Save Your Precious Dollars With These Inexpensive First Date Ideas

First dates can be nerve-racking. There are so many elements involved with going out with someone that it can be overwhelming at times. One of the main concerns is deciding where you and your date should go. With endless possibilities out there, the feat of choosing one can be daunting, especially if you don’t want to (or can’t) spend too much money. Thankfully, there are a handful of options out there specifically for that situation. While you decide what you’re going to wear, we’ll share with you some destinations that are fun but won’t put too much of a dent in your bank account. Here are the cheapest but fun first date ideas.

There’s Nothing Like Coffee And Checkers

coffee date
Pixabay/Disarm
Pixabay/Disarm

You’d be hard-pressed finding someone who doesn’t enjoy a single menu item at a coffee shop, so start there. Coffee dates are intimate, allowing the two of you to get to know each other better while sitting down for a beverage, and it’s inexpensive.

After telling the story about how your older brother went to Yale but you couldn’t get in, bust out the checkers or any other board game the shop might have and start a friendly competition. Who knows, this could become your go-to spot for a cup of Joe as the relationship blossoms.

Volunteer At A Pet Shelter

walking dogs
purepetcaresg/Instagram
purepetcaresg/Instagram

The Humane Society and other shelters help a ton as it is, it’s about time they received a little more assistance. That’s where you and your date come in handy. If it’s a sunny day, what better way to spend it than by walking some dogs together?

Not only will you two get in some beneficial exercise, but you’ll have some furry little friends along for the walk. Giving your love to a pooch while wooing your date is a great way to get the relationship started.

Have A Laugh Or Two

cheap date
David Becker/WireImage
David Becker/WireImage

Have you ever been to a comedy club? The thing about them is that you’ll either have a grand time, or it can be a complete waste of your time. Take the chance on the former being the case and head on over with your date.

If it turns out to be a great night with some funny acts, the two of you will have a night to remember filled with laughter and good times. Either way, it’s sure to be an experience. Since these venues usually go for talent that isn’t too huge, tickets are inexpensive or can even be free.

Did Someone Say Target?

date at target
i_____love_____pizza/Instagram
i_____love_____pizza/Instagram

Hear us out on this one. Taking your partner out to Target as a first date isn’t as strange as it sounds. Think about all the times you’ve been there saying to yourself you’re only going to buy one thing, but end up staying longer than expected and browsing the aisles.

Now, you can cruise up and down isles with someone you’re interested in and even push them around in a cart. Another idea is to make a checklist and see if you two have the willpower not to spend over the planned amount.

Cook Up Some Homemade Pizza

making it
stefaniaorsi/Instagram
stefaniaorsi/Instagram

Remember, you don’t always have to go out for fun. There are plenty of viable options for you and your date to explore that take place in the confines of your home. For example, make homemade pizza!

Log into Pinterest and search for some quality homemade pizza recipe ideas that the two of you can use, and there you have it. Be sure to have the ingredients ready at home so you don’t look unprepared having to go pick up the pepperoni!

Art Museums For The Win

cheap date
emmagracenewell/Instagram
emmagracenewell/Instagram

This one should be the first thing that comes to mind if you’re trying not to spend a lot. In many cases, art museums have days where you can enter for free or at a highly discounted rate.

Find out where and when, then plan accordingly. Once you’re there, channel your inner Van Gogh and take in all the sights with your date. Be sure to take pictures in front of your favorite displays.

Check Out Some Tunes Together

music date
Pixabay/OmarMedinaFilms
Pixabay/OmarMedinaFilms

Music can bring together people who would’ve otherwise not been in the same stratosphere. Let it do the same for you and your date. Pick out somewhere neutral where the two of you can relax in peace, like under the stars, and show him or her your playlist.

For some, music can be as therapeutic as going to the spa if its the right song, so maybe share a little about why you like the song that’s playing. Soon enough, you two could be going to concerts together jamming to an artist you listened to on your first date!

Explore The Gardens

botanical garden
flavio_schuricht/Instagram
flavio_schuricht/Instagram

Much like with museums, botanical gardens have days that allow county residents a cheaper rate, or even free entry. These are the days you want to find out about so you can keep your funds safe for your first date.

Once you’re there, you’re in the perfect environment to get to know one another as you walk by all the beauty in nature. You can even take cute pictures together with sensational scenery. Don’t let this opportunity pass you up!

Movie Marathon Action!

couple
pinsbylove/Instagram
pinsbylove/Instagram

Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about going out to have a great time. One of the best first date ideas can take place right inside your home and all you need is a subscription.

Thanks to the premier of Disney+, you now have the ability to watch classic films that the two of you grew up enjoying. How does a Home Alone marathon sound or maybe you both are Marvel nerds? The world is your oyster.

