Posted by: Shar & Mare | July 19, 2012

Locate Love without Losing Your Shirt: Dating On a Budget


Dinner and a movie: the traditional favorite date night activity. Unfortunately, its main drawback is the cost. With the price of movies continuing to rise, and fancy restaurant dinners costing around $25 per person, there’s a good chance you’ll end the evening having spent upwards of $75. A few nights of that per month will really take a chunk out of your monthly budget. So how can you cut your dating costs without cutting out the fun? Here are some ideas to help you be more frugal, and creative, on your first and subsequent dates.

Start with flowers: Cutting back on costs doesn’t mean you have to cut back on the romance. Companies like 1-800-Flowers, offer great deals on fresh bouquets and arrangements that can be shipped directly to that special someone. With coupons from sites like CouponCravings, you can surprise your date with a beautiful arrangement, and still have money left over for one of the fun activities below.

Go for a hike: Yahoo.com explains that this activity requires both parties have an interest in nature and being in the outdoors. But once you’ve established this is the case, it’s a good opportunity for some low-cost fun. Bring some water and trail mix, and be ready to spend the afternoon getting to know each other in a beautiful setting.

Have a picnic in the park: This is a unique date idea, and can be quite romantic. Plus, purchasing some wine and cheese from the grocery store is much less expensive than a restaurant date. Don’t forget to bring a blanket to spread out on the grass.

Take in the local museum: Chances are you have a few museums in your area. Think art or history. According to BetterBudgeting.com, museums are great inexpensive dates, because admission fees are usually fairly low. You’ll both likely learn something while you are there, which is an added bonus.

Purchase annual passes: Wisebread.com details how annual passes give you unlimited access to local attractions that you enjoy. Consider passes to the zoo, or local botanical gardens. Even theme parks will offer deals on yearly memberships that can save you money if you use them frequently enough.

Go wine tasting: This is a classy alternative to the traditional date. The drive to the vineyard gives you ample time to enjoy each other and the scenery. And the tasting itself is always a fun experience. Wine tastings are often free, but if there is a fee, it’s always very reasonable.

When you consider the potential costs ahead of time, dating can feel like a chore. It’s hard to spend a large chunk of money on just one night’s worth of fun. But not all dates have to be break-the-bank expensive. The next time you’re planning to take someone out, consider these alternatives to the pricey night on the town.

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