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How to Plan a Great Date With Very Little Money

Updated on July 27, 2013
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OUR FIRST DATE: What Was He Thinking? What Was I Thinking?

I was twenty-two, just moved to Hawaii and was hired as a DJ at a local night club. There, I met the man I would eventually marry. But first, the dating would begin. One evening after the club closed down, we had a discussion with a few other employees on who could spend the least amount of money on a date and still have a great time. My future husband stood up and claimed in a matter of fact voice that he could spend $15.00 on a date and that she would have the time of her life. I stood up and said "That's impossible!" He asked me out and I accepted.

I was so excited and couldn't wait for our first (of what I hoped would be many) date. He picked me up in his old beat up pick up truck, drove us to Hamura's Saimin Stand where we ate a Deluxe bowl of Saimin (Noodle Soup) with chop sticks. Something I have yet to conquer since being so new in the islands. (Total cost was $10 for 2 Saimin's and 2 sodas) I was then informed that we would be going to the movies (your typical first date thing to do). As we passed by the only movie theater on the island, my mind began to go wild with thought of what was in store for me. Perhaps he was going to drive me into the cane field and kill me, or worse yet.. take me home and cut the date short after he saw how I couldn't use chop sticks properly.

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It turned out that there was another movie theater called the ROXY, an old theatre built in the thirties that only showed Japanese movies with sub-titles. You know the ones: Where the actor would speak, but the sound would be 3 beats behind with the sub-title on the bottom of the screen.
He explained to me that these movies were classics and this theater had the best popcorn on the island. (Total cost of movie $2.00/ $1.00 per person and $3.00 for popcorn)

He was right on with the popcorn acclaim, however, it was soon forgotten as the opening scene of the movie involved a man getting his head chopped off in a sword fight and rolling down hill and stopping at the feet of a Samurai.

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After watching the rest of the movie with my eyes closed, he then proceeded to drive me home through the back roads of Wailua. It had rained a bit while we were in the movie and this seemed to excite my date. He announced that we were going to do a little toad hopping on the way home. "Is that anything like leap-frog?," I asked. "You'll see," he replied.

As we continued up the mountain, I began to see the toads appear on the road and it was his goal to see how many he could "pop." That answered the question as to why I would always see toads flat on their back in the middle of the roads. (Total cost of Toad Hopping- $0)

What was he thinking? I married him 7 years later. What was I thinking?

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How to Plan the Perfect Date

Planning a great date with very little money may take a lot of imagination, but it can be done.

Especially with the economy as it is now, it is so important to be frugal with our funds. In doing so, does this mean that we have to give up dating or doing something nice for the person we love? Absolutely not. You just need to think it through a little bit and be original.

As they say, "Think outside the box!"

I have always been big on using your brain and to make do with the resources you have.

Planning a date can be so much fun because the possibilities are endless.

Creating a Great Date With Very Little Money

How much money do you think you would need to plan a great date?

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Something for Everyone

Here you will find a list of 20 ideas to Plan a Great Date with Very Little Money. Each idea is a base to start with. There you can add to it or create a date of your own building on these ideas. Remember to be creative and have fun planning the date together or surprise each other occasionally.

  • Create a theater experience in your own home: Rent a movie, make lots of popcorn, add your favorite drinks and turn off the lights. (Don't forget to cuddle up to one another)
  • Have a progressive fast food date: (example:Start off with a salad at Jack in the Box, stuffed baked potato and drink at Wendy's, double dipped cone at Dairy Queen)
  • Clean out your friends or relatives garage, or do a little yard work together. Call it Compassionate Exercise!
  • Forego the expensive wine bars and have a few beers at a local bar. Be sure to check and see if they have a pool table or perhaps a dart board and challenge each other to a few games. Loser gives the winner a massage when you get home.
  • Take a walk on the beach and gather shells for a home project.
  • Ladies, talk about cars with your honey and then go take a test drive in one of his favorites.
  • Fix your favorite BBQ then spend the night stargazing with the assistance of a book on constellations. See how many you can find and then test each other.
  • Don't spend all your money at a pricey spa. Spend the night in pampering each other by running a bubble bath then treating each other to a personal massage.
  • Double date with another couple and spend the day at a local farm picking fruit. Bring your treasures back to your home, get creative with each other and see who can come up with the best recipe using the fruit you picked.
  • Go on a wine tour with other couples.

