cheap dates http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9649/all en-US 9 Cheapest Dates That Don't Seem So Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheapest-dates-that-dont-seem-so-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-cheapest-dates-that-dont-seem-so-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-flea-market-76728941-small.jpg" alt="couple flea market" title="couple flea market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going out on dates doesn't have to break the bank.</p> <p>There are tons of fun ideas that work great for first dates or tenth dates, and may even help set you apart from the other Drinks/Dinner Daters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-frugal-and-romantic-dates-at-home?ref=seealso">15 Frugal and Romantic Dates at Home</a>)</p> <p>Here are nine cheap date ideas that won't make you look like a cheapskate.</p> <h2>1. Stargazing</h2> <p>If you live in a big city, chances are good that you don't get a very good view of the celestial heavens. The solution? Hop in your car and get outside of the big city. Show your date something they haven't seen since they moved to town &mdash; the natural beauty of the stars. Pack a dinner and maybe even some candles.</p> <h2>2. Flea Market</h2> <p>Whether you buy anything or not, flea markets can be great places to wander around. Not only are you going to see some cheap items you didn't know you couldn't live without, you're also going to see some downright weird stuff you and your date will talk about for weeks to come.</p> <h2>3. Go Fly a Kite</h2> <p>When the weather is windy go get a kite and fly it. Not only will it end up setting you back less than ten bucks, it will also bring out a childlike whimsy neither of you have likely experienced for decades. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>4. Brewery and Winery Tours</h2> <p>For the couple that likes to imbibe there's always a tour of the local brewery or winery. Don't drink? Try checking out the local creamery or an ice cream factory. Experience joy you haven't felt since your age was in the single digits.</p> <h2>5. Book Readings</h2> <p>Are you a cultured kind of person? Looking for someone else who shares your interest in the arts? Book readings are generally free and wrap in about an hour. From there, the two of you can grab a cup of coffee, and you'll have a lot to talk about after a reading &mdash; good, bad, or ugly. In the same neighborhood? Hit up an art gallery. Either go on a day when it's not expensive or find a cheap (or free!) one that's a little off the beaten path.</p> <h2>6. Volunteer Together</h2> <p>Volunteer dates show off your compassionate side while also allowing you to have a lot of fun. For example, you can head down to the local dog shelter and play with dogs that are in need of love. Watch out, though: You might end up taking one home with you.</p> <h2>7. Foreign Language Movie Night</h2> <p>One of the problems with a movie date is that it doesn't give you much opportunity to get to know one another. Solution: Get some foreign movies and turn off the subtitles. Make up the plot as you go along. Crack up laughing and get to know each other.</p> <h2>8. Take a Class Together</h2> <p>It doesn't matter what you don't know: There's a great chance you can learn it on the cheap through Groupon or HowAboutWe. The bonding experience can be great and you'll certainly remember it longer than even the best meal.</p> <h2>9. Bar Trivia</h2> <p>Here's one where you can actually leave with more money than you went out with: Go out to bar trivia and play to win. Even if you don't win you won't spend much money on beer and drinks.</p> <p><em>Got any great ideas for cheap dates? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheapest-dates-that-dont-seem-so-cheap" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Cheapest Dates That Don&#039;t Seem So Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates dates romance Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1192000 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Fun Nights Out for $5 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/night-80405954.jpg" alt="friends" title="friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After all my fixed expenses are accounted for in my budget, there's not a ton left for the extras. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to entertaining myself on the cheap. And it's easier than you might think to find things to do. It just takes a little research and a lot of creativity, but you can certainly spend $5 (or less) and have an enjoyable time out. You may even learn something new! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-beat-the-sunday-night-blues?ref=seealso">How to Beat the Sunday Night Blues</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Your Sweat On</h2> <p>Looking for a healthy way to spend Friday night? Search around to find yoga studios and other fitness establishments in your area. Many offer complimentary or low-cost classes to first-timers. Make plans with a friend to stretch and strengthen your muscles, and then grab a smoothie afterward. Just be sure to call ahead and ensure there's enough space in the class you want to attend (as well as if there are any potential hidden charges).</p> <h2>2. Check Out Some Art</h2> <p>Many communities large and small offer once-monthly (or sometimes weekly) art walks highlighting local painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, etc. The one in my area is called &quot;First Friday,&quot; and it's free to attend. If I'm on a budget, I skip a meal out and opt instead to grab a drink with a friend. Then we stroll along the streets and take it all in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art?ref=seealso">How to Make Art on the Cheap</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/night-81176328-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>3. Scope Out Local Festivals</h2> <p>The same goes for all those open-air concerts and festivals happening in your hometown. As we get into the spring and summer months, there are more and more free events held by cities and towns, cultural groups, churches, and many more organizations. In our area alone, we have festivals celebrating Italian, Greek, and Ukrainian cultures and cuisines; Jazz, Classical, and Folk music; Chocolate, Strawberries, Garlic, and other local foods; and much more. These events often take their low admission costs and toss them back into the community.</p> <h2>4. Listen to Music</h2> <p>In my city, we are lucky to have a state university with a solid music program. The events calendar is teeming with student recitals that are free and open to the public. Many of these concerts are during the daytime hours, but every so often there are evening offerings as well. I've seen everything from a solo soprano to a small jazz ensemble perform, and I love knowing that I'm helping students practice their craft for an audience.</p> <h2>5. Sing a Tune</h2> <p>If you'd rather <em>make</em> music than sit in the audience, a rousing night of karaoke might be for you. Many bars offer this type of event for free, so the rest is up to you for how much you want to spend on drinks and food. I like to eat something beforehand and then grab a beer and some free popcorn (or whatever other type of complementary munchie is on the bar). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-evening-hanging-out-with-friends?ref=seealso">How to Have a Cheap Night Out</a>)</p> <h2>6. Challenge Your Mind</h2> <p>One of my favorite activities is heading with my husband to our favorite bar and getting a team together for trivia night. If we get enough people, we can split a pitcher of cheap beer and even a pizza, making it a very affordable night-out option. The best part? We learn some fun, useless information and &mdash; if we come in first &mdash; we win gift certificates or cash to afford free eats the next time we want to play.