Ideas

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5 Cheap Date Night Ideas - ideas for spending time with your spouse without spending a lot of money.

FishPapa and I are approaching our 23rd wedding anniversary. We met 25 years ago. Needless to say, we’ve been through richer and poorer, sickness and health.

We’ve also had many years of living on the cheap. Some of that was because there was no other choice. The rest of it has been that we know it’s better to scrimp when we can in order to save for better splurges. We learned this the hard way.

But, at least we learned it.

In the last few years as our oldest children have become old enough to babysit, we’ve been able to have a weekly date night. This is a luxury that I never dreamed of. When you’re in the midst of changing diapers, cutting up someone else’s dinner, and being on call 24/7, it’s hard to imagine a date night every week. But, yes, it’s happened to us already.

And it’s pretty rad if I do say so myself. There’s hope, dear Mama. I promise.

That said, the budget doesn’t always increase with your children’s ages. Ours are not extravagant evenings on the town. We have a few key local restaurants that we enjoy, but there are still weeks when we scrimp.

Here are 5 cheap date night ideas to add to your repertoire:

1. Check Groupon or Amazon Local.

I’ve found some tremendous deals on Groupon, from movie and popcorn vouchers to wine tastings to heavily discounted meals at great restaurants. I’ve snagged museum tickets, ice skating deals, and jet skiing credits. There’s really no end to the options.

Layered Chocolate Dessert in a Jar

2. Go for coffee or dessert instead of dinner.

The biggest boost of a date night is being together without distractions. We don’t need a big night out on the town. Sometimes coffee and/or dessert are all we need to have a fun food and time to talk.


Have you signed up for Starbucks’ rewards program. It’s a great way to earn back some free drinks through your purchases. Check with your favorite cafe and see what specials they have going.

If you just can’t leave the kids, prepare a special dessert for just the two of you and enjoy coffee and dessert at home — even more economical!

3. Go for a walk or a drive.

Weather permitting, going for a walk or a drive together is a great way to catch up. We have some of our best talks while on road trips. Same goes for a walk along the beach or a hike through the hills.

4. Watch a movie.

There are lots of ways to watch a movie for cheaper. We’ve used Groupons, on occasion, but our local theater has $6 movies every Tuesday and Thursday. This is a super deal in our neck of the woods where movies cost up to $15 a person.

Watching a movie at home is pretty cozy, provided you can get the kids in bed at a decent hour. Amazon Prime movies are pretty affordable as well, and they stream right to your device. Of course the cheapest way is to borrow a movie or check it out from the library.

5. Go to bed early.

I didn’t say, “Go to sleep.” 😉 Even if things don’t get super hot and heavy, going to bed at the same time and early enough where you’re not passed out exhausted allows for time to talk, catch up, and hopefully a little something more.

What’s your favorite cheap date night?


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  1. Our community has some free lecture nights in the winter. We get out, eat cookies, sip cocoa and listen to an award winning author, photographer, historian or new research results on local or regional plants, animals, etc..

      1. Some are sponsored by the university, Audubon society, and Alaska Wildlife Alliance. The series we like the best is sponsored by the US Forest Service. The lectures are listed in the community section of our newspaper and advertised on the radio. I heard about them by word of mouth. Probably there’s something on social media, but I haven’t checked those sites.

  2. Our ymca has “parents night out”. It’s $10 per kid for 3 hours. They feed them pizza, do crafts & go swimming. And the kids only have to be 3. A screaming deal.

  3. we’ve got teenagers, in public school, one away in college. those at home stay awake longer than my husband and I.

    especially on weeknights, sometimes I just ‘want to be alone’. So sometimes I tell the kids “at 9pm I am no longer MOM. I turn into annie.” except for max the yorkie yipping right now, my husband is singing and playing his acoustic guitar singing me a song. gotta go

    thanks for being a great resource this year jessica.

  4. Our favorite “cheap dates” are going for a walk or bike ride- weather permitting. Browsing a big book store can be nice every once in awhile, as long as you aren’t going to be tempted to buy lots of books. 🙂 Some of our best have been in our own home when someone else takes the kids overnight or even for an afternoon or evening. If you can forget about all the things you “should” be doing and have a relaxed dinner together, watch a movie, etc. In Africa, our house is a pretty high traffic area- people constantly in and out- & we’ve hung blankets over the windows, stayed in the back of the house, and ignored knocking at the door. Later we snuck out the back door and the back gate of the compound to take a bike ride. It’s fun to do every once in awhile and the “sneaking” makes us feel silly, like teenagers again. 🙂

  5. We don’t have the money for babysitters so an evening date is too expensive. Instead we have a lunch date once a week. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner anyway and there are lots of coupon deals.

  6. We have a lot of breweries in our area (wineries would probably work too) and plan on taking hubs for tours of two and try some flights of beer. Most charge 5-10 bucks for a flight and the tours are free. I don’t drink, but am interested in the tour. Most will let you bring a picnic and have areas that you can eat while you try your flights. We might go to a “fancy” grocery store and pick up some yum cheese, meat, etc.

  7. We can make do at home with stovetop popcorn and a movie or conversation. When going out, we love to eat at a restaurant we like (and that’s not fancy) and then hang out at our local bookstore that only carries used books.

    1. I think it’s the time spent together that matters. We walked around downtown, rejecting three overpriced restaurants in the process to land at a good and cheap burger place.