Want to go out with bae but can't afford to keep spending $$$ on dinner and drinks? Take a few of these cheap date ideas and make them your own!
1) My fiancé, Jake, and I often get a cheap bottle of wine at Trader Joe and sit and watch the sunset somewhere. If we want food to go with it we'll either pack something or stop at In-N-Out on the way to the beach ($4 for a double-double thank you). We usually sit on the grassy hill at Salt Creek Beach Park or in the back of his car at the Strands Beach overlook (free parking there).
2) A fun alternative to going out to eat is making an elaborate meal at home! It's so much fun to cook together. Sometimes, we'll go to the store together and get ingredients, cook the meal together (with an appetizer and dessert included!), and light some candles and enjoy the meal at home! It's even fun to get a little dressed up for the occasion. Sometimes we google copy-cat recipes from our favorite restaurants and try to recreate our favorite dishes! (Hi Mastro’s Butter Cake copy cat recipe)
3) Going out to watch a game doesn't have to be expensive! We've gotten Angel tickets for $10 (OR LESS) before. We've also gone to some minor league baseball games, sometimes those are so much fun because everyone is super into the game (usually the drinks and food are a lot cheaper there too). You don't always have to watch the best league, sometimes smaller leagues can have really fun games and atmosphere too!
4) We love to walk around and people watch. There are so many places you can do this without spending any money (think big outdoor malls like Irvine Spectrum and Fashion Island). Another place we go a lot is Balboa Island in Newport Beach. It's such a cute area to walk around in and explore. We love stopping in Balboa Candy to get some saltwater taffy or to The Original Frozen Banana/Balboa Bar stand to get one of those treats on a hot day.
5) Hiking! There are so many gorgeous places to hike for free in Orange County (free as in you don't even have to pay for parking!) One of my favorite spots is Top Of The World in Laguna Beach. If you type in "Top Of The World" in on google maps it can get confusing. The hiking trails are located at the end of Alta Laguna Blvd near Alta Laguna Park (I would just type in Alta Laguna Park into maps to get directions to there). There's also a fun lookout (it's not a hike) called Old Top of the World. It's located on Alta Laguna Blvd and Top of the World Drive (I would just type in Top of the World Drive in on maps). You can just park on the street and walk up to it. It's a gorgeous view!
6) Pajama party and breakfast for dinner! On a lazy day when it's cloudy and rainy, this is such a fun thing to do that's different! Get in your pajamas (even better if you're all ready for bed), get some movies or Netflix shows set up, and make a breakfast feast together for dinner! We love to go all out for this and we end up making all the breakfast food we love, but rarely have time to make on a normal morning (think chocolate chip pancakes and homemade donuts)
7) take a free class together! There are plenty of studios that offer "first class free" or "first week free" for various fitness classes. If you love to be active together, then sign up for one! Cyclebar and Full Psycle offer first rides free and F45 Training and Corepower Yoga offer your first week free! If you want to be outside, check out I Heart Yoga in the Park in Dana Point. They are a donations based yoga class that runs everyday at 10am at Lantern Bay Park. They also have sunset yoga Mondays-Thursdays at 5:30pm!
8) rent bikes or motorized scooters and go around town! In San Diego, Jake and I would ride "Birds" all over downtown and it was so much fun! (if you don't know, those are the motorized scooters you unlock and lock with an app on your phone). They have that service with bikes as well, or you could just go to a local bike rental place. Renting and riding bikes in Huntington Beach is always fun and there are so many options of where to rent too.
9) look up if there are any free admission days to any museums or zoos in the area. Sometimes places offer discounts or free admission to students. It could be a fun thing that you normally wouldn't go to, but because it's free, you might as well try it! There are a ton of galleries and exhibits in Laguna Beach that can be fun walk around and check out.
10) bring a cooler of snacks and drinks/stuff for s'mores to the beach. You can hang out on the sand all day as long as you have a packed cooler. My favorite place to do a beach bonfire is T-Street Beach in San Clemente (but make sure you get there early to claim a fire pit)