Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make
You Look Cheap
We asked women to describe the best cheap dates they’ve ever been on so you can steal the ideas and pass them off as your own.
By Lucy Henry
If you can’t afford to drop a bunch of money at an upscale restaurant, it doesn’t mean you can’t take women on dates they’ll love. In fact, most women don’t care about a guy spending a lot of money on dates as long as the guy 1. isn’t a cheapskate — sorry fellas, no sneaking into a movie through the emergency exit — and 2. uses some imagination when he comes up with date ideas.
Luckily, there are plenty of cheap date ideas that won’t require you to shell out tons of cash, but will make you look like you’re a dating genius. I asked women to share the most fun, most memorable, and most romantic inexpensive dates they’ve ever been taken on so you can steal them and pass them off as your own ideas. And no, none end with you handing over a piece of paper and mumbling, “I have a Groupon.”
SAVE THE HAPPY ENDING FOR LATER
“My boyfriend told me to come to his apartment after work. When I got there, two masseuses were waiting to give us both an at-home couples massage. I remember thinking how crazy it was that he splurged like that, but a few weeks later he admitted he’d called a massage therapy academy to book them. Apparently, it’s like $30 or $40 an hour because the masseuses-in-training have to log a certain amount of time to get licensed. I didn’t care — a massage is a massage.” —Sarah
WINE AND PICNIC HER
“My boyfriend packed a picnic, which I should have thought was sweet but actually thought was kinda stupid because I imagined eating it in the park near our Manhattan apartment filled with screaming kids and druggies. But then he surprised me by driving us out to a beautiful vineyard on Long Island. We tasted a few wines (for free) then set up shop on one of the picnic tables just a few feet from the vines. No one seemed to care that we’d brought our own food. Plus, not a screaming kid or druggie in sight.” —Lyz
GET HER WET
“On one of the hottest weekends of the summer last year, my boyfriend told me to grab a bathing suit and then brought me to a swanky hotel. For just a bit more than the cost of takeout and two movie tickets, we got to spend the entire day lounging around a fancy roof deck pool, pretending we earn way more money than we really do. If you’re going to do it, I have just one suggestion: bring a flask so you can order virgin drinks and turn them into cocktails.” —Marianna
HIT THE OFF-SEASON
“When my fiancé and I were strapped for cash, he came up with this idea he called ‘off-season vacations.’ In the summer, we’d stay at a ski lodge for the weekend, and in the winter, we’d head to a beach town for a few days. The rooms were usually super nice but dirt cheap since the place was practically empty. Some the restaurants even had off-peak prices. Those trips were special because we’d spend the whole weekend hardly seeing anyone but each other. In other words, we had lots of sex.” —Beth
DO A D.I.Y. DRIVE-IN
“My husband once borrowed a projector from his office and essentially created a drive-in in our backyard. I came home from work and he’d set up beach chairs with blankets, popcorn, and beer, and Wet Hot American Summer ready to play. It was way better than watching Netflix in bed for the gazillionth time.” —Alex