Date Night Ideas on a Budget

20 Budget-Friendly Date Night Ideas
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20 Budget-Friendly Date Night Ideas

After being together for over three years, my man and I still haven’t run out of fun date night ideas, but believe me, it’s a lot of work!

I’m constantly browsing Pinterest for creative plans, and sometimes I even think up some good ones on my own! When this post was originally published (02/20/2017), I shared a video about how we decided to spice things up on a Friday night – quite literally – with a cooking challenge! You can view the goofy goodness right here. The concept: each of us needed to purchase four ingredients, separate from each other, and once we reconnected after leaving the grocery store, we had to put together a full meal using the total of eight ingredients that we bought.

Coming back to revamp this post reminded me of all the great, budget-friendly date ideas we’ve come up with over the years, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. With Valentine’s Day on the way, this guide will help you save money and still have a blast with your significant other.

Looking for a way to break from the routine of “dinner and a movie”?

20 Unique Date Night Ideas on a Budget

  1. Go to an arcade together and challenge each other to a rousing game of skeeball.
  2. Find somewhere to play mini golf.
  3. Find the nearest photobooth, and take cheesy photo-strip photos together.
  4. Visit all the rooftop bars in your city and find your new favorite drink (a little more of a splurge).
  5. Pack a sandwich lunch and some fruit and head to a local park for a picnic – or if it’s too chilly where you live, have a picnic indoors!
  6. Build a blanket fort inside on a rainy day and pull out your childhood favorite animated movies.
  7. Play a new board game together.
  8. See who can make the better grilled cheese sandwich (get creative with this one)!
  9. Grab a goofy fighting video game and see who’s the stronger fighter.
  10. Take a workout class together.
  11. Go to a local park and head straight for the jungle gym. See who can pump highest on the swings.
  12. Make a playlist together of all the songs that remind you of each other.
  13. Listen to your newly created playlist on a drive with no destination – windows must be down.
  14. Buy a variety of super sour candies and find out which is the most sour.
  15. Go to the mall and pick out an outfit for each other.
  16. Plan your dream vacation – down to the smallest details (hotel, restaurants, activities).
  17. Volunteer at a local animal shelter together for a day (don’t be surprised if you wind up with a new pet).
  18. Find the best place in the city to watch the sunset – and bring champagne.
  19. Go dog watching and pretend you’re judges at a dog show. Spot the fluffiest, smallest, ugliest, etc.
  20. Try my four ingredient cooking challenge!

Related Posts: Our Love Story // What to Wear on a Valentine’s Day Date

Let me know what your favorite activities are for date night!

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20 Budget-Friendly Date Night Ideas



  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 1:49 AM

    Congratulations! Time flies huh! Not too long ago I remember you saying that he was moving to VA!!
    Thank you for the date suggestions I will stealing a few 🙂


  • Reply
    rachel vogt
    February 20, 2017 at 2:55 AM

    Aww you two are so cute. Love all of your outfits.
    xoxo, Rachel

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 6:01 AM

    You guys are adorable and I love how you try to break the routine with fun activities! Our fav activity is seriously a: sushi date, then movies then come home and fall asleep in the couch cuddling! The best!

    Bisous, Josie

  • Reply
    huyen tran
    February 20, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    These are such great ideas for date nights! Going to a rooftop bar and finding our new favorite drinks is something we both love to do during the summertime. I would also like to add go attend a wine and painting event 🙂

    Thanks for sharing girl!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    This is so cute! Such great ideas for date night. I LOVE rooftop bars!

  • Reply
    Anna English
    February 20, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Such cute date night ideas!

  • Reply
    Taylor Aube
    February 20, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    This post is so adorable! You have some amazing ideas here 🙂

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    This is such a cute post! Thanks for the date night ideas!

  • Reply
    Kelssey Layton
    February 20, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    This was so fun!! And so many great date ideas! We get tired of the same dinner and a movie night so we are def going to try some of these!

  • Reply
    Samantha Mariko
    February 20, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    omg the 4 ingredient challenge sounds so fun!! and it looks really appetizing too haha 🙂 And I love the date ideas, there are always so many different things you can do if you are creative about it.

  • Reply
    Angelle Marix
    February 20, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Ahhh.. so cute!!! I am loving these creative date ideas !!! Loved the video.


