If you go on a typical dinner and movie outing even once per week, you’re probably shelling out hundreds of dollars per month unnecessarily. Heck, even a cheaper dinner at the likes of TGI Friday’s and two movie tickets is likely to set you back $50-60. Do that four times a month, and you’re talking $200 plus dollars! As Five Ten Twenty Club members know, if you’d socked that money away, instead, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by the end of your career.
Here are some fun date ideas under $20 my partner and I enjoy regularly. We use the money saved to pay down debt faster and invest.
Sometimes, leaving the best part of the meal for the end isn’t as satisfying as making it the main course. Instead of paying for an entire meal at your favorite restaurant, just order dessert. Even at fine dining establishments, dessert prices are often low enough to enjoy for under $20.
Many cities even offer dessert-themed restaurants, such as Houston’s famed Chocolate Bar or NYC’s Spot Dessert Bar. Beautiful, gourmet desserts in fanciful surroundings average $5-8 each, and create every bit the romantic experience.
Still want a full meal? Check out our 6 Easy Hacks for Saving on Fine Dining.
Drive-In Movies, Matinees, and Art House Cinemas
Yes, drive-in movie cinemas still exist, and you’d be surprised by how charming (and low-cost) the experience can be. Enjoy the romance of yester-year for a fraction of traditional cinema costs. Search here for drive-in cinemas near you.
Don’t have any nearby? Then consider seeing a matinee or catching non-Hollywood fare at your nearest college or art house cinema; tickets for two typically average under $20.
Chuck E. Cheese, Dave & Buster’s, & Game Arcades
$20 buys you a whole lot of fun at game arcades. If videogames, Skee Ball, and whack-a-mole don’t get your date’s heart racing, you might do well to check their pulse. ‘Nuff said.
Museum Happy Hour Nights, Art Walks, and More
If culture is your thing, then you’re probably aware most major city museums offer extended evening hours (often at lower cost) one day per week. At Miami’s fabulous, newly-opened Perez Art Museum, you can visit for free until 8 P.M. on Thursdays. After viewing the Boteros and other fine art on display, enjoy a couple of glasses of wine at their gorgeous bay view bar. Take in the twinkling lights of South Beach and Fisher Island for under $20.
In Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Arts offers members tickets to its First Friday music & arts bash for just $10 a pop. At The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois residents get free entry every Thursday until 8 P.M. (The museum is actually free for locals every weekday through February 12, making it a perfect winter date destination.)
When I lived in notoriously high-priced San Francisco, finding cheap date activities was a bit of a challenge, until I came across the cool events listings at http://sf.funcheap.com/. Lectures, stand-up comedy, festivals, and more could often be had for free.
Do you have any favorite low-cost date or activity ideas? Share them in the comments section below or on our discussion board!