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40 Cheap & Unique Date Ideas That Break Routines Not Budgets

It's your turn to plan date night, and you really want to bring your A-game. Not only is your boo the most thoughtful, caring person ever, they always plan the coolest, and yet, most intimate dates. Though you really want to "wow" your date with your creativity, your rent is due, your phone just broke, and your tax return is looking bleak AF. As you rack your brain, wondering just what the heck to do, you take a breath, and start to brainstorm some cheap and unique date ideas that will totally impress your partner.

From playing pinball together at a local arcade to singing your hearts out at karaoke, there are tons of ways to break your date night routine without breaking your budget. While it can be fun to go all out on a fancy dinner or luxury hotel room, the most important part of date night is getting to spend time with the person you care about. Whether you make a nice meal at home or go on a hike in a local park, the best dates are what you make of them.

And if you're looking for some inspiration, here are 40 flirty and frugal date ideas.

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1. Take the train or bus to somewhere that you've never been, and spend the day exploring a new neighborhood on foot.

2. Go on a walk or hike, then enjoy a picnic with a view.

3. Tie-dye or bleach-dye a set of sheets or clothing in your backyard.

4. Use all the leftovers in your fridge to make a big meal.

5. Participate in a letter-writing campaign for a cause you care about.

6. Go to a late-night diner and eat breakfast for dinner.

7. See an outdoor screening of a movie.

8. Visit a free museum.

9. Go to a local high school sporting event.

10. Find each other some vintage gems at Goodwill.

11. Hit the park and read to each other.

12. Go to happy hour at your favorite dive bar.

12. Watch each of your favorite movies, with popcorn and a pillow fort.

13. Plan a potluck dinner for a bunch of couples or friends.

14. Rearrange the furniture in your house and do a total room makeover.

15. Go to a local open-mic at a coffee shop or bookstore you both like.

16. Bake a sweet treat, like cookies or brownies.

17. Take your parents out to coffee and ask them about how they met.

18. Pick out books for each other to read at a used bookstore.

19. Go to the beach.

20. Make vision boards together and talk about the future.

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21. Get your palms, or tarot cards read.

22. Find a club that doesn't have a cover and dance all night.

23. Get STI tested together at a Planned Parenthood or local health clinic, then treat yourself to a slice of pie.

24. Tour an open house in your area.

25. Go on a walking tour of unlikely attractions in your city.

26. Work out together or do something that gets your heart rate up.

27. Play pinball at an arcade.

28. Go camping in your backyard or living room.

29. Walk through a local farmer's market.

30. Visit a free arboretum or public gardens.

31. Ride bikes around the city.

32. Pick out each other's outfits, then go for a walk around town.

33. Write little love notes and then hide them around the house.

34. Create ice cream sundaes at home.

35. Go to the library and show each other your favorite childhood books.

36. Lie out on a blanket and watch the sunset.

37. Do a DIY spa day with face masks and massages.

38. Sing your hearts out at karaoke.

39. Take each other bowling.

40. Do a trivia night at a local bar or restaurant.