</p> <h2>7. Soak in Some Screen Time</h2> <p>While this one might not be specifically for you night owls, when I became a parent, my definition of &quot;night out&quot; also came to encompass the afternoons or whenever we can secure babysitting. Though traditional matinees might come in over $5 a person, local colleges and universities sometimes have cinemas on campus that are open to the public with lower ticket rates. We used to live in Ithaca, NY, and daytime weekend movies at Cornell Cinema came in at just $5 a person. We saw some really interesting stuff there we might not have heard of otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free?ref=seealso">Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <h2>8. Make It Social</h2> <p>Are you a member of a local club or organization? If not, you should see what's available in your area. Where I live, there are groups focused on hiking, running, photography, parenting, and just about anything else you can dream up. And many of these groups host free or low-cost events for members. Just recently I took a 90-minute Hot Yoga for Runners workshop through our club for less than half the normal price, and I got to spend time with my friends to boot!</p> <h2>9. Pack a Picnic</h2> <p>When the warmer weather hits, I love to come up with a fun menu of packable foods and head to a local park for a simple picnic. It's an intimate way to spend an evening, but definitely a nice change of pace if you're inside all day long. Don't forget a blanket, candles, and utensils. Since there aren't any costs besides food, you can get as creative as you'd like and even use up items from your pantry to make it free.</p> <h2>10. See the Sights</h2> <p>Many areas have museums that offer either free or inexpensive admission. Even if there is a higher cost associated, check out the museum's events calendar to discover special discount nights &mdash; most have them at least once a month. If you're a history nerd like me, you can spend hours wandering around. While we often take these places for granted, it's incredible to see the different exhibits on display. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-free-things-to-do-in-any-city-you-visit?ref=seealso">Free Things to Do in Any City</a>)</p> <h2>11. Go Literary</h2> <p>Along these same lines, many educational institutions, libraries, and book stores offer free poetry and prose readings by writers from the local community to the international scene. Again, it's all about checking out those event calendars and getting there early to grab a spot in the crowd. Grab a coffee with a friend afterward to discuss.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/night-79767132-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>12. Volunteer</h2> <p>There are lots of great causes and organizations that need help morning, noon, and night. Consider getting a group together &mdash; or heading out on your own &mdash; to give the gift of your time. You might meet some awesome people and form long-lasting friendships in the process. Plus, it's free.</p> <h2>13. Sample Local Flavor</h2> <p>Head to your local brewery, winery, or wherever else serves up samples and tastings, and get a flight of their current offerings. If a flight is too expensive (prices range wildly across the country), grab a pint or glass of something you've never tried before and sip slowly to savor. Some of these places have specials too, so be sure to ask around and make some mental notes.</p> <h2>14. Kid Around</h2> <p>Remember bowling, mini golf, ice skating, and batting cages? All this stuff we found fun as kids can be just as entertaining now that we're adults. The cost for a bowling game at our local alley is an incredibly low $2 a person with a $1 shoe rental. Add a pitcher of beer at $2 a person, and you've got yourself quite a nostalgic night.</p> <h2>15. Use Your Perks</h2> <p>Depending on where you work or go to school, many companies and institutions offer free or discounted rates for the various local establishments in the examples above. Find out what perks are due to you, and you can certainly whittle down your entertainment costs and start doing more for less with your evenings and weekends.</p> <p><em>Obviously not all these activities are priced the same in every location, so I'd love to know what fun activities you fill your time with for less than $5 a person. Even better &mdash; what nights out have you enjoyed for free?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Fun Nights Out for $5 or Less " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates cheap fun entertaining Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:36:34 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1129401 at http://www.wisebread.com Find Love With These Fun and Cheap First Date Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/find-love-with-these-fun-and-cheap-first-date-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/find-love-with-these-fun-and-cheap-first-date-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-4184271-small.jpg" alt="couple" title="couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wouldn&#39;t be the first person to think that they&#39;re too poor to date. However, a killer first, second, or tenth date isn&#39;t about the money that you spend. It&#39;s about the time that you spend, both figuring out what to do and the time that you spend together. Let&#39;s face it: Even if you have the money, the old dinner and a movie standby is pretty boring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget?ref=seealso">Date Ideas for Every Budget</a>)</p> <p>The best dates are ones that allow you to get to know one another without a lot of pressure.</p> <p>The best dates are also the ones that are unique, and the good news is that unique and quirky dates generally don&#39;t cost a lot of money. Many of them are even free. Here&#39;s a list to get you going, but we&#39;d also recommend that you make the Weekend section of your local daily your best friend, as well as the Calendar section of the local weekly. Until then, here are some ways to become the guy or gal with the killer date ideas that everyone is talking about.</p> <h2>Visit a Hookah Bar</h2> <p>Smoking is mostly out of fashion, but somehow the hookah bar has bucked this stigma. It&#39;s still a great place to get together and strikes a perfect balance between dinner (too much face-to-face talking, too much like a job interview) and a bar (too much noise to really get to know one another). Generally food and drink are available, but not necessary.</p> <h2>Go for a Walk</h2> <p>Whether you live in the woods, near the beach, or in the thick of the urban jungle, a walk is a great way to get your blood flowing and get to know someone. Amble around through an unfamiliar place or act as a tour guide. Either way, you&#39;re both going to have a great time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk?ref=seealso">25 Reasons to Take a Walk</a>)</p> <h2>Visit an Arcade</h2> <p>You&#39;ve probably got a few options here if you live in or near a city. You can go to the regular arcade with kids running around, the cool hipster arcade with vintage games (and generally speaking, vintage prices), or the nickel arcade with old-timey games.