33 Cheap Date Ideas Under $20

In case Target’s dollar section didn’t give it away…Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Granted, I don’t take the explosion of pink + red too seriously – I like to think of V-Day as the ultimate way to just celebrate love in general, regardless of whether or not that’s a romantic relationship, your squad’s best friendship, or the unbreakable bond between you and Pete Za. Ya know who I mean? 😉 Finding cheap date ideas can be a daunting task. NO WORRIES, though – we’ve got everything from cheap first date ideas to cute date ideas at home, to just generally inexpensive/affordable ideas for you to try!

Valentine’s Day (and heck, date night in general) can be scary sometimes when you think in terms of $$$ – it can easily rack up if you’re just trying to “go all out,” since places are quick to ask for more dough for more fun. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I’ve rounded up 33 super easy, FUN, cheap date ideas all under $20. YUP – UNDER $20. And that’s being generous, because many of these are f-r-e-e and/or only rely on things you’ve probably already got lying around the house to make it work. If it’s counting on things you’ve already purchased, we’re counting that as a sunk cost and it’s not taken into account for the cost of the date. If you have to go out to buy something FOR the date, though, that’s counted. Some are romantic date ideas at home, and some focus on exploring what’s around you. Capiche? 😉

33 Date Nights UNDER $20 (Cheap Date Ideas for ANY Season!) - on Coming Up Roses - 33 Cheap Date Ideas Under $20 by popular Philadelphia lifestyle blogger Coming Up Roses


Don’t feel like leaving home? Cute at-home date ideas…

Feeling lazy ain’t always a bad thing! If you’re feelin’ staying home in your pajamas, here are some cheap date night ideas at home you can try!

  1. Have a blackout! Turn off the lights, commit yourself to only candles + old school flashlights (no iPhones allowed!). Tell ghost stores or share childhood secrets on the living room floor. (Cost: FREE)
  2. Make cookies. Betty Crocker can help on this one. 😉 (Cost: $5 for baking supplies)
  3. ...and give them away. Package them up in little Ziploc baggies and deliver to neighbors or people you see a lot in your ‘hood, like the mailman. (Cost: FREE)
  4. Have a kitchen showdown! Challenge each other to a cookoff – you can split the $20 at the grocery store however you’d like, but each person must whip up as full a meal as possible with what they’ve got. (Cost: $20)
  5. Write a children’s book. Children’s books are usually around 1,000 words – which is the typical length of blog posts on CUR. Team up and crank out something to trump the hungry caterpillar! (Cost: FREE)
  6. Put together a puzzle together. We were in Wal-Mart the other day and saw the most EPIC cat puzzles for $2, so you KNOW that’s a good time waiting to happen. (Cost: $1-3)
  7. Read together. Three options here. Option 1.) Take turns reading a book back and forth aloud. Option 2.) Each read a chapter of the same book at the same time, then break to discuss. Option 3.) Each read a chapter of different books at the same time, the break to discuss. (Cost: FREE)
  8. Do a crossword together. For the free version, use whatever’s in the newspaper that day/week. To amp it up, grab a whole book of crosswords from the Dollar Store. (Cost: FREE – $2 for a whole book)
  9. Choreograph a synchronized dance together to today’s #1 hit (just Google to find out what the top song that day is!). Bonus points for doing it in costume…even more bonus points for performing it in costume in front of friends after. (Cost: FREE)
  10. Find a new Netflix series to binge. I mean, we ALL know this one…but for recommendations, try Parenthood (emotional roller coaster), Breaking Bad (insanely epic), or Shameless (our current binge). (Cost: FREE trial, then $10/month)
  11. Work out together using only things around your house. Do pushups on stairs, curl the milk jug, squat while holding the cat – whatever works. (Cost: FREE)
  12. Set up your own photobooth using an app on your phone/computer and whatever funny props you can dig outta yo’ closet. If you’ve got a feather boa, Mardi Gras beads, old glasses…now’s the time. These are great cheap date ideas for teenage couples, too! (Cost: FREE)
  13. Have a pillow fight. Turn it into a whole-house adventure by mixing with hide and seek. Just don’t break anything… (Cost: FREE)
  14. Host your own massage night. Dim the lights, grab yo’ lotions and oils (bonus points if they are aromatherapeutic at all), and take turns getting out kinks! (Cost: FREE)
  15. Pull up free dance lessons on YouTube. Push the couch to the side and learn ballroom or salsa from the best. (Cost: FREE)
  16. Grab a bottle of wine and pair it with Scrabble. The adult version: Make it Strip Scrabble, where each person loses an article of clothing for any word under 20 points. 😉 (Cost: ~$10)
  17. Make yo’ own PIZZA. Grab favorite toppings from the grocery store and a pack of flatbreads, and whip up a bunch of personal pizzas together (that you share, of course). (Cost: $~10)


Cute, cheap date ideas when you want to explore the world together…

If you’re itching to get out, though, and see what’s in the neighborhood, there are some cute, inexpensive date ideas for that, too! 

  1. Go for a romantic stroll. Whether it’s through the city, the culdesac, or your backyard, set a timer and just walk. And you’ve *gotta* hold hands throughout! (Cost: FREE)
  2. Turn a Goodwill shopping excursion into a style challenge. Split your cash and pick each other out an outfit – bonus points if you continue wearing said outfit for the whole date! (Cost: $20)
  3. Hit up the local library to grab some old movies that you were always meaning to see but haven’t yet. (Cost: FREE)
  4. Pick up a ball/bat and go play at a local park. Whether it’s kickball or catch, have fun running around the bases of the baseball diamond and letting your inner kid out. Bonus points for grass stains! (Cost: $5-10 for toys, then FREE)
  5. Forget dinner – just go somewhere for dessert. Pick one to share + get 2 forks/spoons! (Cost: ~$5)
  6. Find a flea market and scout out items from your childhood/past. Each of you can pick out one particularly nostalgic piece to take home as remembrance of your time together. (Cost: ~$10)
  7. Get into the community. Community events are often free (or v. v. cheap), and if you fully take advantage of what’s in store, chances are you might come out with more than you went in – like free food! Just find your local municipal website or wherever city happenings are posted, and go from there! (Cost: FREE – $5)
  8. Get $10 worth of quarters and hit up the nearest arcade. Skeeball loser has to buy the nachos. (Cost $10)
  9. Go somewhere for only free samples. If you’ve already got a membership to somewhere like Costco, even better…go in with zero intent to buy anything, and just roam around scoring the taste tests of new cheeses and tea drinks. (Cost: FREE)
  10. Picnic in the local park with whatever’s already in your fridge. Pack up leftovers in your Tupperware and bring plastic silverware – don’t forget to lay out a blanket first! (Cost: FREE)
  11. Volunteer somewhere together. Whether it’s an animal rescue league or homeless shelter, a retirement home or charity event, pick something you’re both passionate about and put in quality time helping others. You’ll bond, but more importantly, you’ll be doing something *awesome* together. (Cost: FREE)
  12. Check out a book on constellations from the library when they’re calling for a particularly clear night. Lay out a blanket in the backyard and see what all you can point out together. Yes, your backyard totally counts as exploring the world. 😉 (Cost: FREE)
  13. Go around town and pick up all of the local pubs and bars’ happy hour specials. Make a date out of whatever’s on sale (and ONLY what’s on sale!). (Cost: $20)
  14. Some museum entries are free on certain days of the week or month. Find out when that’s happening, and go embrace culture! (Cost: FREE)
  15. WINE TASTING (a personal favorite of mine 😉 ). Many tastings at wineries (we’re not talkin’ tours – just the tasting!) are around $5 – you’ll get to try the wines and keep the glass as a souvenir! (Cost: ~$5)
  16. Hit up a local pool hall. Games MIGHT be $2 – loser buys the beer. (Cost: $5-10)

Easy, inexpensive date night ideas are plentiful if you’re willing to get creative , so I hope this list helps inspire your next date night in OR out! What about you? Do you have any personal favorite cheap date ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

What are some of your favorite cheap date ideas?

If you’ve got personal cheap date ideas faves with your honey, drop ’em in a comment below – my hubs and I are ALWAYS up for free/cheap, creative nights together!

If you want/need more cheap date ideas, I’ve gotcha covered…here are: 29 Romantic Winter Date Ideas, 30 Spring Date Ideas on a Budget, 22 Cute + Cheap Summer Date Ideas, the 12 Dates of Christmas30 Romantic Fall Date Ideas, Easy Comfort Food + Playlist for a Cozy Date Night In, and Halloween Date Night ideas for couples that hate Halloween.



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