10 Date Night Ideas That Cost $10 or Less

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Budgeting for a date night is a double-edged sword, especially during a pandemic when we’re trying to be extra conservative with our money. When you are planning them out, it can be fun to come up with things to do with your partner. But actually finding money for a date night–that can be a real challenge.

If you and your partner are budgeting for date nights, there may be some months when you do something a little bigger at the beginning of the month and then are stuck doing nothing for the rest of the month. It also may be that you are not able to budget much for date nights but know that going out and spending time together is important.

Since my wife and I just hit our 15 year wedding anniversary, I thought it would be fun to detail some of the fun things that you can do for a date that won’t cost you more than $10.

For those nights when you are looking to do something with your honey but don’t have any money, here are 10 date night idea for you.

Have a Picnic

How does a romantic picnic in the park with PB&J sandwiches, a bottle of water, a beautiful breeze, and some good company sound? Sign me up!

Take a couple of sandwiches (they don’t have to be PB&J) each packed in a lunch box or reusable bag, lay your blanket on the grass, and enjoy each other’s company. You can even grab a bag of chips for a snack.

After you’re done, clean up and lay on the blanket together. See what sorts of shapes you can see in the clouds.

If you want stay at the park late enough, you may be able to watch the stars together depending on how much light pollution is in the area.

A word of caution, though. There are a lot of parks that close at dusk so be sure to check with the local township where the park is at on how late you can stay.

Cook Different Dishes for Each Other Using the Same Ingredient

And then split both of your dishes!

My wife and I love to watch Beat Bobby Flay on Food Network. For those unfamiliar with the premise, two people who are close and know world famous chef, Bobby Flay, pick two contestants that they think may have a chance to beat Bobby in a cooking competition.

The two contestants go head to head using an ingredient of Bobby’s choosing. Then the winner of that match goes head to head with Bobby making their own signature dish.

This concept can be used at home using a mutual ingredient in your fridge or pantry.

Say you have some zucchini in the fridge. Each of you can make a separate dish featuring zucchini. Then each of you eat half of each other’s dish and judge which one you liked better.

To make things more interesting, feel free to give yourselves a time limit. This is a great way to enjoy some delicious food in a more interesting way!

Go for a Bike Ride or Walk


Going out and being active is doubly beneficial. It’s good for your overall health and it’s a great way to spend time together.

Grab bikes if you can and hit up a local trail. If you don’t have a local trail by your house, walking the sidewalks around your neighborhood is another great way to go.

If you don’t have bike’s, or want to be able to talk while you’re out, then walking is the way to go.

Enjoy each other!

Have a Bonfire and Roast Some Marshmallows

Now this one will take just a little bit of work. Snuggling around a fire with your partner is a great way to spend some time together. It’s peaceful, romantic, and can be a great place to chat.

To get started, you’ll need to find some decent sized rocks. You won’t need a ton, but you will need enough to create a circle about 3 feet in diameter. The rocks are there so your fire won’t spread beyond your pit.

In addition, you’ll need some wood, a little bit of lighter fluid, and some matches. You may even have some wood around the backyard you can use already.

If you can find one under $10, then you can try a Duraflame log. Those guys are super easy to light and will burn for around 3 hours.

For detailed information on how to start a fire without a Duraflame log, I recommend checking out this page on WikiHow. They’ll do a better job of explaining it than I ever could.

After that, grab some marshmallows, something to stick them on, and get roastin’!

Use a Gift Card

If you’re really dying to go out together, then there is one other option. However, this one takes a little bit of forethought.

If there is nothing else you need or want for gifts around the holidays or for your birthday, why not ask family and friends for gift cards?

There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can leave it up to your friends and family to get you gift cards to places they think you will want to try or know you like. Alternatively, you can ask for gift cards to a specific restaurant.

The former will give you many options to choose from. The latter will give you one option that you can either go to over and over again, or if it’s more expensive, the option to go to a fine dining restaurant once or twice without spending money.

Either way, depending on how much you get in gift cards, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $10 even with tip.

Go to the Library and Pick a Book to Read Together

What better way is there to get to know your spouse than discussing a book with them? Go to the library, agree on a book to read, then head home and start reading. After you get through a chapter, discuss what you’ve just read.

Depending on how into the book you are, this date night can last for a few future date nights as well. You could read three chapters together tonight, and then save more chapters for another date night next week.

Take a Laptop Outside and Watch a Movie

This is not your typical “sit on the couch and watch a movie” kind of movie night. Let’s get out of the house for this one!

Grab a blanket or some lawn chairs, set up your laptop on something outside, and stream a movie that you both enjoy. If it’s a cool night, then you can keep each other warm with the help of an extra blanket.

Camp Out in Your Backyard

If you’re an outdoorsy person, this can be a lot of fun. Pitch your tent in the backyard with your honey and enjoy each other’s company in a small, two-person tent.

You can also try combining this one with having a bonfire. Just make sure the fire is out before falling asleep.

Bonus: camping in your backyard can give you the feeling of roughing it while still being about 20 steps away from a real bathroom. 😉

Go to a Free Night at a Local Museum

In many of the major cities, museums usually host free days or nights throughout the year. Check out your local museums to see when these are offered around your area.

Museums are a great way to talk and get to know each other. You can discuss the different art pieces at the art museum or go wonder what it would be like to be together in ancient Egypt in the history museum.

Your local aquarium or planetarium is a great way to check out sea life or the stars without having to be underwater or outside. Imagine stargazing with your partner in the warmth of a big Omnimax theater at your local planetarium!

Eat at home before heading out and your only cost for this will be transportation.

Go Window Shopping in Your Local City

This one is especially fun around the holiday season. I remember a particular morning a while back where the clouds were especially dark when I got off the train in Chicago for work.

The lights of the city were still on and it reminded me so much of Christmas time. The song “Silver Bells” immediately popped in my head and was there the rest of the day!

Window shopping can be a challenge if you find it hard to not spend money while shopping. If you can handle it though, you can really have some fun with your guy or gal.

You could try on some clothes that you would never usually wear. Go to somewhere like the Pottery Barn and imagine what it would be like to purchase some of their room decor.

This is a great time to just hang out and talk with each other as well. There’s nothing better than just getting to know your partner when you out having some fun.

You don’t need to pay attention to the time or anything you need to buy. Just be with each other.

Let the Fun Begin!

So there are ten date night ideas that won’t cost you more than $10.

Only one thing left to do. Schedule them!

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Hey! I'm Tim.

I’m a budgeting and personal finance expert, author, and Certified Financial Coach. My mission is to not only teach you money principles, but to teach you how to mold them to fit who you are and build the life you want. I don’t like typical money advice. I’ve tried to fit into a mold by using typical money advice and I had less control of my money and went further into unnecessary debt. Now, I live to teach others how to break the mold in their own lives and find their version of financial freedom. Read more about me.

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