</p> <h2>Go to a Museum</h2> <p>The cool thing about museums is that they often have cheap days. And remember: There&#39;s more to a museum than just checking out paintings. For example, here in Los Angeles, we have both a <a href="http://www.museumofdeath.net/">Museum of Death</a> and the <a href="http://mjt.org/">Museum of Jurassic Technology</a>, a throwback to the days of &quot;cabinets of curiosity.&quot; Do a quick Google search and see what interesting museums are on offer in your area. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free?ref=seealso">Visiting Museums for Free</a>)</p> <h2>Go Fly a Kite</h2> <p>It costs nothing, and it&#39;s a lot of fun. If you&#39;re someone with a bit of a whimsical side (or your date is) this can be a really memorable one &mdash; &nbsp;there&#39;s a good chance that it&#39;s been decades since either of you did this.</p> <h2>Teach (or Learn) Something New</h2> <p>Do you have a skill that you&#39;d like to share? If so, it can make a great date. For example, maybe your date has never learned how to drive stick or doesn&#39;t even know the first thing about cooking. Teaching dates show off your skills while also giving your date something to take home with them &mdash; something that they can potentially hold on to forever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new?ref=seealso">Free Things to Learn Something New</a>)</p> <h2>Shoot Pool</h2> <p>Pool halls are insanely cheap when you rent by the hour. Split the cost of a table, and the two of you are going to have a great time for under 10 bucks each.</p> <h2>Catch a Live Show</h2> <p>Theater exists outside of Broadway. In fact, most cities of any size have some kind of local theater scene. While this one doesn&#39;t offer a lot of &quot;getting to know you&quot; time (and thus, doesn&#39;t make for a very good first date), it does let you appreciate and support the local arts scene without spending a lot of money.</p> <h2>Browse a Bookstore</h2> <p>On the other hand, a great first date idea is hitting up a local bookstore. You can do a big box, but obviously supporting local business is better. A fun activity to do there is for each of you pick up three books &mdash; one of these should be a childhood favorite, another a teenage favorite, and another one that you&#39;ve loved in adulthood. This is a great way to learn a lot about each other quickly without forcing it.</p> <h2>Go to the Park</h2> <p>Public parks are a treasure trove of killer dates. You can have a picnic, take a walk, feed the birds, or cut loose and play on the swings together.</p> <h2>Take a Tour</h2> <p>Driving around checking out Christmas lights or autumn leaves is something that everyone should do at least once a year. Why not have a partner in crime?</p> <h2>Head Out on Arts Night</h2> <p>Another thing that most cities of any size have? An arts night. Almost always free, these are events that take place throughout the arts district and allow you get involved in the local scene and learn more about one another.</p> <h2>Whatever Is on Special</h2> <p>If you&#39;re a single and don&#39;t have access to <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11074276">Living Social</a> or <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a>, you need to get on that. In fact, this can quickly become your very own social secretary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals?ref=seealso">How to Make Sure You Use Your Vouchers</a>)</p> <p>There you have it: A baker&#39;s dozen ways that you and that special someone can get out of the house and get to know each other.</p> <p><em>How about you? Any other great date ideas?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-love-with-these-fun-and-cheap-first-date-ideas" class="sharethis-link" title="Find Love With These Fun and Cheap First Date Ideas" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living cheap dates dates fun dates Mon, 03 Feb 2014 11:36:11 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1121519 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Evening Hanging Out With Friends http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-evening-hanging-out-with-friends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-evening-hanging-out-with-friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-5336095-small.jpg" alt="friends cooking" title="friends cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The fact that you don&rsquo;t have a lot of money doesn&rsquo;t mean spending your evenings at home, alone. For some, hanging out with friends is an excuse to blow all their extra cash on drinks and food. But having fun isn&rsquo;t about how much you can spend &mdash; it&rsquo;s about the quality time you share with those close to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care">Free Ways to Show You Care</a>)</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for cheap fun on the weekends or after work, here are 10 ways to hang out without going broke.</p> <h2>1. Go to a Cheap Movie</h2> <p>If you want to see a movie, but don&rsquo;t want to pay $10 to $15 for a single movie ticket, head to a second-run theater. These ticket prices are far cheaper than normal theaters, averaging $1.50 to $5. You can save more by skipping popcorn and soda. But even if you decide to purchase snacks, what you spend on the entire night may still be cheaper than a single regular ticket.</p> <h2>2. Hit the Bowling Alley</h2> <p>Maybe the movie theater is too quiet, and you need a bit more excitement. Bowling is another fun, cheap way to spend your evening. You&rsquo;ll pay about $2 or $2.50 for the shoe rental and around $4.50 per game. Play two games, eat before you arrive, and purchase no more than two drinks; and you can enjoy the entire night for under $20.</p> <h2>3. Sing Karaoke</h2> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t matter how bad you sing, a night of karaoke creates memories. Go to a local restaurant or other nightspot, split an appetizer with your friends, and prepare to have the time of your life. And if one of your friends has a karaoke machine at his or her house &mdash; even better. For a cheap night, bring your own drink and share the cost of pizza and wings.</p> <h2>4. Lounge at a Sports Bar</h2> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s football, basketball, or any other sporting season, get off the couch and take the fun to a local sports bar. You can watch the game while catching up with friends. To keep costs to a minimum, choose sports bars with evening deals like half off appetizers or alcohol.</p> <h2>5. Watch Seasons of a Television Show</h2> <p>Do you have a subscription to Netflix or HuluPlus? If so, get with some friends, pick a television show that none of you have seen, and watch the entire series beginning with season one. Take turns at each other&rsquo;s houses watching three or four episodes at a time over popcorn, pizza, and drinks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV</a>)</p> <h2>6. Free Wine Tasting</h2> <p>Search online or check the newspaper for free wine tasting events in your area. This is an entertaining and inexpensive way to sample a variety of wines, and there&rsquo;s usually no obligation to make a wine purchase. Events are normally held at restaurants, wine stores, and wineries. The perfect choice if you&rsquo;re looking for a change of pace &mdash; just make sure there&rsquo;s a designated driver.</p> <h2>7. Trivia Night</h2> <p>Most big cities have a handful of bars and restaurants that host weekly trivia nights. Grab four or five friends, and test your knowledge at some of the most wacky, random questions. The fun typically starts around 8 or 9 p.m., and prizes can range from free appetizers to cash. And since many establishments have food and drink specials on trivia nights, you don&rsquo;t have to worry about breaking your budget on eats.