Frugality may be a desired trait in a business partner or an accountant, but it isn’t exactly sexy. Even if your current financial situation sends you digging under your couch cushions to tip the pizza guy, you can still take someone on a decent date without being a cheapskate. Here are a few tips to help you plan a date for cheap.
Rethink Dinner Dates
Dinner dates almost always cost a pretty penny, but if you’re eyeing your date’s lobster dinner and wondering how you’ll be able to pay the cable bill this month because of it, no one’s having fun. Coupons and early-bird specials might pass muster once you’ve been married for a few decades, but your date may not find coupon cutting an endearing trait so early on in your relationship. Don’t think you can get by with a cheap restaurant choice either. Trust us; any restaurant that has pictures of its food on a laminated menu is not a date restaurant.
Instead of possibly paying an arm and a leg for dinner, why not go for brunch. You’ll get the same fine dining experience without the expense of dinner. Plus the atmosphere is also typically more relaxed. That’s great news for first dates because the meal doesn’t last as long and won’t put as much pressure on both of you. Besides, everyone’s in a better mood with waffles on the table.
Cultivate Your Cultural Side
Since the best dates tend to stimulate your mind, what better way to engage your brain than with a trip to a museum or gallery? You’ll spend less than you would on a movie for two, and you’ll also get the chance to actually speak to your date instead of staring at a screen. Make a day of it by packing a picnic and heading to the park or look into local concerts.
Speaking of concerts, never drag a date to a concert venue and hang around outside of it because the music sounds just as good. It doesn’t, and you’ll seem unbearably cheap for pulling such a trick. That goes for music festivals too.
Support Your Home Team
You could pay a month’s rent for tickets on the 50-yard line at an NFL game, but not all events are equally expensive. Tickets to basketball, baseball or college football games are often reasonable even if you get good seats. Many teams host special event games that knock a little off the ticket price if you wear team colors or donate canned goods at the door.
Free Dates That Don’t Feel Cheap
If you’re lucky enough to live near forested hiking trails or beautiful beaches, you’re set. Going climbing, hiking or biking with your date lets you share something you both enjoy without a huge investment. One caveat: If you’re as sessile as a sea sponge, don’t take your date up a mountain. The whole sweaty and gasping for breath look isn’t a good look for anyone. And if you’re taking a trip, make sure you take advantage of these budgeting tools for travelers.
The best way to impress your date is with thoughtfulness, creativity and sense of adventure, not with overspending. Anyone can take a date for a tiresome dinner at a restaurant with too many forks and not enough waffles; be the one who takes your companion somewhere far more interesting.