Classy Dating on a Budget
Has random dating with the dinner and a movie routine got you down? Tired of dropping seventy-five to a hundred bucks several times a month on people you don’t even know yet, but don’t want to look like a cheapskate? Boy, have I got your back. Read on for fresh ideas and resource links for classy dating on a budget you can live with.
Let’s be honest. Nobody wants to look like a cheapskate right out of the relationship gate, but dropping big bucks on someone you’ve just met is a major budget decision for many. Factor in a few dates that don’t go so well, and you can consider your monthly budget blown.
By the same token, while most budget conscious singles want the person they are considering moving forward with to be financially responsible, very few people want their newly introduced date to openly stuff snacks in their pockets and point out how frugal they’re being before heading into the movie theater. Ditto on the coupon for the first dinner out. It’s just tacky. Here are some classy dating suggestions that married and single people alike can use, as well as some resource links to additional budget dating ideas.
These offer tremendous value, and are a fantastic strategy for singles wanting a break from the standard dinner and a movie at a hundred bucks a pop. Having a set of passes to a favored local attraction allows you unlimited access to a place you enjoy. It’s also a quality date you can feel proud about providing, particularly in a new relationship.
Consider picking up two or three sets of passes to a variety of places. This gives you a repertoire of dates to have on hand when getting to know someone. Throw in a few walks in the park and dinners at home and you’re easily set for four-six weeks. More than enough time for both of you to decide if you want to move forward.
We recently picked up season passes to the zoo for forty dollars each. Eighty dollars might appear pricey, but remember we paid less for a year’s entertainment than most people do for the standard evening out. We also have annual passes to the Kennedy Space Center, and are considering ones to the local art museum or Busch Gardens, which allow residents to pay for a day and visit a world class theme park all year at no additional cost.
Taking a scenic drive to a vineyard for a scheduled wine tasting is a classy date in anyone’s book. Enjoy the experience and pick up a bottle or two. You’ll spend way less than at a restaurant or wine store for a quality bottle, and can ask the staff for menu pairing suggestions. Stop at the farmer’s market on the way home to pick up ingredients to make a dinner that matches the wine you purchased. Or, if you have some quality ingredients you picked up in advance to make a nice dinner for two, your agenda can be to pick out something at the vineyard to pair with your pre-planned menu. Here's a helpful list of wine pairings for virtually any menu.
Many vineyards offer tastings without a fee. Those that do charge usually keep it to a nominal level and include a commemorative glass for each person. I don’t recall ever paying over ten dollars total as a couple. Usually it’s less than that. Wine tasting is a gracious, elegant way to spend the day that will end up costing you significantly less money than dinner at a chain restaurant and evening movie rates. It’s also more memorable. For more ideas, check out Simple Tips for Buying Great Affordable Wine and Wines that Stand Up to Spicy Foods.
For those who love coffee, this is a great way to meet up with another couple and enjoy great coffee, quality conversation, and perhaps a baked good. The tab is less than a full dinner out, but the atmosphere can be superior and the menu is suitably decadent. There used to be a great one in Portland, Maine where they had musicians playing for tips as well. It was a great place to hang out, and made for a nice activity after hitting the second-run movie theater for two bucks per ticket. If you’re new in town, it’s also possible to save money at Starbucks while not looking cheap to your date, and their stores are usually in convenient, easy to find locations.
Walk with a Purpose
Whether hiking in nature or strolling through a scenic town, having an agenda at the mid-point is a great way to break things up. When I lived on Guam and the group of people I socialized with were into the whole hiking thing, I always enjoyed the jungle hikes that had something to do when we got where we were going. A waterfall, underground cave swimming, snorkeling, whatever. Just something. This same idea can be applied to other situations. Strolling through an art community to get to the concert in the park, or up a hill to enjoy a scenic overview for a picnic are a couple of ideas.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a thriving independent theater scene, this will be uber affordable for you. Even if you end up dropping twenty bucks on tickets though, you’re still spending less than movie tickets and theater snacks. Your date will be way more elegant as well. The cool thing about live plays and dance performances is that because the activity is a more elegant one, and you’ll be getting dressed up anyway, meeting with another couple at one home or another for cocktails and finger foods really won’t appear cheap at all. In fact, you can work it in as a “progressive event” evening and use another home for coffee and cake afterward.
- 8 Affordable Dates – Unique budget dating ideas including at-home massages, photo shoots and couples’ camping.
- 7 Simple Tips for Romance on a Dime – Here you’ll find affordable hacks for DIY sensual products, touching romantic gestures for pennies, and tasteful foreplay suggestions to help extend the experience.
- Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – Suggestions from Wise Bread’s own Linsey Knerl on how to use cost-saving efforts to create greater intimacy on the home front.
Do you have your own stylish dating idea to save money while going out in style? Share your link or tip for classy dating on a budget below and keep the conversation going.