</p> <h2>8. Cook Together</h2> <p>Maybe you&rsquo;re in the mood for a gourmet meal, but you don&rsquo;t have a gourmet bank account. A cheaper evening with friends doesn&rsquo;t always mean pizza and wings. You may not be able to afford a night on the town, but who says you can&rsquo;t prepare a fabulous meal at home? Get with your friends, plan a nice menu, and split the cost of ingredients. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a>)</p> <h2>9. Go for Dessert</h2> <p>Some of the best evenings can be spent simply talking with friends. But don&rsquo;t sit around your living room. If you&rsquo;ve already eaten and want to hit the town for a couple hours, call up your friends and go to a nearby frozen yogurt bar. Pile your bowl with the tastiest toppings, grab an outdoor table, and enjoy a few laughs. If frozen yogurt isn&rsquo;t your thing, split a dessert at a restaurant.</p> <h2>10. Take a Class</h2> <p>Are you ready to try your hand at something new? Spice it up and take a one-time class with friends. Check with your local community center or lifestyle center for upcoming classes. You may stumble upon a variety of pay-as-you-go classes costing as little as $10 per session. Dancing, cooking, fitness, pottery &mdash; take your pick and have fun! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classes-that-can-pay-for-themselves">10 Classes That Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you hang out with your friends without spending much?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-evening-hanging-out-with-friends" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Evening Hanging Out With Friends" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates entertaining friends Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:24:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1041946 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Frugal and Romantic Dates at Home http://www.wisebread.com/18-frugal-and-romantic-dates-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-frugal-and-romantic-dates-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-3671546-small.jpg" alt="date" title="date" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a parent, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">paying the babysitter can use up your whole date night budget</a>. And even for couples without children, if money is tight, the cost of dining at a restaurant or buying tickets to the movies can be out of reach. Meeting in public may be important when you're first dating and need the opportunity to leave quickly if things don't go well. But once you're a couple, the occasional at-home date night becomes awfully attractive, both budget- and comfort-wise. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-dating-on-a-budget">Classy Dating on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>Really, what is a date about? It's about putting aside several contiguous hours to focus on enjoying your partner's company. There's nothing stopping you from doing that at home, if you take time to prepare something more special than what you'd normally be doing, and make sure that you won't be bothered by home responsibilities. Clean or tidy up the area where you'll have your home date in advance, so you won't be distracted by housekeeping duties. If you have kids, put them to bed or in front of a video, or banish teens to their friends' houses for the evening. Then, relax and indulge in one of these date night ideas.</p> <h2>1. Enjoy a Candlelit Dinner</h2> <p>Particularly special if you usually spend the dinner hour cutting up little ones' meat or reminding other &quot;diners&quot; that we do not shout &quot;gross&quot; at the table. My husband and I like to use the occasional dinner for two as an opportunity to order takeout that the kids would hate &mdash; like spicy Indian food &mdash; or cook something they wouldn't appreciate like filet mignon.</p> <h2>2. Take in a Movie</h2> <p>Watching TV at home with your sweetie might not seem like anything special, but you can ratchet up the sense of occasion by picking a new release movie in advance and stocking treats, like a good bottle of wine and gourmet popcorn. At our house, we find that if we are just browsing Netflix, we tend to pick something short and &quot;easy&quot; like a TV series. To mark those serious dramas off our to-watch list, we need to set a date.</p> <h2>3. Do Dessert</h2> <p>Don't want to make yourself a whole separate dinner? Sometimes that's just too much work. Why not buy something indulgent from that bakery you've always wanted to try, or just acquire some super-special dessert ingredients and make something together? The blog <a target="_blank" href="http://couponistaqueen.com/30-frugal-date-ideas/">Couponista Queen</a> suggests making sundaes at home.</p> <h2>4. Play</h2> <p>A game, that is. Put out a bowl of chips and sit down with Scrabble or another good two-person game, if you're into that kind of thing. A board game date is great because it forces you to sit down and spend a few hours together without getting distracted. One friend suggested strip Scrabble, but with the length of the average Scrabble game, that sounds...drafty.</p> <h2>5. Puzzle It Out</h2> <p>When my husband and I started a difficult, many-piece puzzle recently, we found it led to us spending <em>many</em> evenings together, without the benefit of a date plan. We could not stay away from that puzzle until it was finished, and in the process, we had a lot of nice talks and watched a few movies to boot.</p> <h2>6. Breakfast in Bed</h2> <p>Who says dates have to be at night? The blog <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tammileetips.com/2013/01/frugal-date-ideas/">Tammilee Tips suggests breakfast in bed</a>. Prep an indulgent breakfast the night before and either surprise your honey or just treat yourselves. If it's Sunday, stay in bed and do the New York Times crossword puzzle together.</p> <h2>7. Have a &quot;Console-Ation&quot; Date</h2> <p>You can't afford to go out, but you still have a game console. Get it?? Maybe you're the type of couple who loves to mow down terrorists together, but even if you're not, chances are a karaoke game or Just Dance will get you laughing together.</p> <h2>8. Schedule a Massage</h2> <p>A shoulder rub between spouses may be routine, but again, preparation can up the ante here. Invest in a massage oil with that great minty scent that spas have. Set up the massage area with music and pillows to approximate the desired setting as best you can. Whether you're going for the atmosphere of a pristine spa or a seedy bathhouse is your own business.</p> <p>If you have a budget for the date, you could use a Groupon for an in-home massage therapist or two to come work on you, suggests Marta Segal Block, blogger at <a target="_blank" href="http://advicefrommarta.com/">Advice from Marta</a>.</p> <h2>9. Take a Dip</h2> <p>Have your own pool? When's the last time you took a moonlight swim for two?</p> <h2>10. Stargaze</h2> <p>If you live in an area with low light pollution, this could be a nice way to feel like you are getting out &mdash; way out &mdash; without leaving your property. Borrow or buy a nice telescope to make this really special.</p> <h2>11. DIY a Drive-In</h2> <p>Nowadays, any place within the reach of your Wi-Fi connection can be a movie theater if you have a laptop with a big screen. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/smitten/2013/05/date-ideas-for-memorial-day-we.html">Glamour magazine suggests a blanket on the lawn</a> for your movie night, or try a comfy love seat on the deck, if you've got one.