Money

Love On A Budget: Frugal Date Ideas

If it were up to us, we would only take our partners on the most extravagant rendezvous possible. Even if it were a first date, how good would it be to go all out and impress the absolute pants off somebody?

Unfortunately, the cost of dates can quickly pile up. What, with dinner, drinks, dessert, and transport – the list goes on.

Don’t sweat it though – there are ways to impress your date, which won’t require you to take out a personal loan. Next time you’re set to head on the town with your SO, consider mixing it up with one of these suggestions.

#1 Lounge room à la carte

Yeah, dining from home will obviously save you some cash, but if you’re secretly a master in the kitchen this will be your chance to show off your sweet skills. Even if you can’t cook at all, your date will appreciate the effort – plus, cooking their favourite meal will gain you infinite brownie points.

Transform your lounge room into a fancy AF five-star restaurant by lighting a few candles, repurposing some bed sheets as a tablecloth and setting the mood with some sweet, sweet tunes.

This date could potentially cost zero dollars if you back your cooking skills enough to only use ingredients from your cupboard and fridge: challenge accepted.

#2 Lunch on the go

The daily commute can be a bit of a chore, but chances are there are some trips nearby where you can just sit back and enjoy the surrounds, outside of weekday peak hour madness. Hop on a ferry and ride it around – way cheaper than hiring a boat, and the best part is you can hop off whenever you feel. Make an arvo of it by packing a lunch.

Alternatively, jump on your pushbikes and discover a spot in your suburb you’ve never seen. Whether it’s a shady spot in a park or a nearby riverbank, a nice and new spot for lunch is never too far away.

#3 Discover a dive bar

Chances are you’ve walked past what you’ve assumed was an abandoned shopfront several times. Don’t let the lack of customers fool you – it’s probably just a not-so-popular pub.

These hidden gems can offer the best kinds of fun, and on the cheap. In places like these, drink prices would have you thinking happy hour is never ending.

They’ve almost always got in-house activities too: like karaoke, pool, darts, table tennis or old-school arcade machines. Who doesn’t love some friendly competition?

#4 Enjoy the sunset

 Arguably, the most romantic setting imaginable is a sunset on the beach: if you can find a nice spot with uninterrupted views, you’re on to a winner.

Bring along some dinner, a few sneaky bevvies and settle in for the night. Just remember to pack a blanket in case it gets a bit chilly.

#5 Volunteer

What if I told you there was a way to spend the day with your partner AND a bunch of dogs at the same time? Nope, you’ve not died and gone to heaven – this is a real possibility if you decide to spend the day volunteering.

There are plenty of organisations that are always looking for helpers: like nursing homes, homeless shelters and animal refuges. It’s a truly great way to spend a day: you’ll leave knowing that your day was spent doing something beneficial and productive.

Did I mention the chance of dogs?


Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.