I’ve never been rich, at least not in a monetary sense. I have been rich in fun though and anyone—regardless of their income level—has the ability to achieve that.
Let’s be honest, dating can burn a hole through the pocket with all the dining and wining–but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are plenty of cheap and easy things for couples to do out there (I’m talking about outside of the bedroom, perv, but if you wanna go all cheap and easy there too, that’s your prerogative).
Here are 7 Cheap & Easy Date Ideas:
1. Explore the Outdoors
Nature is full of cheap things to do. Most cities have parks. Some states even have parks with trails for hiking on. Bring a blanket, sit under a tree, stare at each other, make-out. Go by a pond and say hi to the ducks. Other options include: playing Frisbee, reading a story out loud to each other, having a cartwheel contest, sneaking behind a big bush and doing it, showing off new yoga moves, etc. etc.
2. Get Your Game On
I like to bring boys home and show them how to properly play Mario 3; they usually go home crying because I so-totally schooled them, but it’s fun while it lasts. Of course not everyone has a gaming system, but you probably have at least one board game sitting around. If not, improvise with a piece of paper and pen and draw up a tic-tac-toe board. Make a fun bet out of it, like whoever loses has to buy dinner or you know, get sexy with it—whatever you’re into, it’s your date.
3. Find Free Events in Your City
Most museums and zoos have free days—a little tip, bring along patience because it’s basically the worst time to go to those places. As they say, you get what you paid for and we can’t all throw down $20+ to look at some splashes of color on canvas. As long as you both stay mindful, all will be well. Also, most decently-sized cities have free shows available every night of the week at one venue or the other. What I like to do is “friend” venues on Facebook, then enter contest to win tickets to non-free shows. It works (sometimes).
4. Artsy-Fartsy Stuff
People are always looking for ways to be entertained rather than try to find ways to entertain themselves. Why not get creative with your date? Write a song together or draw each other like a French girl. It’s way more fulfilling at the end of the day to see something produced together, something that will exist on the planet now, something shareable to others… or at least a much more memorable day.
5. Bikes Rides
Even if you or your date don’t have a bike, now there are plenty of places that have decently priced rent-a-bike programs. What better way to explore the surroundings at a pace that can be either swift or cruising, that can get you places that aren’t really walkable but not quite worth bothering driving to? The whole date can be the bike ride or an addition to any of the other cheap and easy ideas.
6. Peruse Local Book/Music Stores
There’s a great music store down the street from me that sells “grab bags” of records, CDs, and DVDs for like $3-$5. It’s fun! There’s no telling what might be in there, sometimes it’s gold other times it’s bathroom-waste products. While not every store won’t run the same sale, it’s still fun to check out the latest and the greatest in the world of entertainment alongside a partner. Get a feel for what your date gravitates to; if you’re new together, this is a useful way to see how well some of your interests match.
7. The Economical Dinner & a Movie
This is the most standard of dates. I shouldn’t even be telling people this is an option, but honestly, the old stand-by is a stand-by for a reason. In this instance, instead of dropping $50 for dinner and $20+ for the movie, cook together at home and stream something via Netflix (or Redbox or however you get your movies). Make it even more interesting by incorporating a theme. For example, if the night calls for Dirty Dancing, why not make watermelon martinis? How about a French film with French food (I like Amelie). A Breaking Bad marathon? Well, maybe eat before watching.
When being cheap, it’s important to counter that cheapness with some creativity; if you can’t have one thing, have another. If the date is memorable and fun it won’t matter what it cost, especially if the two of you enjoy each other’s company.