Date ideas that are (mostly) frugal

So today is my 2 year anniversary with my guy.  I know it’s not the super longest of times but I’m completely happy it with and felt like sharing!  And to keep this a little personal fiancey related, I decided to share some dates that my guy and I typically do.

Date 1: Picnic after a hike!

You know the picture up above? The one of the bog? Yeah, I love that wilderness park.  So if it’s nice out, we’ll pack a backpack with some sandwiches or cold leftovers, some water and some sort of dessert type thing and proceed to head out to the park.  We’ll hike about half of the park and find a nice place to sit down and eat.  Not to mention take pictures and just generally have a nice day.

Cost: Minute as we already paid for the groceries and gas because we use them throughout the week.

Date 2: Lunch and movies.

We generally set aside $50 every two weeks for a date.  So if there is a movie we both think is theater worthy, we head to the matinee that Saturday or Sunday and get tickets and popcorn.  After that, we’ll usually either grab a quick-lunch or a cheap dinner.  Have I mentioned we can get Chinese takeout for the two of us for under $10?

Cost: $25 for the tickets, popcorn and drinks.  Usually $10 for dinner or lunch.  Total: $35.

Date 3: Rent movies and grill out.

He loves to grill and I love to let him.  Less cooking I have to do and keeps the house cooler as we’re not using the stove.  So if we know we want to do this date, we go to the store, pick out two awesome looking steaks that we won’t normally buy from the grocery budget, veggies, and taters.   Then we head to the video store and look at a movie we both want to watch, one that I want to watch and one that he wants to watch.  Eat a relaxing dinner at home and watch movies together.  The difference from normal times that we do something like this is there are some rules.  We don’t go to other places or invite people over until our date is done.

    Cost: Typically around $30 for everything involved.

Date 4: Bowl!

Okay, we haven’t done this yet because every time we want to go and do this, the bowling lane is filled.  But they have cheap nights and that’s what we would aim for. We both think it’d be fun and this could be a nice double/group date.

Cost: Estimated for us: $30-$40

Date 5: Splurge! Go out to eat and don’t worry too much about the cost.

Obviously we don’t really do this a whole lot but from time to time we will go out and find a restaurant that we both really want to go to and we keep the bill to under $50.  That’s the only way we watch it.  This isn’t done a lot as we can usually do two dates if we are careful where we eat but this combined with date 1?  Is great. Remember, splurging is okay once in a while!

    Cost: Under $50.

Neither one of us is a go out to the bar or club type of person.  Once in a while, maybe but it’s not typically on our list of things to do.  Anyone else have some great ideas?   On a differnt note, every time I wirte “steaks” my spell check is askimg me if I want to write “stakes” instead.

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39 Comments on “Date ideas that are (mostly) frugal”

  1. Happy Anniversary and thanks for the date tips. I like the idea of choosing a restaurant and keeping the bill under $50.

  2. Daisy says:

    Happy anniversary! It depends on what city everyone lives in but there is a lot of free stuff to do in Vancouver if you’re willing to drive for awhile.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I live in a little tiny town in Kansas. So there’s not a lot of free stuff to do but we try to find what we can. And our car isn’t the most reliable for long trips or that would help. And thank you!

  3. Alice says:

    Hubby and I got married on our two year dating anniversary – well, almost. We were a week shy of it being two years. I’m a numbers type person and I really liked the way the numbers looked in the date of our wedding.

    I love the date ideas! We eat out on Friday nights quite often, that is kind of our night of the week to go out. We typically will go someplace that is under $10 per person and we order water to drink, so it’s just $20 for an evening out. There are lots of free things in the area for the summer months. Concerts in the park on summer nights and such.

    The radio stations I listen to give tons of things away. Last year I won tickets to Holiday World in Indiana, Nationwide race tickets in Bristol, TN and Beech Bend Park tickets in Bowling Green, KY. This year I’ve already won tickets to the Good Guys Hot Rod show in Nashville, TN where they had over 1,500 hot rods 1972 or older. Winning tickets makes for a very cheap date!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I agree–Friday nights are when we typically go out as well. Of course if we are hiking, that’s different. And yes, free is always good. We try to go to community events here when they have them. I’ve actually never won anything via a radio show but I might have to start listening!

  4. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary! Great ideas to do fun stuff together with your guy……and bowling IS fun – especially in a group. We sometimes get a group or 6-10 together and go throw a game or two. The last few frames always seem to degenerate into “Who can throw the ball the goofiest without managing to chuck it in the wrong lane.” But hey, that’s why it’s fun, right?

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thank you! Yeah the last time I bowled it was horrid. You can HEAR my ball hit the lane. But I have fun doing it!

