When you date someone, you want to make an impression on her. This is especially if it's one of your first few dates and you would like to take it further. But what if money is tight and you just don't have the means to do fancy stuff and wine and dine her? Yet, you don't want to seem like a cheapskate and have her think that she's anything less than special to you.
But whoever said that to have an enjoyable time with someone, you had to spend a lot of money? You can enjoy each other's company even on a shoestring budget. Some couples have had great dates with little money but a lot of imagination. Maybe you can learn from them.
Some of the all-time favorite cheap date ideas:
1. A walk in the park
Take a leisurely stroll with your date through rambling paths and lush greenery. Walk hand-in-hand and talk about your interests, family, trees, nature, anything! The cost for leading her up the garden path - zilch!
2. Go for a jog
If you and your date are up for it, put on your track pants and running shoes and head out for a jog. While the jog itself won't give you much opportunity to talk, it's always great to work up a sweat together. And afterwards, you can stretch together and maybe you can even give her an impromptu massage to soothe those aching muscles. That's called 'Giving her a run for (no) money'!
3. The beach
This one's an all-time favorite. You don't need to shell out any entrance fee and it is one of the most romantic places to be. Whether you take a walk on the sand, lounge around on a chair tanning yourself, surf or just fool around in the water, the beach must surely be one of the most popular 'cheap date' locations.
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If you and your date both happen to be the athletic types and love a particular sport, this could be the ideal alternative for you. Indulge in a little competitive activity to get the adrenaline pumping. It could be table tennis, badminton or even squash. But be a man and take it in the right spirit if she beats you!
5. Go for a swim
You might like to go for a swim together at the local club. This gives you the additional advantage of checking her out in a swimsuit! And if you're a good swimmer and she's not, you can impress her with some cool strokes or maybe even teach her some. Different strokes for different folks! If you're more adventurous, you could even go skinny dipping.
6. A picnic
Picture a cozy brunch or lunch for two in a nice meadow. You could spread out a cool picnic mat, take some sandwiches and if you're really lucky, she may even feed you some of those grapes you've carried along. Only, make sure you pick a spot where you don't get attacked by an army of ants!
7. Community center activities
Check out some of the activities at your local community center and ask your date if she'd be interested in anything. You could have a really good time, and in the process, discover a fun side to your date, that you never knew existed.
8. Go sight-seeing
Sometimes you discover historic landmarks in your city that have minimal or no entrance fee. It could even be a museum, if either of you are into that kind of thing. Either way, it gives you a lot to talk about and it makes for interesting conversation. One of you may even decide to play tourist guide and ask for payment..in kind!
9. Movie/meal at home
Check out the Top Ten Movie list and rent one your date will enjoy. Make sure you find out what his/her taste in movies is, you wouldn't want to choose an action movie if she really prefers a romantic comedy. Or invite him over to a home-cooked meal, or even better yet, prepare it together. It might be great to see how you work together as a team and you'll be surprised how much fun you have in the process. In this case, even if 'Too many cooks spoil the broth', you wouldn't really mind!
If it's the festive season, enjoy the originality and creativity of the window displays with your date. Or go shopping together and pick out stuff you think you might like to buy, but don't buy it. It's great to see what the other person's tastes are, and this way, when you do have some money and you're stuck for gift options, you know exactly what he/she fancies.
11. Coffee shop
Coffee and a couple of doughnuts won't cost you too much. So linger over your cuppa, inhale the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy the company of your date in a relaxed and friendly setting.
12. Book reading/Library
If your date is the literary type, take her along to a book reading; she might really appreciate the effort taken on her account. Or visit the library together and spend some quiet time just being with each other or exchanging love notes!
13. Go for a drive
You could take your date for a drive to a quiet place or somewhere that has a picturesque view. Sit in the car just holding hands and talking or doing whatever you do best! Or sit on the bonnet with your arms wrapped around each other, watching the sun go down. One of the most romantic views, and all it costs is the fuel it took you to get there.
14. Go trekking
If you like adventure, and you think your date might be up for it, go hiking. Choose a scenic route so that it's not all huffing and puffing and you can stop and admire nature at her best. Carry along enough supplies and choose a nice spot, like maybe a waterfall or somewhere with verdant pastures to catch your breath and relax in each other's company.
15. Go camping
This one requires your date to be the down-to-earth type or at least open to roughing it out. If you don't already have camping equipment, borrow it from a friend and brush up your boy-scout skills. Enjoy the chirruping of the birds and the beauty of the wild outdoors with your date.
16. Bicycle ride
If you don't own one, rent a couple of bicycles and take a leisurely ride in the countryside. Have races; enjoy the breeze in your hair and the sun shining down on your face!
17. Visit a park
Choose a park that has an area for kids and act silly together. Have a whale of a time on the seesaws and maybe enjoy the lulling rhythm of the bench swings.
18. Try out something new
If your date is up for adventure, try out a new sport, hobby or activity like ice-skating. Providing you don't take any nasty spills, it could be a great way to have a few laughs together. It also gives you the chance to keep holding on to your date on the pretext of steadying her (or yourself!).
19. Sit by the fireplace
Invite your date over and get a roaring fire going. Roast marshmallows together and get cozy on the rug by the fireplace. Easy on the pocket, isn't it?
20. Play games
There are a variety of board games like Scrabble, Dominoes, Monopoly or even a game of cards that provide light-hearted entertainment, without making even a dent in your wallet.
21. Go fishing
You might like to laze around in the sun in an idyllic spot, on the pretext of fishing. But if you do happen to be lucky enough to catch some trout, that's your meal guaranteed as well!
22. Sit by the lake
Settle down on a bench by the lake, to feed the geese and carry along some snacks to munch on as well. Chat about life and soak in the peaceful scenery, all for free.
If you're a nature buff, grab your binoculars and your date and head out to a nature park or a popular bird-watching site. On the pretext of showing your date some rare bird, enjoy a few close encounters! And what you may lack in your wallet, you can make up for with your eloquence. Turn your binoculars on her and tell her that you're looking at the rarest bird of all!
In fact, no matter where you take your date or what you decide to do, don't be perturbed by what you think is a cheap alternative. You don't even have to be a scintillating conversationalist. If you treat a lady right and show her that you've made an extra effort to make her feel special, even if it doesn't cost much, she'll still feel like a queen!