Valentine’s Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean the chance for romance has passed. Everyone loves to be wooed, wowed, and won over no matter what day of the year it is, and reserving the royal treatment for some random day in the middle of February just won’t cut it if you want your relationship to last.
On the other hand, champagne and long-stemmed roses aren’t exactly inexpensive, and date night can easily become a budget-buster if you let yourself get carried away. You need to find a way to express the depth of your love without digging too deeply into your pockets.
We’ve got three inexpensive date ideas that will help you be a cost-conscious cupid all year round.
Nothing Speaks to the Heart Like a Helping of Home Cooking
Restaurants are a mainstay of the dating scene, but a little knowhow (and a little practice) can cut out the high priced chef and make you the star of the evening—earning you some starry-eyed admiration as a reward.
Cooking skills are sexy no matter what gender you are, and the time and care you put into making a meal says a lot more about your feelings than the money you would have spent going out.
Find out what your partner’s favorite meal is and learn how to make it. Or, check out some recipes on my favorite food blog. Think back to your first restaurant date and try to recreate it. You can even make the cooking part of the date and get your partner in on the action (in the kitchen, that is). Make some memories instead of simply having a meal, and you’ll have a date that’s cheap and priceless at the same time.
Find a Theater That Plays Old Movies
Movies are almost as much a part of the dating scene as restaurants, even though ticket prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. The home-based alternatives to movies at the multiplex are a bit underwhelming, though; “Netflix and chill” isn’t going to score you any romance points, we promise.
The solution? Cheaper tickets to non-mainstream movies!
No, this doesn’t mean watching arthouse films with subtitles—though that’s certainly an option, if you’re into it. There are plenty of movie theaters around the country that show second-run movies and that regularly screen classics, as well.
Wait for that blockbuster your partner never got a chance to see to come around to the cheaper theater, or keep an eye out for films from their childhood that are still fondly remembered. Make the night about the special chance to see something together you otherwise would have missed, and the cheaper ticket price will seem like an added bonus, not the deciding factor.
Let Nature Work Its Romantic Magic
A date with a destination is a date that will delight, and the great outdoors offers plenty of destinations that won’t cost you a dime. From a hike to a nearby waterfall to a simple picnic in the park, rowing a boat around a lake or having a bonfire at the beach there are plenty of free activities to do outdoors.
Don’t let weather interrupt your plans, either. If rain, wind, or snow make reaching your intended destination more of a chore than a charming outing, set up an indoor.outdoor retreat, instead. Put a tent up in the living room, get some nature sounds going on your laptop, and fill a backpack with wine, cheese, and crackers—then kick back and enjoy.
These are just a few ideas to get your started. Apply a little imagination, and we’re sure you can come up with plenty of inexpensive date ideas for a night that’s high value without being high cost. Try them out, and let us know how it goes!