</p> <h2>12. Set Up Your Own Wine Tasting</h2> <p>Boring night in &mdash; open a bottle of wine, slug it down between loads of laundry. Date night in &mdash; write some keywords from Wine Spectator reviews on a little chalkboard <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">in front of each bottle</a>, line up glasses with tastes, swish it around in your mouth and throw around words like &quot;hints of leather.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Cocktail Party for Two</h2> <p>Again, a simple drink at home is everyday. But when's the last time you crushed fresh lime for a real mojito or made sangria at home? Pull out all the stops &mdash; and the fancy glassware.</p> <h2>14. Backyard Campfire</h2> <p>If your area allows a fire pit, this is a great way to feel transported without leaving your property.</p> <h2>15. Take an Online Class Together</h2> <p>Did you meet in college? Miss those days when you'd lose track of what the teacher was saying because you were busy making googly eyes at one another? Plug in those laptops and start ignoring the teacher together again.</p> <h2>16. Have a YouTube Festival</h2> <p>You've seen <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uDuls5TyNE">Maru the cat</a> with your coworkers, but it's even more fun to laugh with the one you love. Queue up a bunch of short videos on a theme, get comfy, and click &quot;play.&quot;</p> <h2>17. Make Something Together</h2> <p>I don't mean like, whoopie. You don't need me to tell you how to do that. I mean: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">a craft project</a>, a batch of cookies, a birdhouse. For some couples, these are fun times. For others (I'm not naming names) a joint project is just an opportunity to practice those &quot;feeling words&quot; your therapist taught you.</p> <h2>18. Make Out in the Car</h2> <p><em>What?</em> It was romantic when you were in high school, so why not now? If your house is now full of nosy teenagers, maybe it's time to escape them the way you once escaped your parents. And chances are, you now have more comfortable upholstery.</p> <p><em>What have been your best home date-night dates?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-frugal-and-romantic-dates-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="18 Frugal and Romantic Dates at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates date night entertaining staying in Wed, 29 May 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Carrie Kirby 976222 at http://www.wisebread.com 53 Fun Nights Out for $10 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walk-4763760-small.jpg" alt="night" title="night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can have a fun, entertaining, and relaxing night out without spending much &mdash; or anything. The secret is to do what you truly enjoy and take advantage of what your area has to offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-dating-on-a-budget" target="_blank">Classy Dating on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>Here are 53 ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>Enjoy Arts and Entertainment</h2> <p>Your city's local arts and entertainment scene can offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment" target="_blank">a variety of experiences</a>. Whether you are interested in sophisticated, popular, or down-home culture, you should be able to find something fun to do.</p> <ol> <li>Listen to a live band at a local bar or restaurant</li> <li>Laugh at a comedy show featuring amateur or aspiring professional comedians</li> <li>Enjoy an outdoor concert sponsored by a local arts group</li> <li>Absorb goings-on at a street festival</li> <li>Dance at a local club</li> <li>View an art exhibit at a gallery or community venue</li> <li>Watch a movie screening at an independently owned cinema or film festival</li> <li>See a theatrical production staged by a local college or community arts organization</li> <li>Visit an art museum during one of its free nights</li> </ol> <h2>Get Back to Nature</h2> <p>Early evenings, full-moon nights, and more can be excellent occasions to get back to nature for a fun yet frugal night out. Bring a friend (and a flashlight) to a familiar place or accompany a group <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun" target="_blank">on an outdoor adventure</a>.</p> <ol start="10"> <li>Hike in the early evening before darkness falls</li> <li>Walk or cycle on trails when the moon is full</li> <li>Canoe at twilight with a group on a familiar route (such trips may be offered at state parks)</li> <li>View nocturnal wildlife during events hosted by park rangers</li> <li>Gaze at stars during astronomy sessions sponsored by planetariums or find a secluded place and <a href="http://astroguyz.com/2010/12/15/observing-from-the-%E2%80%98hood-good-targets-for-bright-skies/" target="_blank">make your own observations</a></li> <li>Stroll at sunset</li> <li>Fish on a pier or quiet lake</li> <li>Listen to campfire presentations led by park rangers on topics you find fascinating</li> <li>Wander through a corn maze (farms tend to offer these in autumn)</li> </ol> <h2>Do Something With Friends</h2> <p>Mixing with large crowds can be exhilarating. But sometimes you crave a more intimate evening with a small group of friends. Join an event or plan your own gathering.</p> <ol start="19"> <li>Discuss a favorite book at an informal get-together or book club meeting at a coffee shop or restaurant</li> <li>Talk at a small party hosted by a friend</li> <li>View and discuss an independent film or classic favorite</li> <li>Listen to a community lecture in a subject that truly interests you</li> <li>Participate in an evening volunteer activity</li> <li>Taste samples at a local winery or brewery</li> <li>Develop conversational skills in Spanish, French, etc. at a language meetup</li> <li>Take a cooking class or art lesson offered through a deals site or the community college</li> </ol> <h2>Watch or Participate in Sports</h2> <p>Sports lovers can find plenty to keep them busy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less" target="_blank">without spending a bundle</a>. Catch a game that is likely to feature rising stars, unpredictable finishes, and interesting entertainment. Or, participate in an activity that gets you moving.</p> <ol start="27"> <li>Attend a minor league baseball game or hockey game</li> <li>Catch a college game</li> <li>Watch a high school game, which often includes band or dance performances</li> <li>Join friends to watch a game at a sports bar</li> <li>See action at the auto races</li> <li>Participate in an evening run with a local running club</li> <li>Go bowling</li> <li>Go skating</li> <li>Play tennis under the lights</li> <li>Play a round of golf on an illuminated par three course (or miniature golf course)</li> <li>Drive golf balls on a driving range</li> </ol> <h2>Eat Out</h2> <p>Locate cheap eateries or partake of just one course (like dessert!) to control expenses.</p> <ol start="38"> <li>Eat at an inexpensive restaurant with great food</li> <li>Grab a bite at your favorite burger place</li> <li>Go to a fundraising dinner at a civic club or church</li> <li>Take part in a potluck dinner at a friend&rsquo;s house</li> <li>Fill up with pasta at a community dinner on the evening before a big running race</li> <li>Have a picnic with homemade food or takeout</li> <li>Visit an ice cream parlor or yogurt shop</li> <li>Enjoy a delicacy from a bakery</li> <li>Dine on a meal provided by a culinary school</li> </ol> <h2>Be With Family</h2> <p>Find family- and wallet-friendly activities. Community events are a great way to have a fun evening outside of your home.