One of the best dates I’ve been on was a picnic. It was a few years ago when I was low on money (I’m still low on money, but that’s not the point!) and my S.O. was too. So we went to a park. Simple as that- some yummy food, bikes, and a blanket, and we got to spend an awesome afternoon hanging out and enjoying the fresh air. It was well thought-out and interesting, the memories are priceless, and it didn’t cost very much at all.
We’ve all been there- broke and young, with financial priorities that are higher up on the list than going on good dates. But that doesn’t mean we abandon all hope for romance and let it all go to hell! No way! So here are a few great date ideas for those of us who need to mix it up without paying it up, too.
One of the best and most fool-proof ways to mix it up is way simpler than you would imagine. Grab a picnic basket (or even a backpack you have laying around!) and pack it up with homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some sodas, and a Tupperware of fruits. Pack an old blanket, too!
Next, pick out a good place. Do you live somewhere with a good view of the sunset? Hike up and sit on the grass. Cuddle up! If the sunset and a hike aren’t an option, you can take a couple of bikes or even the bus to the nearest park. Find an adventure! Play silly old games and learn how to enjoy just being together. Figure out shapes in the clouds, and just enjoy being outside.
Go antique (window) shopping
Most of the time, antiques themselves are expensive, but walk around an old-town area and check out the shops! Try on silly glasses and take some pictures of yourselves. Think up scavenger hunts, and think of prizes for whoever wins the game! (Loser pays for coffee/snacks/etc, winner chooses the next movie you watch, etc.) There are awesome and super unique things that you can find in antique stores, and sometimes there’s a certain gem you’ll find that isn’t expensive and well worth the price, and makes a great memoir. It’s fun to take a step into the past and place yourself in a new setting. For extra kicks, try to get your vintage going and dress up in your best dapper clothes!
Walks are overrated- take one!
A great way to reconnect with each other without any external factors is to take a walk. Talk about work and the past, and talk about the future. Walk around your street, a mall, anything. Going on a walk together is something you can do more than once, and it’s an amazing way to take time out of your days to make sure you’re listening to each other and being aware of everything that’s going on. Keep it interesting by changing the destinations- walk to a cute new location one of you found, or a new ice cream shop. Or you can even keep it simple and walk to your nearby grocery store, if practicality is what gets you excited about life!
Light up your life- for cheap!
You know those lame, corny movies we all watch, even though they’re all the same and make us cry? Well, achieving the aesthetic of the corny lovey-dovey montage is easier than you think. Stop by the store after Christmas, and snag up a few boxes of Christmas lights at 50% off. Cover your balcony, or even just a small room, with them and turn off the lights. You can play games and listen to music, or you can keep it simple and watch a movie. The dim lighting and rainbow colors will give a fun, creative feeling to the evening and make it feel a lot more special than that good ol’ fashioned Netflix and chill!
Not having money is no excuse to neglect your significant other, or even yourself and your friends. Look around and see the opportunities for a fun time, because they aren’t that hidden. Take the chance and get to know someone better by spending time talking for an hour instead of watching a movie. Play fun games and try new things. It isn’t the amount of money that you spent on a date that counts- it’s the fact that you tried to put something fun together. Google “Free activities in [insert your hometown here]” and go from there, if worst comes to worst. The world is your (inexpensive) oyster. Take the chance and explore it!