AD | Romance doesn’t have to be stressful and expensive. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to cost a thing! Although a fancy meal out is a nice treat every now and again, a lot of people these days are opting for more chilled out and even free options when it comes to going on dates. Let’s not beat around the bush, money isn’t always flowing and budgeting can be difficult. When your income goes on bills, rent and food, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of a romantic night out.

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But that’s totally fine and definitely nothing to be ashamed about. I’ve vowed to talk more honest and openly about money this year, not only how to make it but also the nitty-gritty side too. And the fact is, sometimes, we’re skint. Dating doesn’t have to cost a bomb. If you’re looking for love, then you can be using totally free dating sites too – such as – which don’t require you to pay a subscription. Lots of couples like to have regular date nights (with the exception of my boyfriend and I – whoops) so here are some cheap or free date ideas for those who are on a budget!

A picnic in the park

Simple but effective. If the weather is right, then there’s nothing sweeter than making all your favourite food, grabbing a comfy blanket and heading to your favourite grassy spot for a picnic. Cheap but cheerful and if you can’t make it out anyway, then your garden is always an option too!

Making a fort and having a movie night with a takeaway

A takeaway and a movie is my favourite kind of night. But if you’re really going all out to make it special for a budget date night, why not try making some sort of fort in your bedroom or living room, add some fairy lights, comfy cushions and your laptop and there you have a super cute but romantic date night!

Have a board games night with another couple you know

Let’s make it a double! My boyfriend and I love having games night with another couple we know. They’re not date nights for us but they’re super fun and always end in lots of laughter. So if you’re thinking of maybe mixing things up and doing something different, make it a double date. And don’t forget Cluedo.

Visit free museums

In most cities, museums are free to enter. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London both are and they’re both spectacular places to visit. Although the train fare will cost you, visiting museums is a great option for a chilled out and budget friendly date idea!

A walk or a bike ride in nature

If you’re a more active couple, then use that to your advantage. This could be a totally free date idea which required nothing more than you, your partner, a helmet if you’re riding a bike (don’t forget, safety first) and some snacks. Find a local nature reserve if you have one and go wild. If you’ve got a dog, even better!

What free or budget friendly dates have you been on? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

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  1. I love the movie fort idea! Picnics are always a good shout and if the weather’s bad you could grab a blanket and have a picnic in your living room. Something I’ve done myself and with family / friends too. Board games are a great shout too especially as a double date idea. Great suggestions Jenny.

  2. When I was at uni, the unions did movie nights every couple of weeks where entry was free, and you could get a drink for £1 and snacks for £1 so it was always a favourite when money was getting a bit tight! They set it up like the cinema, and announced what they’d be showing about 2 weeks in advance

  3. great post! i’m currently single but when i do have a significant other i would much rather our date nights be at home since i’m a homebody. of course a nice dinner date would be nice every now and then but a ten dollar game of bowling will make me happier than it should. its more about the time spent together than the amount spent on the activity. xx

    mich /

  4. Some great ideas here! There’s a lot of free options and like you say, romance doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. I’m always looking for less pricy options and these could work for friend dates too which is nice

  5. I love this post! I do love going to restaurants or out to eat but it can get so expensive so I love these ideas od free or cheap dates. The fort idea is my favourite, watching a movie with a takeaway is the best! X

  6. I soooo love the making a fort, movie and takeaway night idea! I’m 48 and that would be such an ideal date for me lol I love just getting comfy cosy, with the fairy lights, snuggly blankets & cushions and just chill out with a takeaway and watching a movie or two! 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip

  7. Unfortunately my ex was very much into material things and felt the need to spend on things because that made it more “special”- but I totally disagreed! One Valentine’s Day I made a movie snack box for him for when we watch movies together… I don’t think I saw those snacks again, but I still think my idea was pretty great! Now I just need to find someone else who’ll appreciate the thought

  8. We often do these, as m9ney is tight or we feel it’s not worth the money. So we do strolls along the beach, woodland walks, BBQ in garden, 2 for 1 meals out, merkat movies that kind of thing

  9. If I had a partner, these would be right up my street! Cute and simple 🙂

    A double date with a board-game is something I definitely need to do when I am able to – love a good game! x

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