  • Reply
    Amanda | The Golden Girl Diary
    February 20, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    This is such a fun idea! Definitely making my hubby try this!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    Awesome list of date ideas. The arcade is so fun. I haven’t done that in ages. Rooftop bars are especially fun when we leave the city because we love seeing different skylines (especially since LA has so much smog. womp womp).
    Some of our own favourites include spa resorts or couples massages, Day trips or hiking in new areas, Watching a live show/musical (which we just did this weekend), plan the next trip (which we kind of do every other week) and sometimes do a sporting activity together when we haven’t had enough workout time during the week. 🙂


  • Reply
    Christine Kong
    February 20, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    Omg I love these ideas! Not only are they great for dating couples but married couples too! They are fun, affordable and easy ideas that can be done anytime. I love the little challenges with each other too! I’m going to use some of these ideas this weekend! Xoxo, Christine

  • Reply
    Jenna Colgrove
    February 20, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Love this post so much!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    That was very entertaining and inspiring all at once!! Thanks for the moto!!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 10:31 PM

    AHHHH I am so in love with this!!! You are so adorable together it just warms my heart!! I also love those date night ideas, I need to get on those with Justin! That video was way too cute!! AHH your just so stinking cute!!!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 11:03 PM

    These are some fun new ideas that I can’t wait to try with my boyfriend! I especially look forward to having a picnic with him. We both love the outdoors and we love to eat…haha! Thanks for sharing these new ideas. We always feel like we run out of stuff to do 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Tahami
    February 20, 2017 at 11:48 PM

    Loved the video, such a fun concept! Also please stop with the gorgeous couple photos because I miss my boyfriend and it hurts my eyes! Y’all are so cute!
    Sarah //

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Congrats lovely!!! Loved this idea and I loved getting see and hear your voice! So cool!!!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    You two are so adorable! These are great date night ideas!

    The Dainty Darling

  • Reply
    Ashley DTKAustin
    February 21, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    This is so adorable!! My husband and I still “date” each other as much as we can! Definitely makes things fun and exciting! And what a cute video!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Annette Vartanian
    February 21, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    How CUTE is this and you guys! <3 My hubby and I still go on dates – so important!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    These are such fun ideas! Totally stealing a few, because after 9 years together, it’s hard to find new things to do!

    xo, Sara

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    How fun are these ideas?! Love good ways to mix things up!

  • Reply
    Deddeh Howard
    February 21, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    You guys are so goal and looks like you’re making the best out of life and I really love that. You look lovely girl.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 9:55 PM

    Ah the cooking date is so fun and creative! This list is giving me so many good ideas to try out now 🙂


    Lauren //

  • Reply
    Sarah Tripp
    February 21, 2017 at 11:20 PM

    You guys are the cutest! What a fun date idea! xx

  • Reply
    Living in Color
    February 22, 2017 at 2:34 AM

    Ummmm you two are the absolute cutest <3

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Okay this sounds like so much fun – I want to do this with my husband this weekend!

    xx Nina

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    You guys are so cute! And how in sync are you two?! Given that you didn’t know each other’s ingredients and you came up with two meals that compliment each other – that’s love 😉

    xo, Jo

  • Reply
    Stephanie // A Sparkle Factor
    February 22, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Aww this post is so cute! I love your date night ideas, so creative. Nothing kills romance like falling into a rut!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Now that I realize this was a date-night twist, I’m 10x more obsessed! Such a genius idea. I might steal that from you the next time I get to see my boyfriend. The only issue is that I’m a terrible cook… Oh well! So cute and glad we got to see more of Brandon!

    xoxo Bryanna | Coming in Clutch

  • Reply
    Sharon Wu
    February 22, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    omg you two are seriously couple goals haha i know i say it a lot but i mean it! looks like you both really know how to keep the spark alive. love your ideas on what to do on a friday night! xo, sharon

  • Reply
    Jordan Chapman
    February 22, 2017 at 6:15 PM

    This is such a cute video and I’m glad it turned out all well! This is so hard to do, but you two smashed it!!
    Jordan xx

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 6:40 PM

    Such great ideas breaks up the monotony of going out to dinner on Friday nights. Love the video. I also love that striped dress.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Cute couple! You two are so adorable together xx

  • Reply
    Mindy Thompson
    February 23, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    This is so cute! I need to make these ASAP!!

    Mindy I

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Wow! Looks like it turned out so well. I knew it would work out when you picked up the parmesan. Cheese makes everything better. Loved all the little scenes too. Such a cute video that shows what life is like every day for you!

    xx Yasmin

  • Reply
    Linh Dao
    February 27, 2017 at 12:41 AM

    😭😭😭😭can you guys be any cuter!? I love watching this video so much because one, I love food haha and pasta! So I’m glad Brandon picked that because I probably would have to lol such a fun idea that you guys did. I wish you guys were here so tom and I could join this cooking challenge haha can’t wait for more videos!


  • Reply
    February 27, 2017 at 1:47 AM

    Oh my goodness, I had so much fun watching that! You two are adorable!! And I loved this challenge! I love just even eating out with Ross, and I think my favorite this is to just snuggle and talk! But fun dates are also up there! We might need to try this one!

