7 cute ideas for a date on the cheap
You're young - go forth and date! Sadly, wining and dining your guy/girl of choice can get a little pricey - here's how to do it on a budget...
So you've found yourself a guy/girl who is willing to take a chance on you - congratulations! But before you start doing a little celebratory dance (we know what you're like), can you afford it?! Dating isn't cheap, and there are only so many times you can fall back on buy-one-get-one-free Pizza Express deals, so here’s some ‘alternative’ ideas for dates which won’t affect your bank balance...
1) The great outdoors
The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees... or so sang the Beatles. Well, it’s time to cash in a few favours from nature! Nothing says romance quite like the great outdoors and, with spring here, there’s no reason why love can’t bloom just like the tulips and daffodils lining our sidewalks. An afternoon in the park, relaxing under the tree blossoms and basking in the sun’s rays is sure to hit all the right notes.
Bring along a blanket, a cheeky beverage and - if you feel like pushing the boat out - a couple of nibbles (Sainbo’s basics will do - but if you really love them, Kettle Chips) and you’ve got a romantic picnic going on. Admittedly current weather makes this a risky choice, but see it as a chance to show your sense of spontaneity. So what if there’s a shower, that’s just an excuse to have a cosy cuddle under a brolly - think Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant hooking up at the end of Four Weddings And A Funeral...
2) City Stroll
So maybe you’re not lucky enough to live near any of Britain’s green and pleasant lands. Why not go for a romantic stroll along its streets and city centres? Walkit provides a wealth of ideas for urban walks and can help you plan your route so you don’t end up lost and wondering where it all went wrong.
Make sure you include a few points of interest - some nice architecture, a cute little shop, a cheeky coffee stop and you’ve managed to while a way an afternoon whilst finding some special spots and lover’s haunts for the two of you to re-visit. The important thing is timing. You want it to be a leisurely affair, but don’t get too carried away - the last thing you want is to be bored and tired in some back alley with sore feet.
3) Museum/art gallery
All this activity not appealing to you? Never fear, the more cerebral of you can indulge your cultural side by going to a museum or art gallery. Unless they’re special/new, most museums have free exhibits. If you do a cheeky bit of swatting up beforehand, you can impress your other half with your knowledge and show you’re not just a pretty face!
4) Street markets
Most towns and cities will have some kind of regular clothes/farmer/craft market which you can pop down to. Full of atmosphere, you don’t have to buy to have a good time. Rustling among the bits and bobs on offer you’ll have lots to talk about and, even if you do end up purchasing a little momento of your trip, it’s hardly going to break the bank.
5) Date day, NOT date night
This one's more of a rule than a date idea, it's worth bearing in mind that going on a date in the day is cheaper than at night. OK, so you may have lost that romantic evening ambience and you’re more likely to be invited back for a cup of tea than a night cap, but money-wise it’s a saver. Public transport/walking back is more acceptable in the middle of the day (so you don’t have to worry about getting a taxi home) and you save money by not buying pricier alcoholic drinks with meals.
6) Film night
There couldn't be a dating discussion without it. OK, so this one’s a cheat! It’s not free and it’s hardly original, but it’s still the ultimate alternative to a ‘proper’ date. With no restaurant dinner, no cinema ticket and no transport hassle it may be clichéd but, financially, it’s unbeatable. Wow your guy/girl with your culinary skills and then introduce them to your (or your housemate’s) extensive collection of world and art-house movies! American Pie 2 is art-house, right?
7) Board games
If you want to stay at home but aren't in the mood for a film, have some old school fun playing a board game. Scrabble or Boggle are good for two and you can show off some word wizardry. Note: If you're an especially competitive person, this might not be the best idea - throwing a Jenga block at your date may not be the turn on you had in mind
Like all things in life, 'budget dating' works well in moderation. Sometimes you're just going to have to splash the cash. But by cutting corners and watching the pennies on the odd date, when you do decide to spend big, you have the money to make it special.
More Student easy money
Budget travel meals just got very, very cheap indeed ... read more