When you're dining on Kraft mac-n-cheese and Ramen noodles, there's not money in your budget for five star restaurants and tickets to the theater. However, a lack of funds doesn't have to result in a lack of romance. In fact, half of the fun is getting creative! If you open your eyes and mind, there are a plethora of cheap, but romantic dates out there for you to discover!
The Great Outdoors
Get a breath of fresh air and a dose of free romance with Mother Nature. There are limitless activities outdoors. You could try the classic picnic. Plan a picnic for two at your local park, a nearby lake, or any other scenic outdoor location. Pack a few sandwiches, snacks, and drinks in your backpack and you have an instant romantic date for two.
Take a walk together! Walking gets you moving, gives you a chance to talk, and gets you close together. Try going for a nice walk around town hand-in-hand window shopping or through a park at sunset. Take a hike on nearby trails or explore areas that you've never been to before.
Become kids again! It's proven that couple's that play together stay together. Getting goofy, laughing, and letting out your inner child let's you really open up and get to know one another. Spend the afternoon at a playground, pushing each other on the swings, rocking on the teeter-totter, and sliding down the slides. If you're feeling particularly active, play a game of tag for two or hide and seek!
Cool off in the water together. Spend the day lounging at the beach, lake, or go for a moonlight swim together. If those aren't an option, look for a campus pool or perhaps there's even one at your apartment complex. If you have a waterpark nearby, you may be able to score discount tickets through their website or an entertainment coupon book.
The great outdoors gets more romantic as the day turns to dusk. Try sunset strolls, moonlit walks, or star-gazing in the park.Local Shops
Take a date to your local bookstore or coffee shop. It's a great place to sit and talk and it's cheap (think coffee and unlimited refills!). While there, check out their event schedule. Many book and coffee shops host book signings, lectures, poetry readings, and live music. Often these events are completely free to customers.Campus Scene
Pick up your school paper and check out the campus scene. Most colleges and universities offer a wide variety of free activities for students ranging from lectures, to sports games, to readings, to movies, and so on. Check your school paper, website, bulletin boards, and more for upcoming free events.Entertainment Books
Entertainment books are a gem for those looking for dates on the cheap, including not just restaurants, but lots of entertainment options (movies, miniature golf, museums, etc). If you stick to dates where you can use the coupons, you can show your date a great time while still watching your pennies!Daily Deals Sites
Check out places like Groupon for awesome deals to all kinds of local restaurants, entertainment options, and events. While you never know what will show up on the sites, when do you find something, you'll usually get it for 50% off! I've found great deals at restaurants, couples massages at a local spa, tickets to sports events, and even tickets to a pumpkin patch (a great fall-themed date!). Groupon even offers Groupon Getaways, which features great deals on trips, especially quick weekend getaways, if you have a little extra to spend.City Scene
Pick up your local newspaper, city guide, or check a website like CitySearch that lists upcoming entertainment and events. You're sure to find lots of events such as concerts in the park, local festivals, and more. Many of these events are completely free, while others may have a small fee.