      • Alice says:

        You should try having your office in a building with a bowling alley. Oh, and not just in the same building, but upstairs from your office. It seems that the beginning of the lanes were right above my head. The really only fun part of this was folks would constantly say, “is it storming?” To which we could never really give an answer, as we also had no windows.

      • bogofdebt says:

        Wow that sounds awesome and horrible all at the same time! It must have been so weird to be below the bowling alley. I’d much rather be above the alley.

  5. Michelle says:

    Happy anniversary! We need to do cheaper things. We go to the bar too much!

  6. Happy anniversary! We do all of these too.. love hiking and running together. We like to run on the beach! Also we would rather rent movies than watch movies at the theatre. We’re homebodies so “dates” are easy for us and CHEAP!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I wish I could run on the beach! So jealous!!! Renting is a lot more fun–I can pause it to take a potty break! But everyone once in awhile there is a theater worthy movie.

  7. DebtsnTaxes says:

    Happy Anniversary! We do everything on your list. Hiking is one of the things we love doing the most. Good exercise and we get to see a lot of cool stuff. Last year we did a 10 mile hike on a trail that follows the Pictured Rocks (Upper Michigan) and had a nice little picnic halfway through.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thank you! That sounds so fun. In Kansas everything is pretty flat so we just go to that little park and it’s always different depending on what trail you do.

  8. Modest Money says:

    I’m gonna have to keep all these ideas in mind since I’m starting to get back into dating. Maybe I’ll save some of these ideas for the 2nd or 3rd date after I’ve wooed her with a bit of splurging lol. Just getting a coffee and wandering around a park can be enjoyable. I don’t drink coffee though…so I really mean those chocolaty fraps 🙂

    • bogofdebt says:

      Um choclolaty fraps are the yummy goodness of the coffee world to me! (I also don’t really drink coffee). Do the spulrge and follow up with a coffee and park date.

  9. kathleen says:

    Happy anniversary! I like the last one — sometimes, just go, and don’t worry about it!

  10. AverageJoe says:

    Isn’t spell check annoying? Of course, the second I turn it off, I get stuff wrong….

    To add to point #5: we will go to a nice restaurant and split a dinner. The portions are usually so huge that we can add a dessert and still not pay what we would have for two AND we don’t feel bloated leaving the place…..

    • bogofdebt says:

      I apparently make up new words all the time according to my spell check!

      When we do #5 we don’t actually split a dinner but I typically split my portion in half. That way I get a nifty lunch out of it. Or we both order something different and try out the other person’s meal. And again, left overs are a yummy lunch for me. (See how I win from both of these ways?)

  11. amyleebell says:

    We like to take a weekend off sometimes and stay in a hotel with a kitchenette. That way, we can buy our food from a grocery store (healthier and cheaper than eating out). And it’s so much fun to cook together! Extended Stay America has some very inexpensive rates. It’s not the nicest hotel, but just having the stove-top and full-size refrigerator makes it worth it. (Just remember to bring your own shampoo!). Last weekend we got a room for $60.

  12. Congrats! Bowling can definitely be cheap depending on when you go. Specials can be really cheap. My girlfriend and I can go bowling for $2 a game each and I have my own bowling shoes so that helps too!

    • bogofdebt says:

      Yeah I’m stuck with getting the rental shoes but it’s not usually too bad from what I remember. Apparently they have those really cheap nights here but I just havne’t been able to go to one yet.

  13. Happy Anniversary! I love active dates, so something like riding a bike, and hiking are always great options. Sometimes you can get good deals wine tasting too.

  14. […] BogofDebt talks about some Frugal Date Ideas! […]

  15. We love bowling. The price tag is a little too high to do it regularly for us, but it’s a fun time! We try to find ladie’s nights where I can go for free so we get to go for half price.

  16. […] of Debt has some cheap ideas for dates.  The wife and I do most of these, although not as much as I would […]

  17. belowhermeans says:

    I have been meaning to plan a picnic with M. for awhile now.

  18. […] {Bogofdebt} has had some exciting changes and discussed frugal dates. It makes me realize that all of my dates are frugal. Okay, most. Not all. […]

  19. I find that having nobody who wants to date me helps me save money. Probably not an enjoyable strategy for most, but it’s quite effective!

  20. Congrats on 2 years together! These are some great ideas. 🙂 Another suggestion? Cook a meal together – something different from normal, then eat it by candlelight.

    We’re experimenting with new date night ideas in our house too (after 13 years, keeping things fresh can be tough!), and this was actually my hubby’s idea… and he never cooks!

  21. […] of Debt wrote a post with some great, frugal date ideas. This is going to come in handy – Bruce & I came back from Vegas committed to having at […]


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