First Date Ideas That Are Frugal + Cute

Go ahead and plan a first date that’s both kind to your wallet and full of charm!
Image: Two illustrated happy faces with leaves and hearts

First dates should never break the wallet. You are just beginning to get to know someone, how fancy and expensive the date is becomes irrelevant. You want to make sure your partner is genuine and kind - which can already be hard to gauge on a first date if there are too many distractions. You want a first date where you can focus on each other. I always disliked going to the movies as a first date- though it makes for a great conversation if you're going to dinner after. Regardless, it makes me so anxious to sit silently in the dark with a stranger. My favorite first dates are chill dates. Our advice is to keep it simple and public.

black and white image of the shadows of a couple at a farmers market

Our first date...

Our first date was a picnic. We picked up some samosas from a local asian market and went to a park. We sat on a blanket and just spoke for hours. It was early in the day, in a public park, and pretty affordable. We knew we had some connection because it was effortless.

Was that actually your first date?

Well... since we had met at a brewery, the first time we hung out was actually at an art class I was teaching. I wasn't sure I wanted to go on a date with someone I didn't know anything about, so when R reached out to inquire about art classes- I invited him to one. I had my best friend there too, which was great! She got to talk to him while I hosted the class; she later told me all about him. I will admit, when she told me he was vegetarian I was even more intrigued. I had never had a partner that was vegetarian or vegan, and I didn't know it was this important to me until I met R. We bonded so much over animals and the pets we had. I never shared that with anyone before; I loved it so much.

Things to keep in mind while on a date.

  • Find someone that has similar morals and values
  • Make sure they are kind and patient (not just with you)
  • Regardless of what movies have shown us, a relationship shouldn't have to be hard - especially in the beginning!

Frugal first date ideas we enjoy:

1. Coffee Shop

A coffee shop date is a classic for a reason. It’s inexpensive, casual, and offers a comfortable environment to get to know each other. Find a cozy café with a warm atmosphere, order your favorite drinks, and spend time chatting. Bonus points if the coffee shop has board games or a book exchange shelf to add a little extra fun to your date.

2. Picnic

There’s something undeniably romantic about a picnic. Pack a basket with some sandwiches, fresh fruit, and a couple of beverages. Bring a cozy blanket and find a shady spot under a tree. Not only is this a budget-friendly option, but it also allows you to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and natural setting.

3. Museum

Museums are great because they give you stuff to look at and talk about. You'll be active walking around, and if things seem to be going well, maybe grab lunch near by. Many museums have discounts for students, or if you have a Bank of America card, they offer free admissions to some museums the first weekend of every month. We love enjoying this perk. check it out

Spend the day exploring exhibits, discussing your favorite pieces, and learning something new together. This type of date can spark interesting conversations and help you bond over shared experiences.

4. Brewery

We think breweries are so fun, and the vibes are usually chill. They tend to have games like shuffle board and Jenga, which makes for a great ice breaker. Grab a drink and play some games. If you don't drink alcohol, many breweries have kombucha and/or non-alcoholic beers.

5. Community Event

You might be surprised how many cute and original events your local community might host. I know here in Orlando, Florida we have a bunch of fun events that are affordable or free such as:

First dates we don't like:

  • Volunteer work: While we love to volunteer and give back, a lot of volunteer positions might have you split up or do focused work which takes away from the moments you'll get to know and talk with your date.
  • Movies: Unless you both are cool with talking through them, don't bother. You won't get to know the person sitting in a room watching a movie. In our opinion, it can be an awkward first date.
  • Watching sports - or literally watching anything: Similar to above, TV distracts from the conversation.
  • Dinner at a fancy restaurant: Yes, it would be nice to be taken out to a romantic fancy dinner spot, but save that for someone you know and care about! Also, never assume that your date will pick up the bill, and forget about traditional gender roles! Go on a cheap chill first date and get to know this person. Regardless of society's standards of beauty, don't fall for someone solely on their looks. Pay attention to who they are. A fancy romantic restaurant doesn't feel fun and romantic with the wrong person.

Questions to keep in mind while on your first date.

  • Do they seem to listen to you?
  • Do you both have common interests?
  • Do they ask questions to get to know you?
  • Do you both share similar morals?

To Conclude

First dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun and memorable. With a little creativity and planning, you can create a frugal yet romantic experience that sets the foundation for a great relationship. Whether you choose to have a picnic in the park or explore a museum, these frugal and adorable first date ideas are sure to impress. So, go ahead and plan a date that’s both kind to your wallet and full of charm!

besitos, J & R
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