Dating Tips: Inexpensive Date Ideas

During an economic slowdown, dating can wear out your paycheck before you even cash it. Plan ahead!

Economic downturn? Lose your allowance? Whatever your issue, it may be time to cut back on the ultra-expensive date ideas and save a couple of bucks. Not to worry…for high-priced fun at an inexpensive price, choose a date from the list below. You can still date without busting the bank.

The Coffee Date

Great for first dates — and caffeine addicts — for less than ten dollars you can spend an hour chatting it up at your local java joint. Extra credit: some coffee shops are located in local bookstores, so you get extra points for being well read.
• Pros: Casual; no chance of running up a big tab.
• Cons: Doesn’t work well in the evening hours or for repeat dates; lots of caffeine and staring.

The Mall Date

Works best if you’re underage. Malls have come a long way and several now boast fountains or waterfalls, outdoor settings, and great people watching.
• Pros: Every city has a mall; major cities have many malls.
• Cons: Your date might think it’s an all-out shopping spree.

The Outdoor Date

Hiking? Biking? Walking on the beach? The great outdoors have never looked better to a budgeter — all for the low cost of F-R-E-E.
• Pros: Fresh air and exercise; show off your rugged side; romance bonus for stargazing; plenty of options.
• Cons: If she’s a stiletto-only girl or has multiple allergies, this could be pure torture for everyone.

The House Party Date

With no long lines, no entry frees, and zero bar tabs this could be the way to go for the frugal social butterfly. Find a nice party in the hills or at the nearest beach house and your golden!
• Pros: Economical mixing and mingling; showcases your personality.
• Cons: The party you heard about from a friend of a friend involved strippers and kegs…she was so not amused.

The Museum Date

Feign high culture and sophistication with a trip to a museum or art gallery. Research museums looking for offers and special discounts, free days, or hard-to-find tickets to popular openings.
• Pros: Creates air of sophistication and style.
• Cons: You’re really not keen on Kandinsky or Cezanne; you may have to fake answers to art history questions.

The Community Event Date

Check listings in your local paper for fun, new, and inexpensive date ideas. Park events on holidays are popular as well as upper-level seating at sporting events, poetry readings, festivals, etc.
• Pros: You get extra points for creativity.
• Cons: Travel times vary.

The Picnic Date

For women, a well planned out picnic is “dreamy”. A nice spread of wine, cheese, fruit, and mini-sandwiches won’t dent your budget and will score you major points. Look for the perfect spot at a beach, sprawling park, or campground.
• Pros: Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in “To Catch a Thief”.
• Cons: You fight ants, nature, and the elements.

The Animal-Lover Date

Who said animals were just for kids? Spend the day at the local zoo or aquarium and get acquainted with nature. Rediscover your love for gnus and mangabeys!
• Pro: In her eyes, Steve Irwin has nothing on you!
• Cons: Steve Irwin is dead; death by stingray or monitor; wash your hands.

The Learning Date

Great for pairs that want to explore something new. Ever want to learn how to juggle? Dance the mambo? Card tricks? Find something both of you are interested in and spend a day learning about it together.
• Pros: The couple that plays together stays together.
• Cons: One of you may learn faster than the other; damage to toes, eyes, or pride.

About the Author
Kimberly Fisher is a freelance writer based in Manhattan Beach, CA and Las Vegas, NV. She specializes in travel, lifestyle and pop culture trends. Born with restless feet, she enjoys traveling and is always on the lookout for a new experience. So far she has traveled to over 37 countries and almost every US state. Her work has appeared in various English print and online media. Please direct inquiries to:

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Categories: dating do's don'ts

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