Dating On A Budget

We all know that when it comes to dating the last thing you want to do is look cheap. Unfortunately for those of us on a budget it’s not always easy to grace the dating scene when we’re trying to save money at the same time. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money while still being able to have a great time on your dates. Here are some dating ideas that can be a lot of fun without putting too much of a strain on your budget:

Take a picnic! Picnics are by and large one of the most popular dating ideas out there. They work for first dates as well as they do for seasoned couples and you can do them any time of year of you’re creative enough. They also require very little cash and can be quite romantic if you’re willing to put in the effort. If you can cook well then take the time to prepare a nice meal in advance. Make sure it’s food that can be eaten cold and won’t be very messy. Don’t forget napkins, silverware, drinks and so forth. Also make sure to bring plenty of blankets for cuddling and if you decide to do a winter time picnic bring along a couple thermoses of hot chocolate to keep the both of you warm. If you’re feeling really brave you could also bring a favorite book or collection of poetry to read aloud to your date while you both eat. The key here is to keep it simple. You don’t want food that is really difficult to eat or isn’t good when it’s cold and you definitely don’t want something that is going to attract a lot of insects or anything along those lines. If you’re worried about bugs you can buy a couple candles that will deter bugs by their scent. It’s also a good idea to scout out a location prior to your date and you could even take it a step further by having the picnic set up in advance and then just taking your date on a “walk in the park” and then surprising them with the picnic at the end of your little stroll.

Another great and inexpensive idea for a date is to take up a new sport with your date. Trying a new sport gives you an opportunity to connect with your date in unfamiliar territory. It’s important though to pick a sport that neither of you are familiar with or have experience with. If you choose a sport that you are good at and your date isn’t it’s going to turn into a bit of a show-off opportunity for you and though that might seem like a good idea (who doesn’t want to look good in front of their date) what it will end up being is a lot of fun for you but no fun at all for your date. If you choose a sport that neither of you are good at it gives you the chance to bond and have a bit of fun laughing at yourselves while you learn to do something new. And if the relationship blossoms it can become a great connecting point for you two as your relationship develops. It’s also fairly inexpensive as most of the time you can borrow equipment from family and friends or rent it pretty cheaply at local sports centers.

Instead of heading out to an expensive restaurant take the opportunity to cook at home with your date. If you’re comfortable with your cooking skills and feel like the odds of you burning down your house or lighting anything on fire are pretty slim then cooking at home can be a great way to save money and it can be a lot more fun than going out to a restaurant. Cooking at home means you can choose the menu, time everything to your plans and that you don’t have to worry about tipping or finding a new restaurant. It can be a great deal of fun to cook with a date and it gives you some extra time to talk to each other without any awkward pauses or interruptions by waiters. This is also a great option if your date has a special diet or any allergies - if they do that’s certainly something you want to be aware of before you plan the dinner as that can certainly ruin a meal. If your date isn’t much of a foodie then it’s best to keep things simple and light so that the preparations don’t take much time. You don’t want to be cooking for more than a half an hour because any longer than that and your date will start getting hungry and possibly impatient. It’s also a good idea to set up a nice table beforehand and maybe pick out some music so that things are all ready and you can eat as soon as your meal is finished cooking.

If you aren’t much of a cook or perhaps you don’t have the kitchen to entertain in then another alternative to eating at a restaurant is to attend a cooking class with your date. Before you go make sure it’s a hands on cooking class and not one where you’re just sitting watching someone else cook while not being able to talk to each other. Also be sure that there will be food for you to eat because after you’ve spent a fair amount of time watching food being made you’re both going to be hungry. Typically it’s a good idea to try one of the classes before you take a date on it just so that you know what the atmosphere of the class is like and whether or not you both will have a good time. This works as a great lead into another date as well because if you both like the food you can then try to make it again on your own the next time.

If you’re deciding to do a group date there are plenty of options than can allow everyone to save money while not putting the bulk of the cost on one person (like the host or hostess). If you decide to stay in then a couples game night can be a lot of fun and is relatively inexpensive for everyone involved. Whoever is hosting it can call on all the couples to each bring a board game and a dish for the evening. The host or hostess can assign each couple a certain type of dish or a drink and then confirm what board game they’re bringing with them so that there aren’t any overlaps. You probably wont be able to play every game brought over but you’ll likely go through a couple of them and then have some time to eat and socialize. The group atmosphere can be more relaxing than a one on one date with a new person and with everyone sharing the cost of the food it isn’t nearly as expensive as going out to eat or to a movie.

If you’re going for a group date but you decide that you’d rather go out there are still plenty of ways to have fun while saving money. A good idea is to head out for a social activity like playing pool, or arcade games where the cost is minimal and usually shared.   You can also do various sports like tennis or flag football which are inexpensive and get everyone involved. Afterwords you can all split the costs of some pizza and drinks and gloat about who won.

If you’d rather be on a more romantic type of date that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part there are still lots of classic standbys like watching a scary movie at home with popcorn. If you’re worried about seeming lazy or cheap you can spice nights like these up by adding little details that make all the difference. For example if you decide to do a scary movie night in you can make it more fun by having popcorn and root beer floats or even halloween themed cookies. You could also go with old fashioned black and white or even silent films as a twist to the typically “movie night in” date.

The cheapest and most simply of options is to simply do things out of doors in you area. Most people never visit many of the local attractions in their area and they can often be perfect spots for dates. Is there a nearby museum or a park that you’ve never visited? Sometimes a landmark or a famous hiking trail is all you need for an interesting date. A trip to a local wilderness or national park can be a great setting to have some fun and get to know someone. Just make sure your date is alright spending the period of the date outside and doesn’t have any special challenges or difficulties that might make things complicated for them.

Overall there are plenty of ways to have fun dating without emptying your wallet every time you want to take someone out and inexpensive dating doesn’t have to be cheap dating. Dating without breaking the bank certainly doesn’t have to be boring or feel like you’re skimping out instead of shelling out. Get creative and use your resources and you won’t have any trouble coming up with plenty of fun ideas for dates that both of you will love that don’t force you to spend lots of money.