Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cheap Date

Last night my boyfriend and I went out to dinner for New York City Restaurant Week. We thought this was the perfect occasion for a date night. What could be better than a relatively cheap dinner at an otherwise expensive restaurant?

An actual cheap date night. That's what could be better. Add a couple of drinks, tax and gratuity to the $35 per dinner price tag and you have a $100 night out. On a Monday! Outrageous. While we had a good time together and the food wasn't bad, we determined that at the end of the day it wasn't really worth it.

Living in major cities, most Working Girls (and Boys) are living paycheck to paycheck and trying their best to save a bit along the way. Especially these days. This Working Girl and said boyfriend are also planning on moving in together in a few months so we're all about saving. We've decided no more expensive dinners out, just cheap date nights. With the help of some friends and my Twitter follows, I've complied a list of cheap date night ideas.
  • Picnic in the Park - I've been hinting at this one for ages and I think I'm going to have plan my own damn picnic pretty soon. Most cities and towns have some great parks to take advantage of. Pack some homemade sandwiches, bring a blanket and some books or magazines and you're good to go. ericajpolleys also suggested (via Twitter) to look into what free shows your cities offer. Here in NYC there are concerts, movies and music all for free. Pack a Picnic and go!
  • Farmer's Market Dinner Date - Have a local farmer's market? If you're gonna have a dinner date you may as well cook it yourself and buy locally, right? (Don't forget your reusable grocery bag!) megan_wuske suggested riding bikes to the farmer's market and cooking dinner together. Eat it at home or make it a picnic! I would most definitely ride a bike to the farmer's market if I didn't think I'd get hit by a taxi on the way.
  • Bowling & Other Sports - hazel318 told me she loves bowling dates. In Manhattan bowling can be pricey. Good thing I have a Wii because I can "bowl" for free. Or "play tennis" for free. Or "box" for free. If you have a Wii, inviting friends over or another couple over for a dinner date would be super fun.
  • Movie Night - In the summer, see if your city or town has free outdoor movies. On rainy nights or winter nights Working Girl Two is a fan of renting movies from the library because they are free. If you're a frequent movie watching, sign up for Netflix. You can get movies delivered to your home and you can watch some movies instantly on your comptuer. It's amazing. TV Shows too! I've been watching The Tudors like it's my job for the past week and a half.
  • Comedy Club - A lot of comedy clubs require you to purchase a ticket and order a minium of two drinks (at least in New York). But in New York we also have the Upright Citizens Brigade which offers most of it's shows for just $5 a ticket. Now that's cheap.
  • I'm On a Boat - City boat tours can be expensive. kateamcconnell suggested the Staten Island Ferry in New York for a cheap date. Commuter ferries in your city can offer the same scenery as the expensive tourist ferries.


Ashley said...

I have to say that I love "Farmer's Market Dinner Date". There are plenty of interesting, nice quality, and cheaply priced items to be found there which means that dinner possibilities are practically endless. If you choose a dish that can have an array of different ingredients you can make dinner fun by each choosing the ingredients you wish to include.

Bayjb said...

Oh man I love cheap dates. I went on a picnic with JohnBoy and it was super sweet and romantic :) Just make sure it doesn't rain

New URL: http://www.myeverydayadventures.com

Kizzy said...

Teah, we try to have cheap dates night too, but it's hard. You always end up spending more than you planned.

Thanks for the tips though!

Amy said...

We are huge on the cheap dates. We have been playing tennis, catch, frisbee and basketball in the evenings and on weekends a lot. Once you have the gear it's free...and we aren't pros so we bought cheapies like a $10 basketball and spent $20 total on tennis racquets and balls. We'll eat dinner at home and then just go out for ice cream and a walk instead of a whole meal out. The beach is also free!

Girl About Business said...

My boyfriend and I are very frugal when it comes to dates simply because we're poor college students. In our city, Logan's Roadhouse has 2 entrees for $13.99 (good entrees, might I add). We try to do that. Other times we'll take a bike ride, which is good exercise as well. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Ice cream is always fun, and we play lots of video games too. The riverwalk in downtown Detroit is free and very nice. I'm sure they have these everywhere... Also utilize people. We rarely pay for the movies; both his little brother and my best friend work at movie theaters, so movies & food are always free.

Cheap dates can be really fun, and friendly to your pockets!

Magic City College Girl said...

those are all great ideas. my boyfriend and i like doing the cheap date thing. i have done the picnic, the movie one, and other stuff. they can just as fun, if not more than the expensive ones. i would love to do another picnic date soon. a date doesnt have to cost alot of money to be enjoyable. some my my dates with my boyfriend can simple be watching a favorite tv show or movie on tv while eating a homecooked meal i made and just enjoy eachother and eachothers company.

Mel-Rox said...

My husband and I joke about date nights because well, we never have a cheap one. Just last night we randomly stopped at some city fair and spent over $100. We won two little animals and rode 1 ride.

We make date afternoons on the weekends. Go to a Costco and walk around and try the samples of food. You can make a meal out of it all. Or a Wegmans.

Picnics are great! We often times will take the computer out with us and watch a movie. Like a little movie in the park. Thank God for Redbox.

There are so many ideas. I'm a Financial Analyst. I am all about making the dollar work for me.

Mel-Rox said...

Or you can try this:


Ms. Attitude said...

picnics and movie nights are my favorites!

tatum said...

you ladies rock. keep up the great work. oh, and i loved the last post about women and the struggle to choose between career and family. i couldn't have said it better.

The Novelista Barista said...

so true... its always the drinks that do it!

Magchunk said...

Great ideas. Themed movie nights can be fun. Like, all movies that take place in the 70s. Or movies that are about Alaska.

Some sporting events will have discounted tickets at half-time. We went to a Mariners game in Seattle last night and the cheapest seats were $8. Of course, the beer is $8 too!

Playful Professional said...

We just started getting a produce box every week with fresh produce from Farmer's markets in the area. Definitely makes me want to make meals at home rather than going out for dates. Yum.

High-heel gal said...

Great ideas! My man and I often see movies during the day for cheaper prices, then pick up a $5 bottle of wine and make our own dinner. Being that we're both teachers, paycheck to paycheck is definitely a reality!

Canadian Girl said...

omg I love The Tudors!!! <3
plus i love the cheap date. Bf and i rock it. he loves to cook, so good for me!
plus our local theatre has 4 dollar movie night.

The Intellectual Diva said...

I LOVE this. It's so true...all of my "cheap dates" end up costing way more than anticipating. If this wasn't such a rainy summer...Summer Stage is great. Also, Gingers on 38th and 7th has a $4 happy hour. The food is good, the venue is cute, and the prices are always right.