  • Reply
    Atsuna Matsui
    February 27, 2017 at 11:22 PM

    OMG this cooking challenge is soo fun! You’re seriously soo creative and I would love to try this idea with my boyfriend since we love staying at home. 🙂 It’s always nice to find great date ideas even though you’ve been in a relationship for a long time.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    You two are seriously the cutest! Looks like you had the best time with this! I love the idea of getting out and trying some new rooftop bars or a picnic (especially once this weather gets nicer!)

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 5:56 AM

    Such a cute couple and you guys look so in love to each other= relationship goals
    The pics of you two are great and love you always looking new things to try:)


  • Reply
    Laura Allen
    February 11, 2019 at 9:21 AM

    I love this post! Me and my hubs definitely need to go on more date nights, and get dressed up for eachother! Such cute, inexpensive ideas! xoxo

  • Reply
    Sarah Lagen
    February 11, 2019 at 10:17 AM

    What a cute and fun list of date night ideas!! My favorite might be the arcade idea… just something fun to do together and something we haven’t done in years!

    xo, Sarah

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM

    These are all such fun ideas! I’ll have a try a few!


  • Reply
    Laura Adney
    February 11, 2019 at 3:07 PM

    These are all such cute ideas! I have to try (:

  • Reply
    Laura Adney
    February 11, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    I have to try these ideas! They are adorbs

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    I love all of these ideas! My husband and I have had a grilled cheese making competition (he won by a long shot, but it was okay because his sandwich was so good!) But I’m going to have to add these to our list of date ideas. A lot of the time we stay in and watch a movie, but it would be fun to mix it up!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 7:05 PM

    These are all great ideas! I think it’s important to remember that you can enjoy spending time with each other without spending a fortune! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 8:49 PM

    These are such fun ideas! We’re definitely on a budget this year with saving up for a wedding!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 9:29 PM

    I love all of these ideas! My favorite is going to the local arcade and playing Skee ball! I totally beat my husband *almost* every time.. lol But it’s so fun to have a friendly competition.

  • Reply
    Aliya Gulamhusein
    February 11, 2019 at 10:31 PM

    So many fun and unique ideas. Loved the one about going to the mall and picking out an outfit.

  • Reply
    Sharon Wu
    February 11, 2019 at 11:21 PM

    these are such great ideas darling! my boyfriend just got back surgery and has been spending the past week recovering, and will still be recovering on valentine’s day. this means we won’t be able to do anything too crazy as his back is still not having it, but i think trying a new board game is totally doable and would be so much fun! thanks for the idea 🙂

  • Reply
    Hillary Conheady
    February 11, 2019 at 11:53 PM

    These are such fun ideas!! Building a blanket fort is definitely now on my list! haha

    xo, Hillary |

  • Reply
    Indya | The Small Adventurer
    February 12, 2019 at 1:52 AM

    I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of movie nights as they’re both mine and my partner’s favourite idea of date night, but these ideas are super great too! We actually used to be super into mini golf and went to every course around us that we could find! If we want to visit a new one now, we’ll have to travel quite far 😅

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 8:14 AM

    These are the best ideas!! So important to always have fun together!!

  • Reply
    Sarah Lindner
    February 12, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    Such a great list of fun activities to spice up date night!!

    xoxo Sarah

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 9:25 AM

    so many great date night ideas!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    That cooking challenge sounds fun! I’m going to have to check it out. These are all great ideas, but I love #15 & #16 the most! My hubby probably won’t love it if I try to take him shopping though hahah

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 10:35 AM

    These are all such awesome ideas! I really want to go to a nearby arcade or play board games for V-day (I’ve been really into Settlers of Catan lately!)

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Those donuts look so good! I love the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter together. So fun!

  • Reply
    Ruthie Ridley
    February 12, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    Love the idea of a board game! We have not done that in a while!!

  • Reply
    ashley hargrove
    February 12, 2019 at 2:46 PM

    These are all such great date night ideas!! Grayson and I are staying in and cooking dinner and relaxing for once!

  • Reply
    Rachel R Ritlop
    February 13, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    awe these are great! we used to go to the arcade so much but havent been in years! totally forgot about it!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2019 at 9:59 PM

    Quality time shouldn’t be measured by money, these are such cute and fun ideas, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Azanique Rawl
    February 15, 2019 at 10:07 AM

    Mini golf & cooking together are two of my favorite fun date nights! I need to try more of your suggestions especially planning a small vacation together 🙂

    -xo, Azanique |

  • Reply
    Ifeoluwa Anani
    February 15, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    These are really great ideas! Those donuts look so yummy

  • Reply
    February 15, 2019 at 4:33 PM

    I love these date ideas! Especially the idea to plan your dream vacation together!
    Xo, Deanie
    Deanie Michelle

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 1:23 AM

    These are really great ideas. I’m going to try the cooking one!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Loving all of these ideas! Such a great roundup. So creative!

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