10 cheap first date ideas

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By in Health & Relationships. Updated February 2016.

Dating as a student can be tricky. The budget doesn’t really cover wining and dining but there’s still a few ways you can impress without breaking the bank.fiftyfirstdatesEveryone loves a uni romance, but chances are that as a student you won’t be able to wow your date with dinner for two at The Ritz.

We couldn’t quite think of 50 first dates, but we did come up with a solid 10 ways to make an impression at the same time as saving the pennies.

Of course there are many other ideas for budding romantic cheapskates Romeos and Juliets, so please share your own in the comments section.

Cheap student date ideas

  1. Eating out

    ladyandthetrampLook for deals online, especially for students, as many places will offer up to 50% off your food bill.

    Drinks are typically where the money drains, so if you’re after wine, go straight for one of the cheapest bottles. Otherwise just keep an eye on the prices!

    Be sure to check the menu for any offers and set meals that could save you lots of money. Be wary of ‘all you can eat‘ deals as you will be determined to get your money’s worth and risk walking out of a restaurant bulging at the seams. Not an attractive look to your date.

  2. Bowling

    bowlingNot an obvious choice for ‘cheap dates’, but you can get some fantastic deals as a student on bowling, with some places offering it for as little as £1.50 a game!

    It’s great fun for a first date to take off the pressure or works as a double/triple/quadruple date with friends. Plus you can ‘accidentally’ reach for the same ball and lock eyes over that shiny sphere.

  3. Walking

    Romantic-WalkPerhaps a bit too obvious? Think again! This is, of course, a very cheap option for penny savers and is classically very romantic (weather permitting of course).

    Walking through the park swinging hands can be a great chance to talk and get some fresh air away from uni work. For those of you a little keener on walking or fitness, maybe plan a hike or a bike ride.

    ps. he’ll hate us saying this but Save the Student founder, Owen, took his current girlfriend walking around a park for a first date and they’re still together. We do love to save money here at STS!

  4. Picnic

    Romantic-PicnicAnother romantic yet cheap date which also allows you to show off your sandwich making skills and your taste in cheap bottled cider! Why not combine it with a walk?

    Probably best left for the summer though, unless you reckon you can recreate Hyde Park on your kitchen floor.

  5. Free events

    feteKeep an eye out for events going on in your local area. Community stuff is great, think about charity festivals or even a school fete.

    They are usually cheap, if not free to attend, and can be a fun day out.

  6. Free galleries and museums

    galleryWe’re lucky enough in the UK to enjoy free admission to national museums and galleries and you’ll also find that many local attractions are free too.

    These places can conjure up conversation and open your eyes to the wider world, or at the very least just help you avoid awkward silences.

    Your date might love it if you can look all arty and cultural!

  7. Cinema

    CinemaThere are student offers out there for watching a flick, even at small cinema chains. If you don’t want to appear cheap, you can always pick up the tickets in advance.

    Definitely take your own goodies to eat during the film, just hide them well in your bag and don’t take anything too noisy.

  8. Markets and car boot sales

    carbootHear us out on this one…

    There’s likely to be a car boot sale near you at weekends and they can be surprisingly good fun. You can even pick up a novelty bargain or two.

    There is also the opportunity to buy your date a cheap (but meaningful…) present!

  9. Staying in

    nightinWhy go out at all? One of our personal favourites at Save the Student is to stay in together, though this is probably better for longer term relationships.

    Be romantic and cook your date a meal, it can be a much nicer gesture than spending £40 on a posh restaurant. It shows effort and you can buy a cheap-ish bottle of wine to set the night off…

  10. Be creative

    rockclimbingIf all else fails be creative. Look to what you or your date like to do outside of university. You both might be into running or watching sport.

    How about karate or dance lessons, or maybe skiing or rock climbing sessions which will appeal to you thrill seekers out there. These are things that you’ll both remember for a long time!

    Just keep a lookout for student deals, many which you’ll come across through your student union and sites like this.

Extra tips to help Cupid!

cupidNow that you are full of ideas and equipped to impress your date ‘on the cheap(!)’, there are a few things to remember. Although these ideas are cheap and cheerful it is best to mix them up.

Going for a walk or watching an old DVD for every date gets repetitive and boring. Spread things out and keep variety. Some couples (including the Beckhams!) have a ‘date’ night which is a great idea.

It’s often a good idea to not go all out on one night, for example a meal out and then clubbing. Split these two things up and turn them into two separate dates. Maybe eat in and then go to the cinema or eat out and watch a DVD.

That’s it! Time to go out and get dating, without breaking the bank!

Good luck, and remember to share your own ideas in the comments…

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6 Responses to “10 cheap first date ideas”

  1. Rebecca

    02. Mar, 2016

    Someone take me to a car boot sale……

  2. Jade

    19. May, 2014

    Nothing wrong with a good old car boot sale! Reminds me of being a kid! I loved all the books and board games I could pick up on the cheap! I’d much rather that than a thoughtless first date who just chucks money about.

  3. Yola Jones

    02. Mar, 2014

    If someone took me on a date to a car boot sale I would marry them on the spot, I think that’s wonderful and mental and… Brilliant!!

  4. Smarty

    01. Dec, 2011

    A date to a boot fair with Kit would not turn out cheap… some good ideas though!

  5. Jake

    18. Nov, 2010

    Haha neither would I Polly but I’m sure some people would. Maybe it’s a better idea for longer relationships! It can get you talking about future things for your house or buy each other gifts.

  6. Polly

    16. Nov, 2010

    There is no way I would go to a car boot sale for a date!


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