The 82 Best Cheap Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget

"Love don't cost a thing." —J.Lo

couple making smores at bonfire, a cheap date idea
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fancy dinners and concert tickets add up, especially when you're trying to get to know somebody new. We would all love to be able to splash out big on every fun date, but unfortunately, that's just not the lifestyle most of us can afford to live. But you shouldn't have to choose between wooing the attractive human of your dreams (or even just the attractive human of the moment from Hinge) and paying rent. That's where affordable date planning comes into play. Or, you can take things a step beyond "affordable" into "cheap"—or even hop two steps ahead into free date territory. (If you're looking for at-home date ideas, we've got those too.)

Cheap dates (that don't feel cheap) aren't just for people in those early stages of relationships. Long-term couples still need a steady supply of good date night options, especially if they're sticking to a budget or just not into fancy schmancy expensive dinners. To help out literally anyone looking to have a fun date night on a budget, we've put together the ultimate guide to dating that's actually affordable. Plenty of these date ideas don't require more than $20, but most of these won't cost you a penny. From creative second-date options to outdoorsy adventures that only require a little bit of spare cash and the right attitude, these are the best inexpensive date ideas.