</p> <ol start="47"> <li>Watch a free movie sponsored by a library or community group</li> <li>See a high school play, dance performance, or marching band competition</li> <li>Observe (or participate in) a holiday parade</li> <li>Celebrate with members of your community on days like the 4th of July</li> <li>Wander around the county fair (watch for discount tickets and promotions)</li> <li>Let your kids interact with exhibits during one of the free nights at the children&rsquo;s museum</li> <li>Participate in activities at a festival hosted by the school or community center</li> </ol> <p>Enjoy the nightlife or wildlife, get together with friends, or meet new people with mutual interests. Check on prices before you head out and find the frugal alternative to the pricey one, choosing the free concert rather than the ticketed one, for example. Just know that you can have loads of fun without spending tons on evenings away from home.</p> <p><em>How do you have a fun evening for $10 or less?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="53 Fun Nights Out for $10 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates family night free things to do Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Julie Rains 973340 at http://www.wisebread.com Being Frugal Without Giving Up Your Social Life http://www.wisebread.com/being-frugal-without-giving-up-your-social-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/being-frugal-without-giving-up-your-social-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/197975745_a52b045825_z.jpg" alt="outside dinner" title="outside dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whenever I write a frugality post, I get comments asking some version of, &quot;That's fine if you're happy being a hermit in your cheap apartment, but what about people who have friends?&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-driving-your-less-frugal-friends-crazy" target="_blank">Not Driving Your Less Frugal Friends Crazy</a>)</p> <p>I think there are three general strategies for dealing with the issues around having a social life while still being frugal.</p> <h3>1. Consider That Extreme Frugality Doesn't Have to Be Total Frugality</h3> <p>Part of the answer is just to go ahead and budget some money for socializing with friends who do stuff that costs money.</p> <p>You won't want to eat out every meal, but you could join them occasionally &mdash; when it fits into your budget. Similarly, you can go to an occasional movie or an occasional concert or an occasional night out drinking. In fact, you could take a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, if it's what you want to do, and if spending your money that way is aligned with your values.</p> <p>The whole point, after all, is to align your spending with your values. Doing things with your friends almost certainly aligns with your values &mdash; at some level of spending. That level of spending may be much lower than what they spend, but it's probably above zero.</p> <h3>2. Consider That Even Friends Who Usually Spend Money Appreciate Variation</h3> <p>Another part is to gradually and subtly educate your friends on the attractions of frugal entertainments.</p> <p>If your friends always meet at a coffee shop, invite them over for coffee instead. If you keep coffee on hand anyway, you can probably make coffee for six or eight friends for no more than you'd spend on just your own drink at a coffee shop. The upshot is that you spend less and all your friends spend zero. (A pleasant zero-cost hour over great coffee is just the sort of thing that can open a friend's eyes about the advantages of choosing frugal alternatives.)</p> <p>Having them over for coffee only makes sense if you're a coffee drinker, of course. If you drink tea, have them over for tea &mdash; again, for the cost of one mug of tea at a tea house you can make tea for a whole crowd of friends. You can even, if your friends socialize by going out drinking, invite them over for cocktails &mdash; more expensive than coffee, but still cheaper than drinks at a bar.</p> <p>There are cheap alternatives for all sorts of otherwise expensive outings &mdash; watch a DVD at home (popcorn is cheap), play board games, go to a free event at the library or the park. (Wise Bread has a big collection of posts of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-fun-things-to-do-in-your-city" target="_blank">free and cheap things to do</a> in cities and towns all over the U.S. and here and there in a few other countries as well.)</p> <p>Don't present any of these as &quot;cheap&quot; alternatives that you'd rather do to save money. Instead, present them as &quot;more interesting&quot; alternatives.</p> <p>Better yet, present them as &quot;superior&quot; alternatives. If you're a serious coffee drinker who buys locally roasted coffee and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/french-press-coffee">brews it in a French press</a>, there's every reason to expect that your coffee is <em>better</em> than they'd get at the coffee shop. Ditto for tea. If you keep up with the local music scene, you can identify the bands that are national quality just before they get too famous to do free concerts in the park. A documentary shown at the library with the filmmaker in attendance to lead a discussion after may be better than the third remake of some action-adventure blockbuster.</p> <h3>3. Consider That It's Also Good to Make New Friends</h3> <p>Finally, remember that your stock of friends isn't fixed.</p> <p>You don't have to drop your old friends &mdash; you may have <em>great</em> friends whose <em>only flaw</em> is that they don't know how to have fun without spending money. Just make some new ones who appreciate getting together for the company more than for spending money.</p> <p>As you make new friends, consider introducing them to your old friends. The ones who fit in and hit it off with your old friends will be in a great position to suggest new activities for the new, expanded group &mdash; activities suggested because they'll be fun, that just happen to be frugal. It turns strategy #3 into a variation on strategy #2.</p> <p>Being frugal is not about being a hermit, just like having friends is not about spending money.</p> <p><em>How are you socializing frugally?</em>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-frugal-without-giving-up-your-social-life" class="sharethis-link" title="Being Frugal Without Giving Up Your Social Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living affordable entertaining cheap dates friends Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:36:31 +0000 Philip Brewer 968270 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cheap First Date Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-first-date-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cheap-first-date-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/skate%20date.jpg" alt="12 Cheap First Date Ideas" title="12 Cheap First Date Ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband and I celebrate our third wedding anniversary this week, and it&rsquo;s had me reminiscing about all the fun dates we&rsquo;ve been on together through the years. We&rsquo;re both frugal people (for our anniversary date, my husband got a Groupon), and some of our best memories are dates where we didn&rsquo;t spend much money.</p> <p>I always smile when I remember those creative first dates that we went on, which set the tone for a fun and adventurous relationship. Never did the word &ldquo;cheap&rdquo; cross my mind on those early dates, even though they were unarguably inexpensive. We were too busy enjoying each other&rsquo;s company and having fun to think about money! