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How to Plan a Romantic Evening When You’re Broke

Date nights are great, but they can also be pricey. Want to plan a date night without breaking the bank? Here’s how you can pull it off.

plan a romantic evening when you're broke

Planning a romantic date night is awesome, especially when you and your mate take turns planning the events. It’s exciting to see what they come up with, and you always have fun together. But now it’s your turn to plan, and you’ve got one problem: you’re flat broke. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to satisfy your end of the bargain for cheap, without sacrificing any of the romance!

Budget-friendly romantic date ideas

Whether you’re a poor college kid, you’re saving for something special, or you’re working on paying off your debts – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have a night out on the town with your special someone.

#1 Go star gazing. This idea is free, and practically the epitome of romance! You can do this from your back yard or at your local park. Just make sure that wherever you choose to go doesn’t have too much light pollution, or you won’t be able to see anything!

Head to your local park and bring along a couple of blankets, a telescope *though this is equally as gorgeous without one*, and a flask of delicious red wine. Spend the night curled up next to one another, trying to find all of the constellations. Definitely a breathtaking, cheap date night idea! [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas to try]

#2 Game night. Game night seems to get a bad or “cheesy” rap among the world of dating ideas, but what’s not to love? Grab a six pack of beer or liquor to share, gather together all of your favorite snacks in bowls around the kitchen table, and start playing your favorite game.

Choose classic board games you love, or spice it up by selecting naughty games like Nookii, Tease, or Monogamy *all steamy games designed to play with your lover*. Amp up your evening even more by incorporating taking shots into the mix!

#3 Get down and dirty. You’re at home, you have a bed, so why not skip straight to the point? Grab a guide online for wild sex, nearly impossible sex positions and see how many you can pull off. You may even find a new favorite on this at-home date night!

Other great ideas involve a game of sexy truth or dare, would you rather, dabbling in bondage, or roleplaying new fantasies together. Remember that your romantic evening is about enjoying each other’s bodies and your sexual chemistry, so don’t rush! [Read: 30 dirty would-you-rather questions for a sexy night]

#4 Have a dessert date. Dessert dates are so, so romantic, and are definitely inexpensive. There are two routes you can go for this one:

– Go all out. Dress in your best: a suit and tie for him, and the classic black cocktail dress for her and head to the fanciest jazz bar in your area. While there, order only a dessert, and maybe a drink or two, and enjoy the sensual, jazzy ambiance. With this, you get to feel like you’re headed out for a fancy evening, complete with entertainment, without spending over $20!

– Go retro. Get your best rockabilly outfits together and head to your local old-school diner. Share a burger, fries, and of course, an oversized chocolate shake with straws for two. For an added 1950s bonus, choose a spot that still has a working jukebox. This retro date night is adorably perfect and perfectly cheap! [Read: 15 ways to turn any date into a fantastic experience]

#5 Movies done right. There’s something classic about having a movie night with your special someone, but the thought of doing it at home, curled up on the couch is probably sounding more like a typical Monday night, as opposed to a special date. Do movies right, and on the cheap with the following suggestions:

– Watch a movie outdoors. On a warm night, drag your TV and sound system out onto the back deck into your yard. Wait until it’s late and curl up on a patio swing or outdoor couch. This breaks up the monotony of the usual “dinner and a movie,” and spices it up with a romantic outside ambiance. [Read: 10 summer date ideas to leave you flushed]

– Look into town movie events. What is a town movie? Simply put, many towns and cities do a community movie night in interesting places. Be it your local library, movies out in the park, or local history museum. They also notoriously have awesome film selections from new movie releases to old time westerns and classics such as Casablanca, Shirley Temple and The Wizard of Oz.

– The drive-in. It’s a cheap outing that allows you to bring your own snacks! Head to your local dollar store and grab some cheap snacks to bring along. Stick to standard movie fare like gummy bears, chocolate-covered peanuts and salty snacks. And if things get a little hot and heavy, at least you’re in the comfort of your own car!

#6 Take advantage of online deals. There are plenty of buy-one-get-one-free or coupon code deals online, whether through Groupon or RetailMeNot. You can usually find very cheap but fun date night ideas through one of these websites.

#7 Dinner for two. Check out what you have in your pantry, head online to look for recipes that match, and get cooking! The great part about this date idea is that you both get to bond, while also improving the way you work together as a team.

And don’t worry if all you’ve got are a bunch of canned goods and a bit of cheese. Mix it up, experiment and munch on your goodies as you hang out. If what you’ve come up with tastes absolutely horrendous, just laugh it off, make a #pinterestfail Instagram post, and try again on your next budget date! [Read: 13 romantic dinner date ideas]

Whether you’re looking to stay in or head out on the town for a romantic evening, there’s plenty of ideas that won’t cost you a fortune. And always remember, two people who are really into each other can make practically any event a great time.

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Waverly Smith
Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that people...
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