Now that all the holiday madness, filled with excessive shopping, feasting and socializing, is officially over, it’s time to dial back into your weekly routine: sleep (a lot), work, eat, exercise, save money and date. That’s right – date! But you’re wondering how the hell you’re going to afford a night out on a strict budget…
Just because your funds are running a little dry at the moment, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your dating life altogether. You have the power to have the most fun date night, without breaking the bank!
Here’s how to do it!
1) Grab brunch or lunch: Did you submit yourself to dry January this month? You can easily avoid the booze and get away with a $10-20 dollar breakfast/lunch date with someone you’ve never met before. Both are casual settings, perfect for a first date, that also come with a reasonably priced bill at the end. You can even scope out what the most popular food truck is cooking up in your city and find a park bench to enjoy your tasty treats. A beautiful setting that costs zero dollars to enjoy. If the date is going well, you can extend it by going for a stroll.
2) Find the best happy or appy hour in town: Seriously do it. This will save you at least $3 per drink. Tons of restaurants feature a great list of happy hour bites during the week till 6pm. The drinks are usually limited to the house wine or lager but when you’re dating on a dime, these drinks will most certainly do. Guaranteed your date is feeling the effects of the holidays too and will most likely love the idea of a happy hour. And if you’re still in the midst of dry January, stick to the appy hour!
3) Use gift cards where you can: I don’t know about you, but I got at least three gift cards to restaurants for Christmas – truly the gift that keeps on giving! Why not use one of your many gift cards for a date? Maybe in your stocking you got the obligatory Starbucks gift card – why not treat your date to a coffee or tea? This also avoids the ‘who is going to pay’ glances at the end of the date, which is a nice little added bonus.
4) Experience the great outdoors: For those of you who are outdoor enthusiasts, you know that going on a hike or a walk are not only great forms of exercise, but also entirely free to do! Crush your exercise and dating goals at the same time and go for a hike with your next date. Doing an activity like this will foster some great communication between the two of you and will give you a real opportunity to get to know one another.
5) Take your pets for a walk: Did you match because they have an adorable pup that would make the perfect play mate for your very own fur baby? Take your two doggies for a walk together – you’ve already found a mutual connection, so roll with it and get to know more about each other through your love for animals.
6) Get competitive with bowling: Bowling – what a classic! No better value on a date night than bowling. This is a great activity, because while you’re busy doing something, it still allows enough time to talk and get a good feel for the person. You’re also not stuck sitting across a table from one another experiencing pauses in conversation, so it’s a very low pressure evening for a first meet! Try it out.