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-cheap-dates">8 Cheap&nbsp;Date Ideas</a>)</p> <p>With that in mind, here are a few ideas for inexpensive first dates. Just remember, focus on your date and on getting to know him or her. It worked for us!</p> <h3>1. Have a Sunset Picnic</h3> <p>On one of our very first dates, my future husband and I rode our bikes to a nearby park. We settled down on a riverbank, and my husband pulled an entire meal out of his backpack! He lit candles, assembled some delicious chicken wraps, and uncorked a bottle of wine (this was in a country where drinking in public areas is legal). We enjoyed the food and talked as the sun went down. The atmosphere was perfect, and I was impressed that he had put so much thought and effort into the date.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why not try doing a sunset picnic of your own? If you can&rsquo;t bring wine, bring sparkling juice instead, and decorate the picnic with a few candles or flowers.</p> <h3>2. Go to a Jazz Club</h3> <p>Meeting for a drink is a great low-key way to get to know a new date. Make it a little more out-of-the-ordinary by meeting at a jazz club. If the bar doesn&rsquo;t charge a cover, then you&rsquo;ll only be set back the price of a couple of drinks while getting to enjoy some live talent. The music provides a conversation-starter, and if there&rsquo;s dancing, even better.</p> <h3>3. Explore Your City</h3> <p>My husband and I met in Shanghai, a city with endless possibilities for exploration and sightseeing. If you live in or near a city, chances are there are interesting neighborhoods and areas to explore. Check out an art community, or walk along the waterfront. Window-shop in the boutiques, browse independent bookstores, and stop for a cup of coffee. Be spontaneous, and let the day take you wherever it leads.</p> <h3>4. Visit a Museum or Art Gallery</h3> <p>My husband and I had an &ldquo;accidental&rdquo; date at a museum in our early days of dating. We were at the museum with a group of friends, but ended up exploring the museum together, just the two of us, talking the whole time. There&rsquo;s nothing like shards of pottery and 13th century textiles to inspire a lively conversation! Seriously though, a first date is more about getting to know each other than anything else, so a date where you can be distracted with interesting sights but also have the opportunity to talk to each other is ideal. Most museums and art galleries have low admission fees, and you may even be able to visit during free hours on certain days of the week.</p> <h3>5. Go Ice Skating Outdoors</h3> <p>This date idea only works if it gets below freezing in the winter where you live. One of my favorite activities in my hometown of Toronto was going skating at one of the outdoor skating rinks in the winter. There is something so merry and festive about skating outdoors, and if your date doesn&rsquo;t know how to skate, you have many chances to help him or her out. Afterwards, warm up rosy cheeks and cold hands with a cup of hot chocolate. Don&rsquo;t live in a cold climate? How about roller skating or a bike ride down a nearby bike path?</p> <h3>6. Go Boating</h3> <p>If you and your date are both outdoorsy types, consider going canoeing or kayaking. Renting a canoe or double kayak will set you back about $40 (depending on location) for a few hours of fresh air and amusement. Go for an exhilarating boat ride on a local river, bay, or lake. If you&rsquo;re not particularly outdoorsy or are on a tighter budget, try paddle-boating at the city lake. It&rsquo;s inexpensive, unique, and fun, and between paddling and laughing, you&rsquo;ll have plenty of time for conversation.</p> <h3>7. Go on a Winery Tour</h3> <p>Depending on where you live, local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours">wineries may offer tours and tastings</a> for low prices. Look for a large winery where you can tour the winemaking facilities, as well as have a wine-tasting lesson. The silly noises you make while slurping your wine (to better aerate it over your palate) are sure to break the ice. Going on a tour makes for a more involved and interesting experience than a simple short tasting, and often the cost of the tour is waived if you buy a bottle of wine.</p> <h3>8. Paint Your Own Pottery</h3> <p>Pottery studios where you can paint your own pottery are common these days, and they are a fun way to be creative on a date while staying on a budget. Generally, you have to buy the piece of pottery you paint, but a small bowl or plate will set you back just $10 or so. If it works out with you and your date, you&rsquo;ll have a lasting souvenir, and if it doesn&rsquo;t work out, you can always smash your pottery in a fit of rage for some much-needed emotional gratification.</p> <h3>9. Go Bowling</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s casual, it&rsquo;s cheap, and it&rsquo;s entertaining. Bowling is one of those great activities where you can get to know another person in a low-key setting. Between a second order of fries and teaching your date how to bowl (or being taught), you&rsquo;ll have a fun experience that will leave both of you with a positive feeling about the date.</p> <h3>10. Check Out Community Theater</h3> <p>Maybe you can&rsquo;t afford to take your date to Cirque du Soleil or the latest incarnation of Les Miserables, but you can probably afford tickets to your local community theater.&nbsp; Usually these tickets hardly cost more than movie tickets, and it&rsquo;s a fun way to connect with the community while having a great time. Community theater is also often more interactive and intimate, making for a warmer, casual atmosphere.</p> <h3>11. Visit Local Festivals</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s a cultural festival, a clambake, or the community Oktoberfest celebration, going to a local festival is another low-pressure first date that allows you to walk, eat, drink, and talk without too formal of a setting. There&rsquo;s plenty to see and do, and the food and drink costs less than a dinner out at a nice restaurant.</p> <h3>12. Get Dessert and Coffee</h3> <p>A cheaper, less formal alternative to a dinner date is meeting up for dessert and/or coffee. Try something unconventional like getting Hawaiian shave ice, going to a tea house, or indulging your sweet tooth with cheesecake and an iced latte.</p> <p>A first date may not be the place to use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-daily-deals-make-good-gifts">Groupon</a>, gift certificate, or coupon, for fear of appearing overly cheap with someone you may not know well, but there are many ways to spend less on a first date. Think outside the box (dinner and a movie), be creative, and you&rsquo;re likely to have a date you&rsquo;ll always remember!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-first-date-ideas" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Cheap First Date Ideas" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle affordable romance cheap dates first dates things to do Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:24:29 +0000 Camilla Cheung 755239 at http://www.wisebread.com From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_on_lake.jpg" alt="Happy couple" title="Happy couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm happy to say that I'm a cheap date. I don't mean that I have a low tolerance for alcohol, but that I'm happy doing free or cheap things in the company of someone I enjoy. Sure, sometimes I enjoy a fancy date as well &mdash; putting on a dress, getting a nice meal, and so on...especially if it's done in a frugal fashion.