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Spend More Time, Spend Fewer Dollars

Updated on May 6, 2015

Make The Investment

Investing in a relationship doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Few of us have money to spare, but that's not a problem, because money can’t buy you love. Time is precious, but we usually have some time to spare. The good news is, time well spent is the best investment that can be made in a relationship.

Wether you’re looking for your future spouse, or just seeking companionship, the purpose of dating is to get to know someone better. We expect fun and entertainment, work to impress and delight, as well as seek to better know and understand one another. Wow! That’s a lot to squeeze into one single moment, but such is dating. Don’t worry, the best things in life are worth the effort. The following suggestions will help you show that special someone that you have a lot to offer, without offering up a fortune. Do it right, and you won’t be seen as a cheapskate, you’ll be seen as the one they don’t want to let get away.

Support The Arts

If you’re in the mood for music, but don’t have the budget for the box office, check out local performing groups. Many communities have choirs and ensembles offering reasonable ticket pricing. Most colleges and high schools schedule concerts that are open to the general public. Not only is the admission priced right, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that your attendance is supporting a local music program.

Sometimes, a date demands a little drama. Community theater offers everything from William Shakespeare to Neil Simon. You don’t need a Broadway production for your evening to be a smash hit, you simple need a great plot for a great date. Smaller theaters have a cozier atmosphere, lending to a more intimate interaction between the audience and the actors. Once again, your ticket purchase directly supports your community and those seeking to keep the arts alive close to home.

Feel like putting your dancing shoes on? Local dance schools often offer adult dance students the opportunity to take a class for free. Try something new like tap or clogging. You won’t be able to use those steps at the club, but the experience of learning something new together is an experience only the two of you will share. Some dance schools also schedule dance parties, offering a lesson, followed by a couple of hours of floor time to show off your moves, all for a reasonable one-time fee. Call your local dance studio and find out how you can sweep your date off their feet.

Treasure Hunting
Treasure Hunting | Source

To Market We Go

Flea markets and farmers markets offer plentiful goods at good prices. Strolling through the various displays presents plenty of opportunity to discover what what each of you like and dislike. Not only is this a great way to explore compatibility, but the information gleaned can be useful when planning future time together.

Flea markets are like a treasure hunt. Think of a quirky item, like an old clock key, vintage broach or figurine, and see if you and your date can find it. If successful, use your negotiating skills to purchase the item, and you have an instant memento of your time together.

Farmers markets offer fresh foods and tasty treats. While picking up your favorite fruits and veggies, you are likely to find a generous offering of jellies, jams, and baked goods. Also keep your eye out for cut flowers, a brilliant bouquet brightens any day.

Brew For Two

Microbrews are all the rage, and there’s a good chance that there is a micro brewery near you. For an interesting afternoon outing, check to see if your favorite local brewmaster offers tours. Most often the tour is free, but tasting is available for a modest fee. Usually, the tasting fee is no more than the cost of a single brew, and often includes a commemorative glass.

If you prefer caffeine over hops, coffee houses are a great venue for an inexpensive date. Small tables and comfy sofas create an intimate environment and invite conversation. Order large beverages to afford you plenty of time to sip and talk. Your local coffee house is another place where you can find entertainment, live music and open-mike’s are often on the menu.


Go Outside And Play

When the weather is nice, get out and enjoy it with someone special. A walk through the park, a bike ride around the neighborhood, or fishing at your favorite pond are great ways to spend time together.

If hand-holding while taking a leisurely stroll is too tame for you, than hit a local hiking trail and break a real sweat. Or if you are the competitive type, reserve some court time through your parks and recreation department and play some tennis. A little friendly one-on-one basketball is also a great playdate for those who enjoy a little more physicality.

You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the great outdoors. A picnic lunch and a scenic location are all you need to enjoy nature. Keep it simple, sandwiches and fresh fruit are quick to assemble and keep well. Grab a frisbee or football for an activity, and you’ve got very affordable fun in the sun!

Really want to take it easy? Go for a drive. Find a scenic route and roll the windows down. You can really get some gas mileage out of a date by scouting out a great place to watch the sun set, then escape the city lights and do some stargazing.

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Cook Up Some Fun

The kitchen is a great place to discover if you have compatibility. Rather than cooking for your special someone, invite them to cook with you. Are you the adventurous sort? Then pick out some recipes the two of you have always wanted to try to experiment together. For those who like to play it safe, decide on which of your tried and true dishes pair well together and plan a menu. If time allows, do the grocery shopping together to extend your date.

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef, or culinary whiz to pull off a home cooked meal. Even if you don’t generally spend much time in the kitchen, you can grill hot dogs or bratwurst with confidence. Toss a green salad, grab some chips and your there!

The Cooking Date

Be True To Yourself & Sensitive To Others

Whatever activity you decide on, make sure that it reflects who you are and is of interest to your date. If you hate the outdoors, it will be hard to hide that fact if you spend the day fishing. If your date doesn’t like beer, that brewery tour you got a kick out of will be low on your date’s list of fabulous times. So ask a few questions before planning your next date. Choose outings and activities that cater to both your tastes, and you’ll find that even with empty pockets, you can have a full heart and a fabulous relationship.


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    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      You are welcome. I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Cyndi Gibson profile imageAUTHOR

      Cyndi Gibson 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you, Julie. My hope is that everyone out there can find their special someone without ever losing who they are.

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      Bravo. This is a practical, inspirational hub. Kudos to you for mentioning the fact you need to be sensitive to yourself and to your date so everyone has an enjoyable time. Voted up.


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