  • Challenge him to a bowling match. Once there, psyche your man out by reminding him how many people wore his shoes before him. Then replace his name with a silly name on the scoreboard for the whole bowling alley to see.(example: Stud Muffin, Sweet Cheeks, Sugar lips)
  • Bring out the inner child in you both and take a trip to the zoo! While visiting the monkeys, have a debate on why it would be a bad idea to have one as a pet. When you get home, take a shower together and do some monkeying around yourself.
  • Some towns have local street faires every week. Spend a couple of hours at the faire and then find a good Mexican restaurant for margaritas and nachos.
  • The day of your first snow, build a snowman together then take a picture of you both with the snowman using a camera with a timer. (This will be your Christmas card you send out) After the picture taking, treat yourself to a hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls.
  • Both volunteer your time at a soup kitchen serving meals to the needy and homeless.
  • Attend a church sermon together.
  • Spend the night playing Scrabble or Monopoly while munching on your favorite finger foods.
  • Donate blood together.
  • Spend the evening driving around your city looking for places you haven't seen before.
  • Call your local Senior Care facility to find out how many patients are there. Buy enough little $1.00 plants from your local nursery, buy a package of Popsicle sticks, then cut out hearts with construction paper and write "YOU ARE LOVED" on each one. Glue the heart to the stick and then place the stick into each pot. Visit each patient to let them know how much they are thought of and present the plant to them.

Elizabeth Rayen
Elizabeth Rayen | Source

About the Author

Lisa has directed and acted in musical theatre for nearly 30 years. Her musical upbringing allowed her to pursue her career in teaching and directing and continues to direct shows today. As the owner of 2 online Home Décor sites, Lisa’s passion for Rustic Living all begins with her love for the home, outdoors, and her many hobbies. Lisa loves to laugh, and she share’s that love through her comedic hubs centered on her MOM. Lisa’s passions include writing, directing, acting, photography, singing, cooking, crafts, gardening, and home improvement, including decorating. Lisa also writes under her penned name, Elizabeth Rayen.

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Copyright © Elizabeth Rayen aka Rustic Living, all rights reserved. You are not allowed to copy or use the contents of this page without permission from its author.

Comments: How to Plan a Great Date With Very Little Money

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    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 4 years ago from Australia

      A lovely read and some perfect suggestions! I love the idea of a walk along the beach date, it's days like that which create such lovely memories.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great ideas Lisa! Bev and I are both romantics and it really takes very little money to plan a date that we are both happy with.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you strictlydating! Walking on the beach is one of my favorites, especially when I was living in Hawaii :) Thank you for stopping by!♥

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      I love to hear that Bill! It really doesn't matter what we do as long as it's together! ♥

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Lisa, these are FABULOUS. The great thing is, that I LOVE all the ideas.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Deb! I do to and there are so many more ideas.. I would love to hear ideas from everyone. Share the wealth as they say! ♥

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I remember playing cards with a friend one Christmas. We were both alone for the holiday. We also ate raisin bread and drank whisky.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      How wonderful! That is using the imagination and making do with the resources you had. I bet the loneliness subsided and you both had a wonderful day! ♥ Thanks for sharing that Deb!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'ma cheap date Lisa...we have so many free things in St. Louis it's unbelievable. I like going to the Muny (free seats!) the Zoo - free - a gazillion parks....and don't forget going to a lookout spot near the airport where Dave and I would lounge on the car and watch all the flights coming in and landing. We had lots of fun even when we were broke!

      Ahh how sweet ...sounds like you got a cool guy!!.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      I love those ideas Kelly! Especially sitting in the car watching the planes coming in for landings!