</p> <p>If you're looking for date ideas on a budget, open up your wallet, see what you've got (and want) to spend, and find something to do in the appropriate category below. And remember, the costs of these dates are estimates and might vary from city-to-city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-dating-on-a-budget">Classy Dating on a Budget</a>)</p> <h3>$0 Date Ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride.</li> <li>Introduce each other to your favorite music.</li> <li>Go to an author reading at a library or bookstore.</li> <li>Offer to babysit a friend's child together (if you don't have one of your own, that is).</li> <li>Make up a walking tour and play tour guide for your date.</li> <li>Volunteer.</li> <li>Go on a brewery tour.</li> <li>Teach your date a skill or one of your favorite hobbies.</li> <li>Sit in a park and people watch.</li> <li>Check out shows or lectures at a local college; many list events open to the public on their websites.</li> </ul> <h3>$5 Date Ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Go get ice cream.</li> <li>Visit a museum that suggests a $2 donation for entry.</li> <li>Go sledding, then get a mug of cocoa.</li> <li>Buy a used book &mdash; serious, silly, whatever &mdash; and take turns reading to each other.</li> <li>Have an at-home movie night complete with indulgent snacks like popcorn and candy.</li> <li>Meet for coffee or tea.</li> <li>Go back to film &mdash; buy a disposable camera and fill it up.</li> <li>Make s'mores (if you can sit around a campfire, even better!).</li> <li>Have a game night with just card or dice games.</li> <li>Visit a cupcake shop &mdash; or make some yourselves!</li> </ul> <h3>$10 Date Ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Pack some good sandwiches and sweets, and go for a picnic hike.</li> <li>Visit a farmers market, buy ingredients, and cook a meal.</li> <li>Play pool or darts.</li> <li>Pick your own fruit (be careful how much you pick, though &mdash; this could get pricey!).</li> <li>Buy and put together a puzzle.</li> <li>Go to a show at a coffee shop.</li> <li>Go to yard sales or thrift shopping (and buy silly gifts for each other).</li> <li>Enjoy an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">inexpensive bottle of wine</a>.</li> <li>Do a morning date with bagels and coffee.</li> <li>Indulge in milkshakes and fries.</li> </ul> <h3>$20 Date Ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Go to the movies.</li> <li>Go ice skating or roller skating.</li> <li>Instead of going out for dinner, just have drinks and share a dessert.</li> <li>See a local band.</li> <li>Attend open mic night at a comedy club (the cost is usually a two-drink minimum).</li> <li>Go bowling.</li> <li>Get tickets for a not-as-popular professional sport like lacrosse.</li> <li>Visit a county fair.</li> <li>Host a double-date dinner party.</li> <li>Take a guided tour.</li> </ul> <h3>$30+ Date Ideas</h3> <ul> <li>Get two standing-room-only or nosebleed tickets for a professional sports game.</li> <li>Go rock climbing at an indoor rock gym.</li> <li>Drive to a nearby town you aren't very familiar with, get lunch, and explore.</li> <li>Enjoy a fixed-price meal (many restaurants offer $20 fixed-price menus on off days).</li> <li>Get a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> to try a nice restaurant.</li> <li>Savor some fancy, well-made cocktails.</li> <li>Go camping for a couple of days.</li> <li>Take a class.</li> <li>Buy a new video game you can enjoy together.</li> <li>Go canoeing, try surfing, or do something else adventurous.</li> </ul> <p><em>What budget date ideas did I miss? Share in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget" class="sharethis-link" title="From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Lifestyle affordable romance budget dating cheap dates Mon, 08 Aug 2011 09:48:17 +0000 Meg Favreau 652912 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011927983Small.jpg" alt="People in a movie theater" title="People in a movie theater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="199" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know this sounds amazing, and there's a kicker &mdash; you can see these movies in theaters for free BEFORE they're released to the general public!</p> <p>It sounds too good to be true, but it can be done really easily. For the past year or so, I have been attending movies in theaters before they've been released. I pay nothing to see them, and to top it off, there are often no previews, so 100 minutes actually means 100 minutes.</p> <p>Some movie studios provide free screenings of movies. They do this to build interest in a movie, to do research, and to allow the press to review it. If people have a good experience, they'll tell their friends and write positive reviews.</p> <p>These are the same movies you can see a few weeks later for $12 a pop. Over the past six months, I've seen <em>The Green Hornet</em> (awesome movie!), <em>The Next Three Days</em>, and <em>Limitless</em>, among others, all a few weeks before they were released to the general public, and all for the family friendly price of &quot;on the house.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a>)</p> <h2>How to See Movies in the Theater for Free</h2> <p>It's a very simple process, you just need to know where to look. There are two main sites that I frequent &mdash; <a href="http://gofobo.com">GoFobo</a> and <a href="http://filmmetro.com">Film Metro</a> &mdash; though I'm sure there are others I haven't heard of. Some of the screenings will be available to you, in which case you just need to reserve and print your tickets (each reservation typically comes with two). For some movies, you'll need an RSVP code first. A good place to look for those is <a href="http://rsvpcodes.com">rsvpcodes.com</a>, where people enter city and movie-specific codes for others to use.</p> <h2>What to Know Before Attending a Screening</h2> <p>There are several things you should keep in mind for these screenings:</p> <h3>1. Reserving a ticket doesn't guarantee you access to a movie.</h3> <p>For most movies, people enter on a first-come, first-served basis. I usually find that getting to the theater 30 minutes early is plenty.</p> <h3>2. Not every movie will be available.</h3> <p>I've never been disappointed by the selection, but when movies are free, it's a little difficult to complain if something's not perfect.</p> <h3>3. It might not work in rural areas.</h3> <p>If you live in the middle of Montana, it's unlikely that there are a lot of screenings in your area. I live in Washington, D.C., where free screenings are very common.</p> <p>Enjoy your new knowledge, and feel free to go crazy with the popcorn and soda. When you save $20+ on a movie, there's no harm in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pimp-your-snacks-monster-sized-munchies">splurging a little on the snacks</a>!</p> <div align="center"> <p>If you're looking for more ways to save on entertainment, including local restaurants and stores, get the 2012 Entertainment Book, with coupons valid immediately!</p> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10603880" target="_top"> <img src="http://www.ftjcfx.com/image-2822544-10603880" width="300" height="250" alt="Save on all the things you love to do!" border="0"/></a></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</em></p> <p><script src="http://www.stumbleupon.com/hostedbadge.php?s=5"></script></p> </div><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/entertainment">Entertainment articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates free things movies Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Daniel Packer 531141 at http://www.wisebread.com