4 Tips For Cheap Dating

cheap dating
Image by mikebaird via Flickr

One of the most important aspects of living frugally is learning how to live frugal, but also be reasonable about it.  For example, if you want to reduce your out-to-eat expenses each month by 15-20%, you shouldn’t simply stop tipping your waiter!  Not tipping would be miserly, not frugal.  Keeping that romantic flame alive is no different.  You don’t want to stop spending money altogether on dates and special surprises.  Instead, you just need to get creative when it comes to cheap dating.  Once you open the fountain of creative thinking in relation to date nights, I think you’ll be amazed at all the fresh ideas you come up with.

Weeknights make for Cheap Dating

Moving your date night from the weekend to a weeknight has potentially huge money-saving possibilities.  Going out on week nights is cheap dating due to economic reality. First off, from the practical side, way fewer people are out during the week, so lines at the restaurant and everywhere else will be much shorter.  Secondly, on the financial front—you can usually find killer deals during the week at your favourite restaurants.  2 for 1 entrees or great drink specials abound during the first few days of the week.  All you need to do is surf the Internet a bit and make a few phone calls to your favourite spots to see who is running specials.

Swap Babysitting Services

One of the most expensive facets of a great date night is the sitter.  The days of sitters charging $5 an hour are long gone!  Depending on how many children you have and where you live, babysitting costs can climb up to $75 pretty quick.  One great solution is to initiate a babysitting co-op in your neighbourhood.  You watch your neighbour’s kids one time a month and they watch yours once a month.  This type of agreement can reduce your overall babysitting costs to $0!


There are definite advantages to eating out.  You get out of the house, you get into a different atmosphere, and no one has to cook!  However, with a little creativity, you can turn your dining room or backyard into an incredible dining experience.  Once the kids are gone, you can prepare a meal with your significant other, dim the lights, light some candles, turn on some music, lay down a nice tablecloth, and all of a sudden eating at home is enjoyable.  If the weather is nice and you have a private backyard, a dinner at dusk can be a great way to relax and reconnect.  You don’t need to open a restaurant, obtain a business cash advance to get this set up!

After you eat out, then it’s time to hit your favourite restaurant or night spot.  My wife and I like to find places that are running “50% Off Bottle of Wine” specials.  We will typically get a bottle of wine and appetizer.  That $30 bottle of wine is only $15 and an appetizer is typically $10.  $25 + tip for a total of $30.  If a restaurant is struggling financially, they will probably be trying to secure a restaurant business cash advance to help cover operating costs, but they will also be slashing wine prices at the same time!

Dollar Theatre

Sure the dollar theatre may not have the luxuries that your modern theatre does, but who cares if the chairs are 20+ years old and the sound isn’t insanely advanced! (In many peoples homes the couch and sound system dwarfs the theatre!)  Most theatre tickets are going to run you about $10, depending on where you live.  If you’re still hungry after dinner theatre snacks cost a fortune.

If you were to add up all these tips and make it a date, your expenses would look like this:

Cheap Dating
Not so Cheap Dating
Babysitting – $0Eat-In – $15Wine & Appetizer – $30

Movie – $5 (for 2)

Total – $50


Babysitting – $50 (at least)Eat-Out – $70Movie – $20


Total – $140

All it takes is a little creative thought and energy and you can significantly cut your dating expenses via cheap dating techniques, without draining your wallet.

What cheap dating tips do you have?

Promotional consideration received for this post from Small Business Loans Direct.

18 thoughts on “4 Tips For Cheap Dating

  1. We have a used bookstore that we hit from time to time for a cheap date. I always seem to have a stack of books and magazines that we pick up for dirt cheap and sometimes for free at yard saled. We take these books and trade them in for credit, so our “new” books are virtually free. A cup of coffee and cake at the attached coffee shop is about all this costs us. Less than twenty bucks for a couple hours of calm togetherness.

  2. I love those rare occasions when all of my kids are sleeping over at a friend’s house. But even then we’ll buy something fancy to cook, like salmon steaks and get a bottle of wine.

  3. We do a lot of in the house dating or we will get away for a lunch while the kids are in school. Most deals or new spots around town we have been curious about. The lunch specials are typically affordable.

    Being married for 10 years, you have to be creative these days….if you don’t want to go broke. I like in the Chicago area and everything is pricey.

  4. Like 101, we have gone to the bookstore for date night. It is actually really fun. We have also gone for walks in the park and picked a new recipe to try and cook together. We also take advantage of some of the group buying clubs to get deals on fun activities.

  5. We split an appetizer and an entree sometimes when we go out or we’ll go out just for dinner. I’ve also been loving all the free outdoor concerts in our area (movies are even better). We bring a picnic and enjoy for basically no more cost than eating at home.

  6. My favorite way of celebrating Valentine’s Day is bringing in food, getting flowers and having a candlelight dinner in front of the fireplace. It is inexpensive , romantic and very casual.

  7. Pingback: Feel Good About Trying Something New - Frugal Under FortyFrugal Under Forty

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