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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Six Cheap Date Ideas To Save Money During Cuffing Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

October is finally here, and with the pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking trips comes the long awaited cuffing season. Dating can be tough when you’re a college student for more reasons than one. However, finding affordable ways to go on dates can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when you’re already struggling to pay for textbooks and next month’s supply of ramen. Dating can be really expensive, but whether you’re meeting a tinder match in person for the first time or heading out to celebrate your 2 year anniversary, you still want to have a great time with a (hopefully!) great person.

So, here are some tried-and-true ideas to avoid breaking the bank when you’re broke in love.

Cheap movie tickets

It can’t get any more classic than taking a date to the movies, but this particular date activity can get really pricey really quickly. The trick to finding cheap tickets to the movies is picking the right times. AMC theaters offers half-price tickets on Tuesday nights for stubs card holders, and the greatest part is that it is totally free to sign up for a membership! It’s as simple as downloading the app and typing in your email. If this still seems like too much work for you, try hitting the theaters during daylight hours to find cheaper tickets. Don’t miss out on all of the scary movies coming to theaters this fall!


It doesn’t get any better than going on a date that is completely and totally free. There are so many great places to go on hiking dates local to TCNJ, like Baldpate Mountain or Mercer Meadows. If you or your date aren’t the outdoorsy type, you might be thinking that this isn’t for you. You’re wrong! Hiking can really be enjoyable for everyone as long as you pick a day that’s not too hot and bring some bug spray. Autumn is my personal favorite time to go hiking because of the beautiful fall scenery. The best part about going on a hiking date is walking and talking with your date for as long as you like, uninterrupted. And honestly, what more could you want out of a date?


This date typically requires a little bit more travelling than some of the others, but the student discounts at museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan make the travel expenses a little less painful. The Met is Pay-What-You-Wish for college students, a deal that you really can’t pass up.

A Picnic 

Okay – I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not talking about your typical basket and checkered blanket kind of picnic (unless you want to!). My favorite way to picnic is picking up a pizza and finding a scenic spot to watch the sunset with your date. This time of year is great sunset-watching weather, so hurry up and try this one out before it starts getting too cold!

Visiting local downtowns

One of my personal favorite date activities (and another one that is totally free!) is heading over to one of the many local downtown areas and really just walking around. Like hiking, walking around a downtown area allows for great conversation with your date. There are some really cute places nearby to check out; some of my personal favorites are New Hope, Pennsylvania and Princeton, New Jersey. There’s lots of cute shops and restaurants to stop into but there’s really no pressure to spend any money. If you’re looking to splurge a little, you can always find an ice cream shop or cozy coffee spot to visit along the way. Make sure to stop and sit somewhere nice and scenic before heading home, like the Fountain of Freedom right by Princeton University.

Study date!

You’re probably thinking that this isn’t a super fun date idea. Yeah, sure, it’s not the most ideal way to spend time with your S/O, but there’s a couple of reasons why this is actually a really great date idea. First of all, it’s completely free. We’re also all drowning in homework here, so why not get a little bit of work out of the way while hanging out with your favorite guy or girl? You might be a little bit more distracted than usual, but it definitely beats studying alone. So grab some coffee and a study room in the lib and hit the books for your next date!


For more great affordable date ideas, brainstorm free or cheap activities that you could do with anyone and just do it with your S/O! After all, it really comes down to getting to know your date and spending time with the person you care about most.


Clare is a sophomore at TCNJ majoring in English and Secondary Education.