4 Ways to Make Frugal Date Night More Exciting

4 ways to make frugal date night more exciting
When my significant other and I both quit our jobs to start our own businesses, our date nights went from $120 dinners to… well, stuff that doesn’t cost anywhere near that! It was a huge challenge for our relationship, which, up until then, had been defined by our epic dinner outings.

It was very clear that we needed to dial up the creativity. And that’s when the surprise came —we still had EPIC fun! Sure, it took a little more thinking, but it’s been great!


4 Ways to Make Your Frugal Date Night More Exciting…

4. Leave Invites for Each Other

In a world of 140 characters, getting a physical invitation to an event says WOW! It usually only happens for the biggest occasions, like weddings or major birthdays. But why not use an invitation to set the tone for a fun night with your partner? After all, it only takes five minutes, and costs almost nothing, and you can apply a few creative ideas like this:

  • Hide a romantic ‘It’s date night!’ note in your partner’s shoe before work.
  • Grab a marker and write your invite on the toilet roll (choose the adult bathroom if you have kids)!
  • Post-It notes in obvious places totally get the fun going!

Don’t worry about your partner being disappointed if it’s just going to be a simple date night. The goal of the note is to show you care, which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Check out these 98 cheap date ideas which make a great follow-up!)


3. Become a Creative Ninja 

Creativity trumps everything when it comes to Date Nights. After all, anyone with a job who isn’t planning for the future can splash cash around. The biggest challenge is thinking of new stuff to do constantly. Here’s the process I follow to think up creative dates. (You’ll probably want a pen and paper):

  • Start by thinking of an activity you would both enjoy. Use something generic like watching a movie, since it’s the most common date on earth. There’s also a ton of free ways to watch them.
  • List everything you can think of about that activity under these headings:
    • Location: cinema, living room, backyard, friend’s house, in your car at a lookout, drive-in cinema, outdoor garden cinema.
    • Theme for the night: themed costume, comedy, old school, Gatsby, teenagers in love.  Food: popcorn, colorful lollies, ice creams, chocolate
    • Music: old-school black and white movie theme songs, like Casablanca, or a soundtrack from a movie you both like.
  • Now pick one thing from each category that really stands out. Don’t worry for now if it doesn’t seem possible, or that it will be too much work or possibly cost too much $$. Just let your imagination run wild for a minute. For the example I’ve chosen:
    • Location: a drive-in cinema – because they’re cool!
    • Theme: teenagers in love – in the back of a car with a movie playing… Obvious
    • Food: Popcorn – a total must for any movie!
    • Music: a 90’s sing-along playlist from Spotify (We were both teens in the ’90’s.)
  • Now put your thinking cap on and work out how you can do most of this. Here are three examples from our movie date:
    • Get some other couples involved and create a drive-in cinema on someone’s
      front lawn. (Many TVs are big enough for three cars to see!) One couple does popcorn, another gets the sound system setup and the other sorts getting the TV
    • Head out for a cheap dinner date, then on the way home, surprise your partner with a drive-in theater set up in the garage! (I did this for Amanda one night — It was one of our best-ever date nights!)
    • Do a 30-minute road-trip-style drive blaring ’90’s sing-a-longs at max volume.
      Your partner won’t have any idea where you’re going until you bust out the movie
      on a laptop at the top of a lookout.

It can take a while to get a hang of trying new things the first few times, but it gets easier and puts a lot of spice into any relationship!


2. Groupon/Scoupon/Etc…

Sites like Groupon may not be the best idea for a first date when you’re trying to impress, but they’re awesome for dating on a budget! Chances are if you’re going to gel with someone long-term, using a coupon on a date looks smart, not cheap.


1. Create a Date Stash

A Date Stash is simply a box full of stuff you’ll probably want on future date nights. if you plan
ahead, your dating life becomes sooo much easier because:

  • You’ll save time by buying multiples at the same time.
  • You’ll save cash since you can purchase things when they’re on sale rather than the
    night you need them.

Having a date stash prepped means you’ll always be ready to bust out something fun and
frugal! Here are the top suggestions to put into it:

  • The next time you buy a gift card, grab three more for the future and stash them. (Let’s face it, we’re all going to need an I’m sorry card at some point…)
  • Lingerie is often sold as ‘2 for 1’ deals, so stash half the present and bust it out at a spicy moment (pun intended. ;)
  • Wrapping paper and ribbon – keep this locked away and only use it for date nights to make anything special!
  • Stuff to write a note with markers, nice paper, envelopes, ribbon etc… If you’ve got all the right gear, you can easily surprise your partner with something that looks great.


Dating on the cheap (and keeping it fun!) is one of the budgeting skills that needs to be learned — but you can learn! So start small and get excited about looking forward to date night again!

I’d love to hear your ideas for what you could store in your Date Stash! Just post in the comments!


This post was written by Elliott from Date Night Wingman, where he shares creative date ideas that help men connect with their soulmate! After all – date nights should be fun!

P.S. Here’s a FREE DOWNLOAD for you! 110 Cheap Date Ideas! Enjoy!


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