5 creative summer date ideas to up the romance on a tight student budget

Maddy McKennaon 25 August 2021
5 creative summer date ideas to up the romance on a tight student budget

Over the summer holidays, your student loan has likely run out and, even if you’ve managed to score a summer job, you don’t want to blow it all on date night. 

Whether it’s a new relationship or a long-term partner, don’t let your lack of funds put you off spending some quality time with them. Here are some creative ideas to make date night special without splashing too much cash.

Plan a picnic

Nothing beats this summer activity; it’s a classic scene from any rom-com. Opt for a botanical garden, national park or somewhere up high with views over the city to up the ante. Don’t forget the gingham picnic blanket, prosecco, hummus and crisps!

Oh! And if you’ve got an instant camera, whip that out and take some cute snaps to freeze the moment in time.

Drive to an outdoor cinema

There are tons of outdoor cinemas and pop up screens dotted across the country. They show anything from ‘The Greatest Showman’ and Disney films to classics such as ‘The Goonies’. But, to save as much money as possible, you can recreate this in yourback garden with a projector and a sheet. Plus, you can pick your date’s favourite movie for bonus points. 

With something for everyone, the outdoor cinema is the perfect place to cosy up to your partner on a crisp summer evening. But be warned, the price of the snacks will kill your cheap date night buzz, so buy these ahead of time. Plus, supermarkets have better options when it comes to chocolates and popcorn!

Have a beach day

Everyone loves a summer beach day, but sometimes taking off your kit can seem daunting. Just remember, every body is a ‘bikini body’, and if you’re with a partner, they already think you’re hot stuff!

If you live near a beach, this could be the perfect date to break the ice and get fully comfortable with each other – plus, you can face the wrath of the ice-cold British shores together. Bonus points if you get to wear their hoodie or share a bag of chips. 

Explore your hometown or city

You might be thinking ‘what? It’s impossible to explore London, Manchester or Bristol cheaply’. But there are, in fact, hundreds of activities you can do without tapping your card at all.

From museums, galleries and markets to gigs and gardens, there are always free activities that will pique your interests. For ideas, check out Secret London for activities you can do in the capital and this article on the best free things you can do this summer.

Get creative in the kitchen

Ever wanted to recreate Lady and the Tramp? Now’s your chance! Whether you opt for an existing recipe like spaghetti bolognese or you decide to go rogue and create your own dish, cookingbrings people together. Play some tunes and get ready for a romantic evening. That’s amore!

Organise a themed night

Base your night around a movie and select the meal, drinks and decor in line with the film’s theme. Here is an example:

  1. Choose a film, ie. Ratatouille
  2. Select a playlist, ie. French music
  3. Cook a meal that relates to the film, ie. French onion soup or the obvious choice - ratatouille 
  4. Choose a drink to go with your meal, ie. vin rouge (red wine)
  5. Decorate the living room with the colours of the French flag, or display the menu in French
  6. Play the film, dig in and get cosy!

Et voilà! Date night doesn’t have to be boring on a budget, so get creative and make it fun! After all, it’s not what you do, but who you do it with!

Maddy McKennaon 25 August 2021