The Sky Is The Limit

stars
universetoday/Instagram
universetoday/Instagram

For this idea, you might need to do a little recon before suggesting it to find the spot in your town that has the least amount of light pollution. Once you’ve taken care of that, suggest that the two of you go out and stargaze.

You’d be surprised at how lovely the night sky can look when the stars light it up at night. While gazing, you and your date can talk about whatever you wish for however long you like.

Skate It Up

skates rollering
nikachuu.xo/Instagram
nikachuu.xo/Instagram

Here’s a timeless idea that could go over well with your date. Take him or her rollerskating and find out how out of balance the both of you can be! While you might be afraid of falling, that should be the least of your concerns because it’s bound to be a good time.

Rollerskating is very inexpensive and it provides the perfect intimate vibe. While the two of you hold hands and try to stay on your feet, smiling will be all you can do.

Nothing Wrong With A Little Thrifting

going through thrift clothes
a_curated_collective/Instagram
a_curated_collective/Instagram

The best thing about this idea is that if you do plan on spending money, then you can feel safe knowing that you won’t blow of ton of cash. The cost of entry for thrifting is free, so unless you buy something, you’re only spending money on the gas it takes to get there.

Maybe your date enjoys shopping more than you do, so let him or her have fun and tell them if what they pick out is nice or not.

A Night Of Wii!

Wii date
Chris Weeks/WireImage for BWR Public Relations
Chris Weeks/WireImage for BWR Public Relations

The Nintendo Wii is one of the most innovative gaming systems ever to release. Adding motion sensors to video games revolutionized the way people enjoy playing. If you happen to have a Wii, have a blast playing one of the games with your date.

Order some pizza and pop in one of your multiplayer games, (Mario Kart is always fun) and begin having a great night. Not only will you two laugh, but you can see their competitive side as well.

Some Carnival Fun

bright lights
PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images
PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images

We know what you’re thinking, carnivals can get a little pricey, but they don’t always have to. Have you ever had a fun night of people watching? A carnival is a perfect place to do this and it can be more exciting than you think.

Forego the rides and maybe play a couple of the games that allow you to win a prize. Those don’t cost too much and if you’re victorious, you just won your date a gift on your first date that he or she can always keep.

Head To The Local Farmer’s Market

couple
lacerootsmama/Instagram
lacerootsmama/Instagram

Don’t underestimate the local farmer’s market. Not only can you get your share of the freshest produce, but you can always take someone there as a first date. The two of you can stroll around, pointing out the interesting fruits and vegetables that you love.

If you want to spend money, there are always inexpensive options for you to enjoy, so don’t worry about that. Bonds come about when people experience something unique so don’t be afraid to give this idea a try.

Go For A Few Strikes!

date of bowling
sunflower_child0206/Instagram
sunflower_child0206/Instagram

The cool thing about bowling is that bowling alleys always have special rates that won’t have you breaking the bank. After you find the best rates, head on over with your date and let the balls roll.

This is the perfect environment for those who might be competitive. Not only that, but you don’t have to be nervous about having to keep up a conversation the whole time, as both of you will be too busy trying to best each other.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Cartoons

date
Reza/Getty Images
Reza/Getty Images

We briefly alluded to a similar idea earlier when we brought up Disney+, but this is full-fledged cartoon action. Find out if your date has any cartoons that he or she grew up on that they love watching to this day, and set it up.

Laughing over a few Family Guy or Spongebob Squarepants episodes can break the ice and let the both of you show off your silly side. This could also lead to a consistent activity that the two of you do in the future.

Show Those Muscles!

a rock-climbing gym
Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Believe it or not, you can go rock climbing for cheap if you know how to secure inexpensive prices. Simply download an app like Groupon, and with one easy search, you can find discounted rates as low as $15 for two.

After you have done that, it’s time to show your strength. This is a little more physical than bowling, but there are easy enough paths for both of you to climb if you’re beginners.

Do You Have An Artsy Side?

coloring
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you and your future first date share being creative, then this idea is perfect for you both. Sharing creativity is something that can go a long way, so why don’t you two create art together for the first go-around?

Put on some nice music, order some inexpensive, but tasty take out from your favorite local restaurant, and set out the supplies. Since you like to create, figuring out what exactly it is you’re going to make is the fun part.

Don’t Knock It Until You Try It

chuck e cheese
Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images
Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

If neither of you minds lights or loud noises, then Chuck-E-Cheese can be a perfect first date. The food isn’t too pricey, and there are a ton of games that can occupy your time. Make it a contest and see who can win the most tickets!

At the end of the night after securing all your tickets, you two can get prizes for each other as gifts to remember the night. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.