      Actually, my husband passed almost 5 years ago, but he was an amazing guy. A little on the crazy side.. I mean.. popping toads?!?!?!?!LOL I have since met a wonderful man who is... ummm crazier than the first..but I think I channel the crazy out of them..hehehhe This is the ONLY time I will admit to that though..lol Thanks for your ideas!! ♥♥

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent ideas. Here's another: go fly a kite, preferably in some picturesque location such as a beach or hilltop. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 4 years ago from Northern, California

      Lisa, this is a perfect date mecca. Save a few bucks, actually learn a few things about your date, and possibly discover the love of your life while popping a few frogs! What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing, it was so worth the time!

      Cheers~

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      I LOVE that idea Alocsin! When living in Hawaii, I would teach kite flying and dual control kite flying. I had a lot of couples who came for the day to learn how to fly dual controls. Excellent idea! Thank you for sharing! ♥

    • Rusticliving profile image
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      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      LOL.. I love that K9. You are absolutely right. He was the love of my life, frogs, rolling heads, and everything else that he brought into my life! Thank you so much for your comment! ♥

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I caught this earlier but wanted to stop by and leave a comment. My hubby and I enjoy a date night each week. One of our favorites is walking the beach, it is lovely, fun and costs nothing. Great ideas.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Dianna! I love those kind of dates as well. They can also turn out to be very romantic :) ♥

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Rusticliving . . .may I just say this about this hub . . .

      LOVE IT!

      ADORED IT!

      And urge YOU to write more and more.

      I loved this so much that I voted up and away.

      This is my type of writing--dates, relationships, mostly in the woman's favor and to educate guys how to treat ladies.

      Glad I met you on hubs.

      Merry Christmas, Lisa.

      PS: I too, have some theater background experience, but I will tell you about that later.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Dear kenneth,

      My first reaction to your sweet wonderful compliment is to say "wow" and to thank you for such a beautiful comment. It's always nice to be encouraged for your work and you have certainly given me a boost today. Thank you so much and I am truly a fan of yours as well. Looking forward to seeing each other in HP world more often. I'll talk theatre with you anytime! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! ♥

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Rusticliving,

      you are most-welcome, for it was all the truth! I love your writing and your knowledge of theater. Was glad to give you a boost. Thats my job in life and I love it. I do not want to tear down friends, but build them up. Yes, WE will see each other in HP often and write me anytime. Merry Christmas, my New Dear Friend :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are fabulous date ideas! There is so much variety too, so you can keep on dating without going broke. Voted up.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this hub! So many great ideas for fun dates that don't break the bank. Thank you for sharing!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Millionaire! I agree... I'm for always saving a few bucks here and there (even if I have to watch a head being chopped off) lol ♥

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Kathy! It's always fun to use your imagination and come up with ways to have a good time without spending a fortune. I'm so glad you loved the hub! ♥

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      Hey there Lisa. This was a fun hub to read. Nowadays, if a guy tries to take a woman out with only $15, he's liable to get talked about badly afterwards lol. People just don't appreciate the simple things in life anymore it seems. Anyway, great hub. Voted up, useful, and interesting. Great job!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      I totally agree with you prospectboy. I have overheard conversations with girls/women who have trashed a man for not taking them to the fanciest restaurant and instead took them to the beach with a couple of Subway sandwiches. Poor things.. they just don't get it. Hopefully my generation can influence the "it's okay to be cheap" into some of these gals! LOL Thanks for your comment! ♥

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 4 years ago

      What a charming hub! I think I'm going to try the snowman/Christmas card idea. That can be done with a date, a child, or your mom and dad. Also, I loved your story about dating your husband. It made me smile. Sounds like to two of you are great together!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thank you savvydating (loving your profile name) I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! My Husband and I had a wonderful life together. He passed away in 2008, but I always keep his heart close to mine and remember the crazy things he did for me. The snowman/Christmas card is one of my favorites! Enjoy! ♥

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 4 years ago

      I just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. From the things you said about your husband, he was a treasure of a man.

    • JoeDowgiallo profile image

      Joe Dowgiallo 2 years ago from Maryland

      I especially like your idea of volunteering together. It's a great way to do something together that is beyond yourselves.

      P.S. Those poor toads! ;)

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Joe! It is one of my favorites as well. I know.. those poor amphibians never knew what happened! LOL

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