The Best Cheap or Free Date Nights!

With Cody and I just celebrating our fifth anniversary, I thought it would only be fitting to do a post about our favorite dates. We love date night, but with crazy schedules, two young kids, and trying to “Dave Ramsey” ourselves out of student loan and car debt, both our time and funds are limited.

I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite cheap or free date nights. Let me know how you date on a budget in the comments below!

  1. Tour Model Homes- This is one of our absolute favorites and actually how we just celebrated our five year anniversary. We love to look at floor plans, decorating ideas, and just getting the chance to dream together. Our plan is to build a house in the future, so it’s good “research” for us, but even if we weren’t ever planning to build, there’s just something about dreaming and see the future with your spouse. Plus, it’s FREE!
  2. The Penny Game- This is another free one (minus the cost of gas of course). This game can be done a few different ways, depending on your location and/or the amount of time you have. Simply take a penny and go for a drive. Every time you get to a stop sign (or light if you see it coming up) flip the penny. Go left for heads and turn right for tails. If you’re going on a long stretch of road with no or few stops, flip again after each turn and take the next road that goes in that direction. Bonus date: Set up a date or picnic wherever you end up!
  3. Putt-Putt/Bowling- My husband and I are as competitive as they come. This one sounds so cheesy and cliche, but a good game of bowling or putt-putt can make anyone’s competitive side come out. Both of these dates are relatively inexpensive and can be found in most every town. Pick a fun wager to add to the competitiveness. Our favorites are loser cooks dinner or washes the dishes!
  4. Attend a Free Concert/Event- In our small town, every week there is a free concert or event in the park. Some weeks it’s a barbershop choir or jazz band, and another week might be the local high school band, or a symphonic chorus. It’s free and a fun way to support our local community. Many areas have similar events for free or cheap. If yours doesn’t check out a neighboring town.
  5. Fairs and Festivals- These can be as cheap or as expensive as you make them. My husband and I love going to our local county fair, seeing all the animals, booths, races, etc. There is a small entrance fee for our fair, but there are also many other street fairs that don’t cost a dime to walk through. Not to mention, nothing quite beats delicious fair food.
  6. Take a Hike- Even in my small town, there are all kinds of trails, some for the more experienced hikers, and some for beginners. You can go as fast or slow as you please, stop for a kiss or two, and take in all the sights and sounds of mother nature.
  7. Pick Fruit- Our area has a ton of different fruit farms. Depending on the type of year you could pick berries, apples, pumpkins, etc. Usually you just have to pay for the fruit you take with you so you can pick as little or as much as you want. Bonus date: Bake a pie or include whatever you pick in with your dinner or dessert!
  8. Take a Walking Tour- We live in a small town, so for us, this works best when we head to a larger city. There are a ton of different apps to assist you with a walking tour. When we visited Pittsburgh for a weekend, we were able to choose apps based on what we wanted to see during our tour. We chose to take a history tour, which showed us all the places within a certain radius of historical value. You can usually set these up for as long or short as you want, plus they’re self-guided so you never feel rushed!
  9. Go Thrifting- Give each other each $10 and head to a Goodwill or other thrift shop. Head to opposite ends of the store and pick out the craziest outfit you can find for the other person in your $10 price range. Your partner has to wear whatever you pick out for the rest of your date. Lots of laughs on this one and something you will never forget.
  10. Go On a Scavenger Hunt- Head outside on a trail, go to a supermarket, or hit the mall. Invent your own scavenger hunt and take a picture with everything you find on the list. Can’t figure out what to look for? Google and Pinterest have literally hundred of scavenger hunt ideas! Pick your fave and head on out. You can even do this one as a double date with some friends. Wager something for whoever finishes last!

There ya have it! Some of our all-time favorite dates on a budget!

Cody and I are firm believers in continuing to date your spouse, but with kids, jobs, and just life in general, that isn’t always easy. Even with all the craziness, we know it’s important to make time for each other.

My grandparents have both been married more than fifty years, and my parents for more than thirty. All of them will tell you how important it is to spend time making the other feel important, even in the hustle and bustle of life.

But dating doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg, and let me tell you, some of our all-time favorite memories are on dates just like the ones above.

Let me know if you try any of these dates, and drop any of your favorites below! We’re always up for a new date or two!

All my love,


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