Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dating On a Budget

A friend and I were talking the other day about this recession and how it's affected peoples' dating lives due to the lack of funds...especially for men. How can you impress without spending mucho dinero? I know for me, it's not quantity, but it's in time spent together. Then again, I'm used to dating artists, so luckily, my dates with them have been creative...and wonderful. Here are some of my more frugal dating experiences along with my friends' suggestions. If your girl (or boy)doesn't dig these, then it's time to trade them in for a better deal. Materialism is never attractive.

If you live in NYC:


1. The Highline ($10): On a sunny day, bring your special person to The Highline nice and early and stake your claim on their a couple of cupcakes and waters from the Cupcake man and bask in their sugary goodness as you cuddle up.

2. Central Park Boat Rental: Total cost for 3 hours ($50)
Before winter hits, grab a bottle of wine (Trader Joe's has a nice range of wines from $5-10) and head over to Central Park's boat house. Bring the romance on as you row with some wine and quiet time. The boat rentals are pretty reasonable

Rowboat Rental
Weather Permitting
$20 Cash Deposit
$12.00 per first hour
$2.50 per each additional ¼ hour or portion thereof


3. ($20-30) Picnic in central park: Bring some cheese, bread, water, wine... or buy some ice cream and cuddle under the sky. If you're really having to be frugal, then buy you and your significant other some ice creams and cuddle on a blanket.

4. (Free) concerts in Central Park (they happen all through summer). I just went to one last week.

5. (Free) school plays (inside or outside). This was one of my favorite dates. He took me to an middle school production of "Romeo & Juliet." I thought it was so sweet...and romantic. He really did his research for this date. It was at a park across from Spring Lounge and we had a couple drinks after and walked around.


1. ($10-30) cook dinner for her at your place. Food Network has many ideas for dinners within various budgets. Look up some recipes on Food Network... some of the ideas on 5 Ingredient Fix" are fun...and simple. Or charm her with a dish that reflects your heritage so that she can get to know you a little better. If you have a roommate, either arrange to have them clear out of the apt for a few hours or simply make the meal at her place (but bring the groceries and wine!)

2. (0-$20) Check out plays and musical performances at your local universities. For example, if you're in NYC, Juilliard has a fantastic schedule coming up.

3. (Free) If she likes art, take her to a gallery crawl in Chelsea. On various Thursday nights throughout season, all of the galleries have openings with free wine, beer, and food.

4. ($1-$20) Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You don't have to pay the full admission price; many people don't know that. Just say "Donation" and give whatever $ you want; save the extra cash for a couple of glasses of wine upstairs while you listen to chamber music in their cafe (usually on the weekends).

5. ($10-$20) Find a nice small romantic coffee shop with great desserts and/or independent bookstore that will allow you to browse and hunker down on a comfortable couch. (pick up their poetry reading schedules)

6. (Free) Check out poetry readings (KGB, a bar in the east village,has them regularly)

7. Movie Night @ Your place. Take turns getting to be the movie DJ. One night you pick 2 of your favorite movies and she/he picks his favorites the next time. Pop some popcorn and make it happen.

8. Indoor/Outdoor: Play sports together. Hiking, tennis, soccer (just don't kick my shins) and it's always fun to go to the golf range at Chelsea Piers and take turns swinging those clubs. You can get 90 balls for around $20.

9. Explore historical NYC (there are many guidebooks available in used and new bookstores). Check out your history.

10. Create art together.

a. ($20-$40) Buy a canvas or special art paper from your local art store with some paint (and grab a couple of bottles of that cheap wine from Trader Joe's) and go to town in your creativity. You'll be amazed at how fun...and romantic it can be to create together.

b. ($0-$30) Photo adventure. Break out your cameras and go on a photo adventure. Spend time photographing each other in various places in the city. Then edit your photos together. You can even make a collage to reflect your day.

*** Read "The Village Voice" or "Time Out" magazine for all the freebie art, theatre, and local happenings *** You'll be surprised at all the fun stuff you'll find. And then maybe, after he/she's passed the frugal test, you'll splurge on a nice meal, show, or event for that person.

No comments: