Be a Cheap Date

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Dating is difficult. The pressure of trying to impress someone and making sure they have a good time can often take the fun out of planning a date.  Planning a date can be hard (because dinner and a movie is SO overdone) but doing it on a budget can be even harder.  With some creative planning you can impress that certain someone without having to eat PB&J until your next paycheck.

Here are some ideas to get your romance on without breaking the bank.

  • Get off the couch! Get moving lazy.  Go for a bike ride somewhere scenic (like in Wedding Crashers) and pack a picnic.  Head to the park for some people watch and throw around a frisbee or play catch.  Go for a hike.  Check out Christina's blog about enjoying the outdoors at the Audubon Sancutuaries.
  • Factory Tours. Ok, I get that this doesn't sound too romantic but there is a multitude of factories that give free or low budget tours.  Who wouldn't want to see how their favorite beer or musical instrument of choice is made? Try going to a local microbrewery or local winery to learn more (and often taste more) about the "craft".  If beer isn't for you,  take a look at a few of these factory tours ranging from pianos to baseball bats.
  • Museums. Museums can be a great place for a frugal date.  Often times the admission prices are affordable and there's always a lot to look at.  Check out the museums website for any special galleries or discount days.
  • Volunteer. There's a vast need for people to help out in their communities.  Check out volunteer match for some great opportunities to help others while you get to learn about each other.  A charity walk maybe more your speed.  Whomever raises the least amount of money buys the other winner lunch?
  • Student shows. Living in the Boston area there are a lot of great colleges that have student performances.  My husband and I love going to see plays. We don't love the ticket prices to see the professionals so we go see the professionals in training.  Fashion shows, plays, art exhibits, musical performances and much more can be enjoyed at a fraction of the price just by supporting your local university.
  • Bowling.  Seriously, who doesn't like bowling?!  A night of bowling and a few beers won't have you run through lots of cash.  Take your date to a bowling alley to show them how laid back and that you don't take your self too seriously. It'll give you the chance to have fun and get to know the other person better.
  • Get In Touch With Your Inner Animal. Going to the zoo isn't just for kids.  Prices for zoo's vary but generally less than $15 per person. For that price you can get a fun afternoon of animal watching! Just be sure to avoid any of those pricey add ons so your frugal afternoon doesn't become an expensive one.
  • Look for  City Events.  Check out your town or city's website to learn about any fun events in your area.  You can find out about free movies, concerts and many other fun things to do.
  • Dinner at home. I am not saying make mac and cheese unless it's you date's favorite food.  Try to make your significant other a romantic dinner at home. It doesn't have to be an uber fancy meal but something she/he will actually enjoy.   If you choose wisely you can save a significant amount of money versus going out to dinner.    The Food Network has a great variety of recipes for all different tastes and cook skill levels.  Make it a surprise! Plus  you'll be the sweet boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife that went out of their way to make their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife feel special.

You don't have to throw down a bunch of cash to take someone on an amazing date.  As long as your keep your date's interest in mind, and get creative you will be able to have a great experience together and save some money.  After all, it's the time that you spend together that's the most important.

Image thanks to 1Happysnapper

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