You don’t want anyone calling you a cheap date, but the truth is, dating is expensive.  When your budget calls for no or low cost solutions, the key is doing some homework, getting creative and bringing a spirit of fun.  We’ve compiled a list of date ideas that will help you connect without breaking the bank. Who knows, your date might even like the out-of-the-box thinking.  


Free Concerts, Farmer’s Markets + Festivals.   Do your homework and look for free community events in your area and build a date around that. There are tons of free concerts,  outdoor festivals and farmer’s markets that are a lively, fun and don’t cost a thing.   


Beach Day.  Nothing is more relaxing or intimate than a day at the beach.  Bring a blanket built for two, some beach chairs and a cooler of your favorite snacks.  Even better in the evening, have a bonfire and make S’mores. Campfire talk is especially romantic.  


Take a Hike.  Plan a scenic hike.  Exercising together is a great habit to get into and being out in nature is good for the soul.  Bonus points if you bring a backpack with a blanket and some picnic fare and surprise your date with a romantic little stop at a scenic spot.  


Geocaching.  It’s a thing.  Couples are doing it in droves and it sparks a spirit of fun, quirky adventure.  Basically, it’s a real life treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and geocaches are literally everywhere. In fact, you probably pass by scores of geocaches hidden on a daily basis and don’t even know it!  Begin on the official Geocache website — all you need is your phone with the free app downloaded.


Cook Together.  Even better, shop and cook together. Yes, there is a small cost of groceries, but it’s so much less expensive than eating out and often a much better experience.  How someone is in the kitchen tells you a lot about them as a person. If they are light hearted about burning the garlic bread, you know they can deal with speed bumps with a sense of humor. If they fall apart, you know you may have a perfectionist on your hands.  


Game Night.  What’s more fun than playing games? You’ll laugh, you’ll experience a little spirit of competition and create a playful connection. Be creative and throw a twist in to your games.  

If someone loses a hand, they have to tell you something about themselves you don’t already know, or, if you’re intimate, has to lose a piece of clothing.  Game night can be sexy and a blast.  


Backyard “Camping”.  Pitch a real tent in the backyard (or a blanket fort inside) and make it extra cozy with tons of pillows and soft blankets.  Make your night complete with lanterns, stargazing and ghost stories.  


The point is, when you “do” something together, there is a level of intimacy that creates a much deeper connection than spectating.  So even if you have money, you may want to try something from the list for that reason alone. Now go be a cheap date!