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Ideas for a cheap first proper date

Monday January 23, 2023

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Going on a first date can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit stressful. One of the biggest stresses can be figuring out what to do on the date, especially if you're trying to stick to a budget - And as the cost-of-living crisis bites - that’s most of us. But worry not. There are plenty of cheap first date ideas that can be just as fun and romantic as more premium options.

Now, given this article has been written in January and it’s currently pretty chilly out there, some of these ideas won’t be applicable for right now but keep them in mind for the spring and summer months.

Dating on a budget need not be dull or boring and often times the extra creativity required can demonstrate more about you than the simple ability to splash the cash.

Whatever the weather take a scenic walk. Remember there’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only inappropriate clothing.

If you and your date are both outdoorsy types, going for a hike (even in the rain) can be a great way to get to know each other while also enjoying some beautiful scenery. Not only is it free, but it's also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water and snacks. Factor in a post-walk drink or two in a pub with a roaring fire and you have created top notch experience.

Have a picnic. Pack a basket with homemade sandwiches, fruit, and a bottle of wine, and head to a local park for a picnic. Not only is it a cheap option, but it also allows you to have a more relaxed and laid-back date. Plus, it's a great excuse to get some sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors.

Visit a local museum or art gallery. Many museums and art galleries offer free or discounted admission, so this can be a great option if you're both interested in art or history. You can spend time wandering around and discussing the exhibits, and it can be a great way to get to know each other's interests and tastes.

Go for a bike ride. If you both have bikes, going for a ride can be a fun way to spend some time together. You can explore your local area, or even take a trip to a nearby town or park. Plus, it's a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

Have a game night. Invite your date over for a game night. Break out your board games or card games and have some fun together. Not only is it cheap, but it's also a great way to get to know each other's personalities and interests.

These are just a few of the many cheap first date ideas that you can try out. The important thing is to focus on spending time together and getting to know each other, rather than on spending a lot of money. With a little creativity and a bit of planning, you can have a great first date without breaking the bank.

Find out more about our forthcoming dating events here.



The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.