8 ways to spend less on date night These cheap date night ideas for couples can keep your relationship and your finances healthy. February 13, 2023 Whether you’re cozying up on the couch together with a bottle of wine or headed out to the trendy restaurant everyone’s talking about, date night is an essential part of most relationships. “Date nights are important because they give new couples a chance to get to know each other and established couples a chance to have fun or blow off some steam after a rough week,” says Holly Shaftel, a relationship expert and certified dating coach. “Penciling in a regular date can ensure that you make time for each other when your jobs and other aspects of your life might keep you busy.” There’s just one small snag. Or, maybe it’s a big one. Date nights can get expensive. When you’re focused on improving your finances as a couple, finding ways to spend less on date night is a no-brainer. But you may be wondering: How can we save money on date night and still get that much-needed break from the daily grind? There are plenty of ways to conserve cash by bringing just a little creativity into the mix. Here are eight of the best ways to save money on date night: 1. Share common interests on the cheap When Shaftel and her boyfriend were in the early stages of their relationship, they learned they were both active in sports. They were able to plan their date nights around low-cost (and sometimes free) sports activities, like hitting the driving range or playing tennis at their local park. If you’re trying to find ways to spend less on date night, you can plan your own free or low-cost date nights around your and your partner’s shared interests. If you’re both avid readers, for example, even a simple afternoon browsing your local library’s shelves or a cool independent bookstore can make for a memorable time. If you’re both adventurous, check into your local sporting goods stores for organized hikes, stargazing outings, or mountaineering workshops. They often post a schedule of events that are free, low-cost, or discounted for members. 2. Create a low-budget date night bucket list Dustyn Ferguson, founder of a personal finance blog, suggests using the bucket-list approach to find the best ways to save money on date night. To gather ideas, make it a game. At your next group gathering, ask guests to write down a fun, low-budget date night idea. The host then gets to read and keep all of the suggestions. When Ferguson and his girlfriend did this at a friend’s party, they submitted camping on the beach, which didn’t cost a dime. “Go out for a nice dinner one week, and the next, go for a drive and bring a picnic.” To make your own date night bucket list with the best ways to save money on date night, sit down with your partner and come up with cheap date night ideas for couples. Consider activities that you normally wouldn’t think to do. Spur ideas by making it a challenge—for instance, who can come up with the most ideas of dates you can do from the couch? A few good ones to get your list started: have fun with social game apps (apps for lip sync battles are a real thing), grab a pencil or watercolors for an artistic endeavor, or work on a puzzle. If you’re looking for even more ways to spend less on date night, take the question to social media and see what turns up. 3. Alternate paid date nights with free ones If you’re looking for ways to spend less on date night, don’t focus on cutting costs on every single date. Instead, make half of your dates spending-free. “Go out for a nice dinner one week, and the next, go for a drive and bring a picnic,” says Bethany Palmer, a financial advisor and co-founder of a finance blog, along with her husband Scott. 4. Have a date—and get stuff done Getting stuff done around the house or yard may not sound all that romantic, but it can be one of the best ways to save money on date night when you’re trying to be budget-conscious. And, tackling your to-do list—like cleaning out the garage or raking leaves—can be much more enjoyable when you and your partner take it on together. 5. Search for off-the-wall spots If dinner and a movie is your status quo but you’re looking for cheap date night ideas for couples, consider mixing it up with some out-of-the-box ideas. That might include fun things to do without spending a lot of money, like heading to your local farmer’s market, checking out free festivals or concerts in your area, geocaching—outdoor treasure hunting—around your hometown, heading to a free wine tasting, or taking a free DIY class at your neighborhood arts and crafts store. “Staying creative allows you to remain flexible and not bound to simply doing the same thing over and over,” Ferguson says. 6. Leverage coupons and deals When researching the best ways to save money on date night, don’t overlook coupon and discount sites, where you can get deals on everything from food and retail. You can even find deals that will enable you to travel on a budget. These can be a great resource for finding deep discounts on activities you may not try otherwise. That’s how Palmer and her husband ended up on a date night where they played a game that combined lacrosse and bumper cars. There are also a ton of apps on the market that can help you find ways to save money on date night. For instance, you can find apps that offer discounts at restaurants, apps that let you purchase movie theater gift cards at a reduced price, and apps that help you earn cash rewards when shopping for wine or groceries if you’re planning a date night at home. 7. Join restaurant loyalty programs If you’re a frugal foodie and have a favorite bar or restaurant where you like to spend date nights, sign up for its rewards program and newsletter for money-saving opportunities. You could earn points toward free drinks and food through the rewards program and get access to coupons or other discounts through your inbox. Have new restaurants on your bucket list? Sign up for their rewards programs and newsletters, too. If you’re able to score a deal, it might be time to move that date up. 8. Make a date night out of budgeting for date night When the well runs dry, one of the best ways to save money on date night may not be the most exciting—but it is the easiest: Devote one of your dates to a budgeting session and brainstorm ideas. Make sure to set an overall budget for what you want to spend on your dates, either weekly or monthly. Having a number and concrete plan will help you stick to your date night budget. “Staying creative allows you to remain flexible and not bound to simply doing the same thing over and over.” Ferguson says he and his girlfriend use two different numbers to create their date night budget: how much disposable income they have left after paying their monthly expenses and the number of date nights they want to have each month. “You can decide how much money you can spend per date by dividing the total amount you can allocate to dates by the amount of dates you plan to go on,” Ferguson says. You may also decide you want to allot more to special occasions and less to regular get-togethers. Put your date night savings toward shared goals Once you’ve put these creative ways to save money on date night into practice, think about what you want to do with the cash you’re saving. Consider putting the money in a special savings account for a joint purpose you both agree on, such as starting to plan a luxury vacation on a budget, paying down debt, or buying a home. Working as a team toward a common objective can get you excited about the future and make these budget-friendly date nights feel even more rewarding. Some say that couples who exercise together, stay together. Here are a few tips to get physically and financially fit. Articles may contain information from third-parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third-party or information.