How to do Date Night on a budget in Manchester

Yay, its date night! But there’s one minor problem: you’re both absolutely broke. Let’s be honest, being in a relationship doesn’t come cheap when you factor in all of the meals out, the boozy nights on the town and the romantic weekends away.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 5 August 2021

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Struggling to keep up with the expense of having an active relationship is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be if you look in all of the right places. So, if you’re scraping together coppers but don’t want to let down your boo, here are some cheap suggestions of places to go for your date night this week.

Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant Notting Hill ©Universal Studios

Head to the Cinema
Back in my day, a fiver would get you a ticket to the latest movie, an outrageously large bag of fizzy sweets and an ice blast. Nowadays, most people are forced to take out a second mortgage, just to afford the ticket alone.

It’s safe to say cinemas are incredibly overpriced, and most people steer clear of the big screen for that exact reason. But it’s a shame, because catching a movie with your other half is a great way to spend your weekly date night. However, to all of you penniless couples out there, not all hope is lost.

As of last week, the Printworks’, Vue, launched its latest deal-  £4.99 tickets, all day every day. That’s a cinema ticket for a fiver people- a fiver!  But, just to make things even better, the newly instated Odeon cinema at the Great Northern, has also introduced the exact same deal.

Although you’re still going to have to sell a kidney to afford a couple of drinks and a small popcorn, date night at the cinema is now do-able on a budget. And, another little tip for you all- if you can manage to get hold of a Meerkat Movies 2-4-1 cinema ticket on a Tuesday or Wednesday, that’ll half the price once again, to only £2.50 a ticket. Now that is what I call a date on a budget!


Do something for free
There’s never a shortage of things to do in the city for free, from heading to a museum to taking a walk in a park and foraging for berries. Luckily for you and your significant other, we have collected together a list of 20 of the best things to do for free in the city – and if you’re on a budget, you can’t get much cheaper than free. Check out our list right here


Grab a pizza at Rudy’s
I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say, Pizza is life. From a simple Margherita to a hot and spicy meat medley, there’s no palate pizza cannot woo. That being said, hunting down a top-notch slice of your favourite food doesn’t always come cheap.

Price and quality often come hand in hand, so it’s natural to assume that something out-of-this-world is going to cost you a bomb. But luckily, for the residents of Manchester, this isn’t the case at all for Rudy’s in Ancoats. The Neapolitan Pizzeria hidden away on Cotton Street serves Manchester’s best pizza for less than £10 a meal.

Regarded as one of ‘the best pizzas in the world’, Rudy’s has literally seduced pizza lovers from across the globe. Despite standing as one of Manchester’s most in-demand restaurants, Rudy’s remains one of the cheapest pizza joints in the city centre. So next time you think about wasting £30 on a Dominoes- think again. Treat your other half to an actual slice of heaven. Once you go Rudy’s, you never go back- that I can guarantee.


Enjoy an All-Day Happy Hour!
Couples that get drunk together, stay together- right? Well, that’s my motto at least, and it’s going pretty well for me so far! But on a serious note, getting merry with bae in Manchester city centre isn’t cheap- at all. You’re looking at £50 a head easily if you don’t plan ahead and track down some deals. But that is where Las Iguanas on Deansgate comes into the picture.

Whilst nearly every bar in Manchester has its very own, ‘happy hour’, battling with hundreds of other bargain hunters just to get served is no joke. Cheap drinks are good, but standing in a queue for an entire night isn’t. Las Iguanas however, is Manchester’s very own ‘Happy hour haven’, because its 2-4-1 cocktail deal runs all day, every day. Yes, that’s right, the South American inspired sensation offers cheap drinks from the second it opens its doors, till the last drunkard stumbles out of them.

No longer do you have to stand huddled in the corner of an overly-crowded bar whilst your partner gets pushed and shoved at the bar; head to Las Iguanas at a time that suits you, and enjoy all of the perks of discounted drinks without the unwelcomed debris of ‘happy hour’ chaos. Do date night right this week, head to Las Iguanas.



Go Half Price or Go Home
If you keep discovering that your purse is just full of bits of fluff and a few moths, then you should probably start thinking of taking advantage of some of the excellent 50% off deals that are awaiting your arrival around the city.

Throughout September you can take advantage of 50% off all food at Don Giovanni, for some lovely romantic Italian dishes – where you may even be able to recreate that scene from Lady and the Tramp if you’re lucky. There’s also 50% off all food at Black Dog Ballroom every Monday if you both prefer a more NY inspired night of smooches. Finally, why not carefully feed your beloved some half price sushi from Sakana on Peter Street, available every Monday and perfect for showing off some of your chopstick handling skills.


Grab a coffee at Ziferblat
Whether you’re going on a first date or just want to hang out with your significant other, talking is an essential part of any relationship. Sitting down for a good cup of tea and a natter is effortlessly entertaining, but even a couple of brews can rack up one hefty bill if you go to the wrong place.

Ziferblat in Northern Quarter on the other hand combines homely comfort with great coffee; at a seriously reasonable price. In my opinion, the Ziferblat is one of the most unique coffee shops in Manchester because it doesn’t feel like a coffee shop at all. Packed out with sofas, tables and a fully-accessible kitchen, Manchester’s very own cosy cabin is like a home away from home.

Unlike traditional coffee shops, the Ziferblat runs by a ‘help yourself’ service, and invites customers to make as many delicious coffees, teas, lattes, espressos- you name it- as they please. And don’t worry, there’s also plenty of cakes, biscuits, cereals and a selection of bread to keep your nibbles at bay. For just 8p a minute- which works out at less than a fiver an hour- you can take your shoes off, make yourself a brew, have a game of Cluedo and cuddle up with your babe in a quaint and relaxing environment. It’s even cuter then it sounds…


Have a Lunch Date
Once you’ve finished work it can be hard to muster up the motivation to get up and out and spend an evening with your most favourite person, when all you really want to do is vegetate on the sofa while watching Emmerdale Farm.

Well the perfect solution is to meet up with your bae at lunch time and take advantage of many of the city’s fantastic lunch deals. If you’ve found yourself cringing at spending a fiver on a soggy butty and a packet of Skips, then there are plenty of great money-saving deals to be had before you both have to nip off back to sitting in front of Microsoft Excel for another 3 hours. Our latest list of the best in the city is right here

So hey presto, you’ll never have to skimp on date night ever again. And who knows, maybe you’ll even have some money left over for those shoes you wanted…