If you’ve recently found romance–whether through traditional means or dating websites–you’ve probably also found that your bank account is less than abundant after a few costly dates. Dating someone new doesn’t have to cost a fortune–there are lots of ways to cut those expensive corners so that you can have a good time without the hefty price-tag. Featured here are a few frugal dating tips that new couples may find useful.
Plan a Date Outdoors
Nice weather and beautiful outdoor scenery can make for a very romantic date, and an affordable one, at that. You can go hiking, climbing, or camping in a national park, spend an afternoon walking along a sandy beach, or simply pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it at one of your favorite outdoor locations. There are numerous seasonal activities to consider as well. Pay a visit to your community’s local botanical garden and take in the beautiful flowers, plants, and fountains. As a couple you can also go berry-picking at a nearby berry patch or check out an apple orchard or pumpkin patch in the fall. Once you get your goodies home, you can make some delicious jams and jellies or a fresh fruit pie together.
Tour a Winery Although you would never use the word frugal when discussing fine wines–you can actually enjoy them without spending a lot of money. Take a tour of a winery in your area, and sample some of their exotic blends while you’re there. Wine-tasting tours are also relatively inexpensive and if you look online ahead of time, you may find tickets at a discounted price that will help you save even more off the cost of a pleasant afternoon spent together as a couple.
Farmers markets, flea markets, and art fairs are wonderful places to go on day-time dates, and you don’t have to spend much to have a great time. Not only are there lots of treasures to look at, these kinds of markets are interesting places to people watch, too. Don’t forget to hold hands as you stroll through the marketplace.
Make a Romantic Dinner at Home
If an expensive dinner at an upscale restaurant doesn’t jive with your budget, cook a romantic dinner at home together. Plan out a menu that includes dishes you both love, pick up the ingredients you’ll need at the grocery store, and make it together. Dig out a nice table cloth and the dishes you usually reserve for special occasions, and set the table so it looks just as classy as the most costly restaurant in town. Don’t forget to light a couple of candles and turn on some soft background music to really complete the romantic ambiance.
Snuggle Up for a Movie Marathon
With movie ticket prices continually on the rise, a date at your local theater can be a pricey one, indeed. If the total cost of tickets, pop, popcorn, and any other additional snacks you might want sounds a bit out of reach, stay home and plan a romantic movie marathon right in your own living room or bedroom. As a couple, select a few movies to watch at home, pop some popcorn, turn down the lights, and cozy-up on the couch with a blanket. Your home theater date will be much more comfortable and affordable than the one you’d have at the cinema.
Trade Baby-Sitting Duties
A great way to save money on the cost of a baby-sitter without having to sacrifice quality care is to trade-off baby-sitting duties with another couple. Offer to watch their kids for an afternoon or evening so they can enjoy a date night and then switch. Plan a schedule so that you and your date as well as the other couple can get out on a regular basis without having to worry about the cost of a baby-sitter. As a new couple it’s important that you make time to nurture your new found romance. Utilizing some of these frugal dating tips will allow you to go out more often as a couple without breaking the piggy bank. Be creative when planning your dates and keep in mind that it’s not the amount of money you spend that’s important–it’s always the thought that really counts.
This is a guest article by Karen Schweitzer