No matter who you are, the dating scene can be rough. Combine an already uncertain situation with a lack of funds and you have a recipe for a completely awkward encounter (or no encounter at all). On the bright side, summer presents you with an assortment of cheap activities that don’t come off looking cheap, but fun and adventurous.
To keep your mojo going when you’re short on cash, try these seven summertime date ideas:
Hit the beach
If you live near the ocean, there’s perhaps no cheaper date than a day at the beach. Pack a lunch to ward off hunger, and you can spend endless hours playing in the sand and surf all while wearing only your bathing suits — does it get any better?
If you don’t live near the beach, what about going to a river or creek? If there are mild rapids in the water, you are likely to find some rental companies nearby where you can rent a tube for $15 or less. Again, pack a picnic and a bathing suit and you are set for a day of adventure.
Not only are dog parks a great place to meet people (plenty of natural conversation material available), but they also serve as a fun date destination. If your date is a dog lover, showing your soft side for Fido will put you on the fast track to winning him/her over.
Minor League Baseball
Watching a baseball game is the quintessential summer activity, and by attending a minor league game you get all the atmosphere, hot dogs, and beer found at a major league game, but at a $10 or less price tag. Plus, the fans aren’t quite as serious, and everybody is just out for a good time. Go on a promotional night, like Thirsty Thursday, and you can save even more dough.
Have a Cookout
It’s grilling season, which presents you with the perfect excuse to cook at home and save money. Plan something gourmet-ish and cook it together, a la Take Home Chef, so you can work as a team and have plenty of opportunities for interaction and banter.
If your date has a competitive or athletic side, why not nurture it with a friendly game of tennis on a free, public court. You don’t need to have any real tennis skills to have a good time since watching each other fumble around with the ball can provide enough entertainment by itself.
Stick with Appetizers and Dessert
When you go to restaurants, are you usually full right after eating the appetizers, or do you always regret not saving room for dessert? Why not forget the unnecessary main course and just stick with the good stuff? You can cut your bill in half while still getting the dining experience. Just make it known you’re going out for “apps and dessert,” and it will seem like a thing to do instead of like your skimping once you get there.
If you’re creative enough, you can turn just about anything into a date. The important thing to remember is people on dates want to get out and do stuff (especially in the summer when the weather is nice). So, even though sitting down to a Law and Order marathon may sound like cheap entertainment to you, it’s not the makings of a good date.