Dating in this Economy

Couple struggling to go on dates in this economy

You have gone on your first date. You’re both “facebook official.” You want to go out on several romantic evenings, but with the economy the way it is dating can be tough. Most movie theatres charge over $7.00, and that’s not even for an IMAX film. Restaurants are overpriced if you want quality food. With gas prices steadily rising, you even have to factor in the drive for the date. Don’t fear. There are ways to still have a romantic evening without stretching your wallet.

Dining in instead of out
Make a day out of your dinner. Before getting out the pots and pans, talk together about what you would like to make. Then go shopping together. There are several great, cheap options at farmers markets to choose from, and you’re also supporting your local economy. If there isn’t one nearby, then a trip to the grocery store holds surprises of its own.

Most shopping centers have a bakery. They tend to bake too much and have a section with marked down goods. It doesn’t mean that these goodies are about to go bad; they’re just close to their sell by date. You might find your desert for the evening in these sections. If you both split the bill, you’re both paying less for the meal.

Once you have your items selected, cook dinner together. It gives you plenty of time to talk and to get to know each other better. You never know when a playful food fight might come out of it. Together, you get the satisfaction of contributing to the date and enjoying a tasty meal together.

Movie nights on the couch
Movie theatres are getting ridiculously overpriced. If you have patience to wait for that must see flick to come to video, then go to your local Redbox or order off of Netflix. That way you and your special honey can cuddle up on the couch, maybe share your favorite blanket. After that large meal you cooked, a nice night in is worth it.

Go for a walk together
Most cities have a historic district. Especially in the south, these tend to be filled with antebellum homes that have been converted into cute shops. Walking around these districts can give you a sense of adventure, especially if one or both of you have never been there. You don’t have to buy anything. Just explore! If you live in a city, take public transportation to a part of town you never been. You might find a new hang out spot or a café for your next date. I know I love discovering old book stores in a new place.

If you have to go out…
Split everything. One person drives, the other person pays for the tickets. Split the dinner bill. Most people know this, but in my experience my date still likes to pay for everything. I know that a boyfriend wants to be a man and treat their lady, but a relationship is with two people. Both should contribute to make a date fun. That way your partner doesn’t worry over how much the date is stretching your wallet.

–Hope Mullinax


  1. David Leonhardt says:

    Nice set-up. Good luck with the new site. As to the sidebar comment about the homemade gift. Nothing says love like the absence of a factory label. Good luck.

  2. Robyn says:

    Loved your suggestions! Cooking together (especially with a bottle of wine!) can be the best date around. Walking around a farmer’s market can be informational as well as enjoyable!

  3. Drew says:

    A good read with many interesting suggestions! I think that dating on a budget should be for everyone (not just those struggling with money) because as you explained, things are so expensive nowadays! I would really appreciate a simple and heartfelt date than something flashy anyway.

  4. Shwey says:

    Awesome Suggestions. A lot of those work very well tonight. Eating in and movie night are always a nice combination.

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