10 affordable dating tips for singletons that shell out thousands every year

Natasha Legge | 17th July 2019

Current daters will meet potential love interests up to 13 times a year, spending an average of £106.06 each time.


However, the biggest cost is pre-date preparation, a study has found – with men and women spending more than £60 on new outfits, make up, waxing, manicures and a hair-do.


On the date itself, a further £45.61 is spent on food, drink and entertainment.


The survey of  single adults also found daters spend up to 55 minutes getting ready for a date – and proportion of that time is spent snooping the potential suitor online and checking out the security of the location.


Shannon Smith, resident dating and relationship expert at Plenty of Fish, explains: “Going on a date isn’t just about the event itself – a huge amount of money and time goes into the planning and preparation.


“Purchasing tickets for events or activities is a big trend, not to mention that both ladies and gents like to turn up to a date feeling confident and looking their best.


“However, once on the date, a modest meal out or trip to the pub doesn’t have to cost the earth.”


The study found men spend more money on pre-date prep – a staggering £74.07 compared to women spending £53.14.


Men are most likely to buy tickets for an experience for both parties to enjoy, a new shirt or a new pair of trousers.


Women are more interested in buying perfume, and a new top and skirt.


And men spend almost double the amount of money on the date itself – an average of £62.59 in comparison to just £36.60 for women.


However, researchers found men can’t always afford to be so generous with their cash, as more than one in 10 admitted they have borrowed money to go on a date.


And one in 20 men have had their card declined when settling the bill.


But one in five said their generosity is because they worry their romantic interest wouldn’t enjoy a cheap date.


A further 14 per cent of men want to make a good impression on their loved one, while the same percentage are keen on showing they are financially stable.


But it emerged more than half of respondents claimed it doesn’t matter how much is spent on a date, and 46 per cent believe cheap or free dates can be the best ones.


Almost nine in 10 adults polled agreed ‘chemistry’ and conversation are far more important than the cost of a date.


Key tips for singletons include taking a bike ride, visiting street food markets, picnicking in the park and becoming a tourist for the day.


Shannon Smith added: “While we can feel under pressure to sweep new love interests off their feet with lavish date ideas, it’s clear that some of the simplest and cheapest activities can be the ones we enjoy the most.


“We’ve pulled together a list of cheap date ideas so you can focus on being yourself on the next one, and not your bank balance.”




1. Go to a street food market

2. Go for a coffee and cake in a nice café

3. Go on a bike ride

4. Picnic in the park

5. A game of mini golf

6. Go for a walk around somewhere scenic

7. Attend a stand-up comedy night

8. Go to a gig

9. Become a tourist

10. Go to an exhibition