5 Cheap First Date Ideas That Don’t Involve A Shameful McDonalds

As a student, dating can be a bit of an effort. That’s not because of a lack of potential suitors; there are plenty of fish in the sea (or students on campus). As is always the case with uni life, the underlying problem is money. If 80% of students worry about even managing to put bread on the table, how are they going to fund them first few dates?

Fear not. Dating isn’t all candlelit dinners and long restaurant bills. Nor do you have to resort to a ‘casual’ McDonalds date – because nothing quite screams romance like a bunch of toddlers throwing food around on the next table.

Check out these five first date ideas that are easy on the bank balance and perfect for getting to know someone.


Picnicking in the park

Picnics on a sunny day are nothing short of bliss. A picnic date not only gives you the opportunity to sit down in a tranquil setting and chat, but it can be made memorable for less than a tenner.

Opt for cheap picnic foods that you can prep at home plus an under-£5 bottle of wine and you’re good to go! Just keep an eye on the weather; this is England, after all.


Crazy golf: the perfect ice breaker

There’s nothing quite as thrilling as putting a ball through a colourful and slightly bizarre obstacle course. It’s definitely the date to go on if you want to get the conversation going and generate laughter.

Crazy golf is usually well under a tenner per person, even in London. That makes the date all the more enjoyable, knowing that you won’t have to live off canned soup for the next week. You might even be able to afford a drink or two after!


Prefer keeping it simple? Find a bar that offers happy hour deals

If your date is gonna be a late one then steer clear of a film night in your student accommodation. Whilst this would be acceptable further down the line, it’d be a pretty dead first date. Head out instead.

It’s actually quite possible to go out for drinks without being rinsed of all your cash. Locate the bar in your area that does the best happy hour deals and plan your date within that time frame. Sip on some two-for-one cocktails or discounted wine. Nailed it. But don’t get too wasted.


Or go cultural with a museum followed by coffee  

First off, make sure your date actually likes museums so that you don’t bore them to death, and decide on what type of museum you want to go to together. The best bit is, most museums are free. The advantage of being at uni in a city or large town is that there should be a fair few to choose from.

Museums give you the opportunity to fill those awkward silences and discover shared interests: “You like paintings of horses? Great! So do I!”

If the date’s going good and you’re not too far into your overdraft you can drag it out with a coffee afterwards. Or a beer. Alcohol on every and any occasion, right?


Brunch. Any excuse for brunch.

Everyone loves brunch. It gives you the chance to have a lie in and it’s acceptable to eat any sort of food because, strictly speaking, breakfast time has been and gone.

When people think of brunch, they often picture middle-aged women, equipped with salmon, avocado and a glass of prosecco.  But brunching can be student friendly. Instead of going somewhere fancy, head to a pub that serves hot food, or a small café. You’ll for sure be able to find a brunch for under a fiver if you plan ahead.


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