The Cost of a Date Night by City: In vs. Out

Title graphic for “The Cost of a Date Night by City: In vs. Out”
Title graphic for “The Cost of a Date Night by City: In vs. Out”

It’s Friday night again, and you’re faced with the age-old question: do you settle in for a cozy night in with your special someone or hit the town for a romantic rendezvous?

Whether you’re a homebody or a social butterfly, we’ve crunched the numbers to analyze the costs of multiple date night factors, including food, movies, booze, tips, fees, and rideshare in 50 of America’s largest cities. Our goal? To reveal the U.S. cities where it’s more cost-efficient to stay in for a date night and where it’s worth venturing out because the cost difference is barely noticeable. Why? So you can impress your date and get one step closer to the proposal of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Want to see how your city ranks? Grab some popcorn and get cozy as we take you on a whirlwind tour through the land of love, money, and endless possibilities!

The U.S. Cities Saving the Most Staying In

A graph indicating the top 10 cities where you’ll save the most money with a date night in

Pull on your favorite sweatpants and get ready to give your wallet a break! Whether you’re gearing up for the ultimate Scrabble showdown or planning an evening of Netflix and chill, these are the top 10 U.S. cities where you’ll save the most money on your date night by skipping the restaurant or theater and spending your evening in.

Ah, the irony of New York City: the most expensive U.S. city for a night out ($202.30 on average), and yet the potential to save the most by staying in ($158.34). While a night on the town in New York is the stuff of dating legend, there’s a lot to be said for staying home. For starters, you can avoid the crowded streets and the hassle of dressing up to the nines. Plus, you can dial in the perfect atmosphere and connect with your date on a deeper level.

The air may be a bit thin in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado, but the savings aren’t! Despite having the lowest average cost of a date night out on our list, Denverites can still save a handsome $122.96 by staying in. With winter storms and sub-zero temperatures not unheard of in these parts, there are definitely days when spending a night indoors with your other half seems like a no-brainer.

The Cheapest U.S. Cities for a Date Night

U.S. map showing the cheapest cities for a date night in and out 

Let’s face it — date nights can get expensive! Whether you prefer a night out or a night in, our map has you covered with U.S. cities where a date night is lightest on the wallet.

On average, in Detroit, Michigan, residents can enjoy an evening in (movie rental, delivery meal, and pint of ice cream included) for under $30.00. Detroit is the least expensive city on our list for a stay-at-home date, so if you’re looking for an affordable dating scene, you might want to swipe right on some locals!

The cost of a night on the town in Memphis, Tennessee, is music to the ears of any budget-conscious couple looking to paint the town. With an average cost of $121.34 for two, Memphis is the easiest city on your wallet for a date night out, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of character or fun things to do. So grab your dancing shoes and head on over to Beale Street. With its neon lights, live music, and world-famous BBQ joints, you and your date will have all the makings of a great evening out at your fingertips.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you and your partner opt for a romantic evening at home with a few candles, some mood music, and your favorite food delivery or a wild night out on the town, at the end of the day, the cost of a date night is just one factor to consider when planning a romantic evening with your significant other. The most important thing is to create an experience that allows you to connect with your partner and make lasting memories. True romance isn’t about the size of your wallet, so remember to cherish your time together and enjoy your special bond.

Engagements start with a simple date. So whether it’s a home date night or a night out on the town, if you’re feeling the love, take your relationship to the next level with the perfect piece of jewelry from Shane Co.


To determine the best cities for a date night in and out, we analyzed data across a variety of factors. We combined the average cost for each factor in each city to calculate an overall cost of a date night in and out. We then compared the cost of each to uncover how much people are saving by staying in. Below is a full breakdown of the data points we analyzed and their sources.

  • Factors for a Date Night Out Include:
    • Cost of 2 Movie Tickets (Expatistan) 
    • Cost of Dinner Out for 2 (Expatistan) 
    • Cost of 2 Beers Out (Expatistan) 
    • Cost of Roundtrip Uber Ride (Uber) 
    • Cost of 2 Desserts Out (Various Restaurants)
  • Factors for a Date Night In Include:
    • Cost of Renting a Movie (Amazon Prime) 
    • Average Takeout Meal Cost (Grubhub) 
    • Cost of 2 Beers In (Expatistan) 
    • Cost of a Pint of Ice Cream (Walmart) 

Full Data

That wraps up our cost analysis of a date night in vs. out. Interested in diving deeper into the numbers for all of the cities, or wanting to see how your city stacks up if it’s not listed within the above map?

We’ve compiled our full data study for all 50 U.S. cities analyzed into the interactive data table below. Search for the city you call home or click on the heading of each column to sort by that category!

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