Money & Career

Inexpensive date ideas for you and your partner

Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

Inexpensive date ideas for you and your partner

It’s easy to spend too much money when you’re busily trying to woo and impress. But once you’re past that flashy stage, when things are moving along quite nicely, it’s OK to dial down the spending a notch or two with an inexpensive date. No, that doesn’t mean your beloved will tolerate an endless diet of “Let’s just stay home and catch that 'Big Bang' marathon.” But they don’t need four-star dining every night, either.

We’ve got 15 inexpensive date ideas -- that gals, guys and the bank account will enjoy.

Date ideas for $20 or less

Grab a Sunday New York Times, head out to your favourite café and settle in for lattes and a read.

Visit your local museums and galleries. Some offer special entrance fees on certain days of the week or at selected times. Some might even be free. Walk, talk and learn about each other’s taste in art.

Find a bar with either free or coin-operated pool tables. For the price of a couple of beers and a game or two, play the night away. And FYI, helping each other with those difficult shots can be pretty sexy stuff.

When most of us think of live theatre, we’re usually imagining a big production. But small community theatres put on plays that can be pretty fun and often alternative or experimental -- and budget-friendly. In the summer, some cities offer outdoor plays -- Shakespeare or Shaw -- for free or pay what you can.

On a warm evening, there’s nothing nicer than taking a walk to an ice cream shop. For the price of two cones, spend a couple of hours indulging, strolling and debating the merits of chocolate mint versus bubble gum.

Visit a fine food shop, buy a little piece of cheese or paté, some crackers and a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Pack it up and drive out of the city to where the sky is full of stars. Picnic while you stargaze and chat.

Explore your city. When the weather is nice, walk about, stopping in at cafés and visiting free galleries and shops. Rent a pair of bikes or purchase a day pass for the local transit system.

In winter, go skating, even if you don’t own a pair of skates. Many rinks offer skate rentals.

It is possible to find a decent meal for two for around $20. Explore the Chinatown, Little India or Caribbean strip in your town, and discover affordable bowls of steaming pho, plates of spicy dosa or oxtail with rice and peas. Then wander and see what other new discoveries you’ll make together.

Page 1 of 2 - On page 2, learn lots of great date ideas for $50 or less

Date ideas for $50 or less 

Go for his and hers pedicures. Find a place with relaxing massage chairs -- get two side by side -- and for $20 to $25 each, get pampered. 

Going for a movie can cost a small fortune unless you know when and where to go. Small, independently owned theatres are often cheaper and many of the big ones offer a discount one day a week. Matinees are often cheaper, too. Smuggle in your own homemade snacks and you’re laughing. 

What are your interests, passions or hobbies? Bring your beloved to a trade show -- motor bikes, boats, orchids, exotic pets -- and you’ll find out what makes them light up and whether you feel the same (or at least can put up with it in good humour). 

Visit a bookstore. Take your time wandering through the stacks, and in the end, buy each other a favourite book -- then explain why. And would it be too Victorian to suggest you find a comfortable spot and read each other your favourite passages? 

Sports fan? Don’t want to spend hundreds on a ticket? Why not get out and support your local varsity or semi-pro team? Tickets can be as low as five or ten dollars and the action, just as much fun. Add in a couple of stadium snacks and a beer and you’ve got a fun and exciting afternoon. 

In summertime, check out your area’s roster of inexpensive outdoor festivals, from art to folk music and even spicy food. Many Canadian towns put on Highland Games in the summer, and a day pass is often between ten and fifteen dollars -- and who doesn’t want to see a dude in a skirt tossing a telephone pole in the air?

Spending quality time together doesn't have to mean spending piles of money. All you need for an inexpensive date is a little creativity. After all, the important part of a date is focusing on each other, not the prices on the menu.

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Inexpensive date ideas for you and your partner

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