Did you resolve to save money this year? With news of impending tax increases, many individuals and couples have been thinking about how to live more frugally. While saving money isn’t always a ton of fun, it doesn’t have to mean resigning yourselves to evenings of watching reruns and eating ramen noodles. While it might seem that your date night options are pretty limited when you’re on a budget (especially in winter), there are plenty of fun dates that cost little or nothing, allowing you to keep your resolution to save, whether you’re trying to stow away some cash for a rainy day or have enough to buy that perfect 1 carat diamond ring. Here are six ideas to get you started:
Go to a play or concert at a local college. Many colleges and universities regularly make a wide range of plays and concerts available to the public for just a fraction of what you’d pay at a professional theater. And, you just might see a star of tomorrow.
Pack a picnic. Even if you live in an area where it’s too cold to eat outside, you can still plan a romantic picnic. Try eating by the fireplace if you have one, or simply set up candles and a blanket on the floor. The food doesn’t have to be fancy—it’s about the experience! If you have access to an outdoor fireplace, try making camping classics like hobo packets and s’mores.
Take advantage of the library. Chances are, your local library allows you to check out more than just books. Most of them also loan out vast collections of movies, allowing you to share a few flicks without spending a cent. In addition, some libraries allow you to borrow passes to local museums and other attractions, allowing you to get in for free or just a few dollars.
Break out the board games. When was the last time you played Scrabble with a board and pieces rather than on your phone? Spend an afternoon or evening playing the games that likely inspired your favorite ways to kill time on a screen.
Get active together. Whether you resolved to get in shape in the new year or you’re a regular at the gym, getting active together can be a healthy date activity for both your body and your relationship. Try a new sport, take a dance class at a community center (or just go dancing), go roller skating or bowling or even play an active video game.
Cook up some fun. Eating in is almost always cheaper than going out and it almost always generates more memories. While it’s romantic to cook for the one you love, why not try whipping up dinner together? Try making homemade pizza or tackle a new recipe.
Don’t let a budget stunt your dating life! Try one of these date on a dime ideas to give your relationship a boost and still have cash left over for a gemstone ring—or a honeymoon.